Sigera Envisaging a Mix-Genre CD

The inevitable emergence of the Sigera band has certainly awakened the sense of live entertainment in the annals of the local music folklore.

Out of sheer frustrations at what many retired musos from the old school labeled as daylight robbery, in reference to upcoming (miming) artists, masquerading as the Real McCoy’s, while making minimal or non- existent musical equipment – musos from yester-year resolved to roll up their sleeves and re-enter the dog-eat-dog industry of life music.

Former band members from Baronages, Ugly Creatures and Crimson gathered at a popular bar in Khomasdal to map out the way forward and safe live music from undertaking the path of the dinosaur. The Baronages trio of Blaar Camm (bass), Tito May (vocals) and Carlos Kambaekwa (guitar), Jomo Haoseb (drums – Ugly Creatures) and Tony Janga (saxophone amp guitar – Crimson) teamed up with the young musical pair, rookies Antoinette Janga (vocals) and Waldo Xoagub (keyboards), to call the six-piece musical ensemble into life.

After two weeks of rehearsals, the band debuted at the Zum Wirtz nightclub, a popular hangout for foreign visitors. The band hit the stage running and was soon in heavy demand with live gigs coming in thick and fast as local music revelers took a liking to its well-greased repertoire of cover versions including Fusion Jazz, Mbaqanga, Ballroom (Langarm), Contemporary Jazz, Rock and a variety of Golden Oldies. In its debut year only in 2007, Sigera was invited to perform live at the Namibia Football Association (NFA)’s Tafel Lager Cup final between Civics and African Stars at the packed to rafters Independence Stadium in Windhoek.

The band’s wide range of musical repertoire took them to places like Walvis Bay, Rehoboth and Luumlderitz, but strangely it was in the usually remote town of Karibib were the band enjoyed massive following. Sigera drew large crowds to the Western Club, holed up in Karibib’s main street, attracting revelers en masse from as far as Okahandja, Omaruru, Usakos, Arandis and Swakopmund. As a result, the band became one of the main attractions during the annual Klipenberg Festival in the town.

With time ticking by, the duo of Jomo (drums) and Waldo (keyboards) developed itchy feet and were replaced by veteran drummer, Hindu, and young pianist, Panten Gariseb. The arrival of Panten brought a new dimension to the band’s sound while Hindu shifted behind the skins (drums) without any trouble to carry on the musical torch passed to him by his mentor (Bra Jossy). However, bra Hindu’s lodging at Sigera (We are coming in the NamaDamara lingo) soon came to an end with him jumping ship – creating a vacancy for ageing drummer James-Nxaba Mrulakane, who hails from the township of Gugulethu in Cape Town, South Africa.

Sigera’s most notable live performance was during the annual Old Mutual Jazz Festival in 2010. The Khomasdal based outfit brought the skies down as supporting cast for the festival’s main attraction Freshlyground, at the sold-out Vegkop Rugby Stadium next to the Parliament’s building, leading to subsequent performance at Namibia’s business mogul, Frans Indongo’s 75th birthday bash at the Windhoek Country Club.

The band was invited to tour Upington, where it has a large following among Namibians living in that neck of the woods but the envisaged journey to the promised land has as yet to materialise. In between, Sigera also featured as a resident band at the popular Khomas Sports Club, holed up in the Khomasdal Mall, where it enjoyed admiration from starved live music revelers, notably, the middle aged. Since, the band has taken an indefinite break and only performs sporadically on request or by popular demand at corporate gatherings and private functions. Meantime, plans are at an aanced stage to record a CD comprising a mixture of Mbaqanga, Township Jazz and Langarm tunes.

Source : New Era