Kalahari Encounters


This post originally appeared on the now disappeared Global Elite Music Radio Podcast Supershow website on June 13, 2018 and is re-posted here for posterity. And because I still really dig this album.

Shishani & Namibian Tales (one of the artists on our very own Episode 01) are an international group based out of Amsterdam. The group's award-winning debut Itaala focused on vocalist Shishani Vranckx singing in Oshiwambo and beginning to wrestle with what her heritage means for her as an artist today. This desire to connect with an incorporate her heritage led to the band's latest release Kalahari Encounters

She tells Universiteit Leiden (where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology and completed a Master’s degree in Musicology):

"‘My mother is Ndonga, part of the Namibian ethnic “Aawambo” group, she explains. ‘Ever since childhood, I’ve had the desire to return to Namibia and immerse myself in my mother’s culture, especially through music.’"

The group traveled to the Kalahari desert in present day Namibia to learn from and sing with the people of the San – often referred to as Bushmen. The trip resulted in a collaboration with four singing grandmothers from the area. The group performed the songs for a live performance recorded live performance at the Warehouse Theatre in Namibia’s capital city in June 2017.

Reflecting on the process of making this music, Shishani tells her former university: "It opens your eyes to the world.’

More of that, please.

Watch the video for “Kalahari Encounters:"

Watch the video for "Aga Who:"

  • Visit the group's official website.

  • Read our profile of the Kalahari Encounters project

  • Visit the group's Facebook page.

  • Purchase the group's music at Amazon.

  • Listen to "Aga Who" by Shishani & The Namibian Tales. From the 2017 album Kalahari Encounters featured on Episode 01 of the Global Elite Music Radio Podcast Supershow.