NAMAs honours music legends: Ou Jomo, Axue

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Annines Angula

Windhoek - The Godfather of drums Siegfried “Ou Jomo” Haoseb and legendary guitarist Sebulon “Axue” Gomachab are indisputably the foremost musical talents ever to emerge from Namibia and their contribution to live performance remains unheralded.

To show appreciation for their contribution, the Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) will honour them as lifetime achievers during this year’s annual event scheduled
for April 28 at the Swakopmund Dome.

“The names Ou Jomo and Axue res-onate excellence beyond perfec-tion. With a com-bined experi-ence of nearly 60 years between them, Ou Jomo on drums and Axue on gui-tar have woven together music so eloquently that their musi-cal foundations are what laid the grounds for modern live band performance.

“Imagining a musical appearance without their contribution on drums and guitar is like disowning the right heir
of his heirloom in the musical hall of fame of contemporary Namibia,” says NAMAs executive com-mittee member, Tim Ekandjo.

Born in the dusty streets of Nau-Aib in Okahandja, Ou Jomo began his professional musical career in 1965 with renowned old location Afro-Jazz saxophonists late Ou Naftalie Leyden and late Ou Ale (Axaro Alexander Jesaja ‡Ouseb) in Okahandja at his grandfather’s community hall at the town. Later, at the tender age of 15 in 1972, he joined the Ugly Creatures – a pop band that sang a mixture of world-renowned music groups covers.

He recorded three albums with Ugly Creatures appearing on drums called, "Creatures of the Earth", ‘!Nosa !Keib and “Gener-ation”. After the Ugly Creatures took a timeout in 1980, he went to fea-ture for several bands including The Baronages, The Weekend Band and Ama-Africa later known as The Heroes Band.

He also sang for church choirs, including the Bach Choir, which recorded a number of Christmas songs. Ou Jomo and friends from Ugly Creatures later formed Gar-ere Music Group, a church music group that recorded four albums and toured Germany on two occa-sions.

Ou Jomo said he is grateful for the recognition by the NAMAs 2018. “First, I would like to thank my God for the talent and the NAMAs for recognizing me after 52 years of hard work. I am really thankful, as this opportunity will strengthen my music career again as I continue to be the drum guru once more,” said the 61-year-old drummer.

Ou Jomo, who now lives with his family in Katutura, Windhoek, is still active in music despite his advanced age. With guidance from Dantago Nicro //Hoabeb, and Ou Jomo, Ugly Creatures was resuscitated in 2007 and is still active to-date. Meanwhile, the drum legend believes that the musicians of yes-teryear reign supreme over the cur-rent crop of artistes. “We used to play music with gui-tars and drums. The world has now changed and people are using com-puters to do all their music. “Our music was tight, you could understand what the peo-ple are saying, you could relate the words to reality but these musicians of today are not sending out any message to the world,” he observed.

Ou Jomo together with his Ugly Creature group represented Namibia and had chaired the com- mittee that was tasked with the composing of the Namibian national anthem – “Namibia, Land of the Brave” in Addis Ababa, Ethi-opia. He had also served on the panel that was entrusted to compose the SADC Anthem.

Windhoek-born Axue is another legend that defined Namibian music as one of the few highly skilled guitarists. He honed his guitar skills by observing his father, and when he was eight - Axue could strike the chord on his father’s guitar.

His passion for music grew, and he would trek almost 7km every Friday on foot from his home Okom-bahe, in Erongo region where he grew up to go play with the school band at one of Namibia’s most emi-nent school, Martin Luther High School. It was at Martin Luther High School where he met other nota-ble musicians Axali Doeseb, Doc //Naobeb, Jefta, !Noabeb Moses 

Omeb, Nicro //Hoabeb, Joni Adams and Emil Keister.

As a member of an ensemble of the late Jackson Kauejeua and the Mukorob Band, he toured coun-tries such as Germany, Canada, the USA, Nigeria and China marketing Namibia’s dawn at Independence. He also featured on the interna-tional album compilation a “Hand-ful of Namibian Artist” released in 2004, where he appears on the album with the likes of Rash Shee-hama, Patricia Ouchurus, Ngatu-kondje Nganjone aka Ngatu and Sharon van Rooi.

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