Willie Mbuende Dies

NAMIBIAN music legend Willie Mbuende died yesterday morning after a short illness.

According to his brother Kaire Mbuende, the musician passed away in the early morning hours yesterday at Rhino Park hospital after being admitted on Monday following complaints of abdominal pains.

“He passed away before the doctors could establish the cause, they have to do a postmortem to determine the cause of death,” Kaire said.

The late Willie started his musical career around 1970 and was well known for his song ‘St Barnabas’. Mbuende initially left Namibia at the tender age of 16 in 1962 for Tanzania. He then left for Hungary where he spent two years before moving to England and then Sweden. He returned to Namibia in 1989 for the elections and left again in 2003 after a short stint as a producer at the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation. He spent over 20 years abroad where he pursued his career in England, Germany and Denmark, spending most of his time in Sweden where he did what he loved, performed.

While abroad, he also started a six-piece band called the Willie Mbuende Band which was based in southern Sweden where he composed the music, played the bass and sang.

The band was known for its Afro-jazz compilations such as ‘Okuvare’ and ‘Elina’ amongst others. His music was known for representing a southern-African sound with a link to traditional music.

He returned to Namibia and got involved in the music industry, serving on the adjudicating panel for the annual Last Band Standing competition.

He is survived by his wife and three children, a son and two daughters. Memorial and funeral arrangements will be communicated by the family in due course.

Source : The Namibian