Willie Mbuende is no more

WINDHOEK: Namibian music legend Willie Mbuende has died.

Ambassador Kaire Mbuende confirmed his brother’s death to Nampa on Wednesday, saying Willie passed away earlier in the day, at about 05h30, in the Rhino Park Private Hospital after a short illness.

He was 67.

Willie was among the pioneer Namibian musicians, with a music career spanning over 45 years.

He had lived in Tanzania, Hungary, England and Sweden since 1962, and returned to Namibia in 1989 for the country’s first elections.

In 2003, the late Mbuende left his homeland again but returned in 2008 and formed a six-piece Afro-jazz band, playing mainly contemporary music.

The veteran guitarist performed in various collaborations like the Africa Circus Band, comprising of 150 musicians, in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Hamburg, Egypt, Senegal, Guinea, Morocco, South Africa and Zimbabwe, with Willie being the only musician from Namibia.

He also formed his own band called “The Willie Band” while living in Europe.

Aside from music, the late Mbuende had a career as a producer at the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC).

He is survived by his wife and three children (two girls and one boy).

Ambassador Mbuende said the funeral will be held next week, and the exact date is yet to be determined.