Music industry mourns Tunakie

25 April 2021 | Art and Entertainment

Windhoek • Michael Kayunde



It was a sad weekend for the Namibian music industry as news of Tunakie’s death broke on Saturday (24 April).

A family source told the media that the singer died in South Africa after collapsing at her salon.

Tunakie, real name Maria Tuna-Omukwathi Uushona, was instrumental in shaping the music genre Shambo. Commercially, her music career began in the early 2000s. The multi-award winning singer and queen of Shambo is also referred to as a Namibian traditional music artist.

Fellow musicians, high profile politicians and fans took to social media to send their condolences to the singer’s family and friends.

Renowned music producer Arrafath Muhuure remembers Tunakie as a musician who was ambitious and easy to work with. “This is so sad; it’s almost like losing another Jackson Kaujeua. Tunakie was one of the people who witnessed the rise of my music career. We had a beautiful connection in studio. I never saw her angry and most importantly, she gave hope to so many young girls with the authentic genres she did,” Arrafath said.

Singer Maranatha described Tunakie as a woman who touched lives in an amazing way.

“We lost a legend. Peace of God upon the entire family. Rest in glory.”

PDM president McHenry Venaani took to Twitter, saying: “Deeply touched and commiserate with our nation and the music fraternity on the demise of musician Tunakie. We were fond of each other. Her mellifluous voice shall always linger on in my ears.”

Anne Singer shared a reel of the queen of Shambo on Instagram captioningit: “A life worth celebrating. Thank you for paving the way for us Tunakie. Fly high, may your soul transcend in peace.”

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