By Adolf Kaure & Glen-nora Tjipura
WINDHOEK-NAMIBIA’S afro jazz singer, Colleen Tjikune, better known as Chikune, has added a new award to her collection after she was voted the Best Female Artist in Southern Africa at the 3rd annual African Musik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA) held on October 15 in Dallas, United States.
AFRIMMA considers all African musical genres, including Afrobeats, Assiko, Bongo, Decale, Funana, Genge, Highlife, Kwaito, Lingala and Soukous.
The recognition came after she was crowned the Namibian Annual Music Awards’ (NAMAs) Female Artist of the Year in May 2016.
Speaking to The Southern Times, Chikune could not hide her elation at receiving the international award, which also puts Namibian music on the global map.
Chikune was up against a host of other female singers from the region the AFRIMMA’s 2015 Best Female in Southern Africa Ice Queen Cleo (Zambia), South Africa’s Zonke, Busiswa and Lira, Lizha James (Mozambique), Nnunu Bomolemo Ramogotsi (Botswana) and Pah Chihera (Zimbabwe).
“I’m deeply honoured for the recognition on an international stage. This acknowledgement gives me a whole new meaning and understanding of what they mean when they say music transcends boundaries,” a jubilant Chikune said.
She and her team entered her debut album, ‘In with the New’, for the AFRIMMA, but never thought she could win.
“I couldn’t go to the awards ceremony so I never really thought about it,” she said.
After launching her debut album this year, the 24-year-old has taken the music scene by storm.
“Growth is continuous and I can say that this has been a tumultuous year. My highs and lows have all taken place this year. On a personal level, motherhood knocked earlier this year. Career wise, I have attained some of the most coveted accolades like Artist of the Year in the NAMAs and now AFRIMMA’s Best Female in Southern Africa,” she said.
Chikune has been keen to draw a line under a regrettable episode in her career – her very public fallout with her former record label, Ogoba Butterfly.
“I never really got to enjoy the NAMAs win, with all the negativity surrounding it,” she said in reference to the split with Ogoba Butterfly and the fight over prize money.
“But now I’m sure of where I’m going and that’s to the top.”
Chikune is scheduled to perform at this year’s Windhoek Jazz Festival scheduled for November 5 at the Hage Geingob Stadium. She will share the stage with South African jazz duo Caiphus Semenya and Letta Mbulu and a host of local artistes including Big Ben.
Chikune, who is the mother to a baby boy, is also studying medicine at the University of Namibia. She says she has been able to balance her busy schedule thanks to her loving husband.
“A lot can happen if you have a strong support system,” she said. “As a female, you would be surprised as to what you can do.”