When a Flower Blossoms…
She is young, ambitious and very talented – and has already landed a bagful awards for her efforts. Ruusa Ndapewa Munalye, best known as BLOSSOM, is a household name in Namibia. And Southern Africa must get ready to meet this Namibian diva who is set to send ripples across the music industry with her fine voice and equally fine instrumentation. The Southern Times’ MERCY KAKUJAHA spoke to the multiple award-winning artist in Windhoek this past week, a few days after she came out tops in four categories at the Namibia Annual Music Awards. She won the Best New Comer, Best Shambo, Best Kizomba and Female Artist of the Year awards.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Music is something I discovered during my academic years when I started teaching myself to play the guitar and sing. I just fell in love with music and I officially started performing in 2010.
Q: What type of music do you produce? How would you classify it?
A: I do Afro soul and country music as well as a bit of traditional. My focus is on social entertainment and I sing about things that are very close to my heart – people are close to my heart. For example, the song “Somebody Answer” talks about how we are blessed as a country, yet we are portrayed as the poorest people on Earth. I also focus on my pride as an African child from a continent of hope and so much colour.
Q: Before the recent Namibia Annual Music Awards, not many people thought you would win in so many categories. Then you went on to win four awards. How do you feel?
A: It was fulfilling and exciting. I shared the stage with 15 children because I want them to be able to shape their society and inspire other young people. The Female Artist of the Year Award was very rewarding and thus I want to share it with the whole country and all people who love my music.
Q: You have more or less conquered Namibia. Do you plan on taking your music across the country’s borders?
A: Taking my music international has always been one of my desires because the appreciation foreigners showed when I performed at the National Theatre of Namibia just made me realise how much I want to share my music with them.
I travelled to France on World Music Day and they loved and appreciated my music. I therefore want to follow in the footsteps of people like Elemotho (a fellow musician). I also travelled to Finland on a music tour because I wanted exposure and to see the world.
Seeing people respond to my music so well made me want to share my music with the whole world.
Q: What was the idea behind the album that has propelled you to stardom?
A: The title of the album is “Komuthima Gwomeya” and I featured Jurgen Brand because I wanted a fresh sound since we are both acoustic. The idea was for me to speak to somebody’s heart and for my music to bring a new perception to somebody’s mind.
Track seven (“Tilila”) featuring Tunakie is a song that speaks to men to change their attitudes towards women as their rights are violated and this deeply touches my heart. The album also focuses on social healing and educating.
Q: What are you currently working on?
A: I am working on inspiring young women at school level, hence I visited ten schools in two weeks and I am looking at doing more as my aim is to inspire young women all over the country. If we as artists don’t contribute to our society than we are failing in our moral and social obligations. We need to maintain content that speaks relevance to our society. I want to give back to the society and help them realise their full potential.
Q: You won quite a bit of money at the awards last week. Would you like to share with us what you are planning to splurge on?
A: I want to give back to my society because as I go back home I see families going to bed on empty stomachs, especially with the severe drought we have experienced. I am going to buy ten families food for at least three months. I will focus on the ones who are really suffering and are in real need.
Q: And what is the way forward from here?
A: The way forward is to carry out the honor of being crowned Female Artist of the Year, to represent myself, to inspire other women, and lastly to share my music at an international level.