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Omlongo creates a stir with ‘Khotsimunene-Ingoma

James Omlongo, a young and gifted musician, soccer player, and performer, real name Pendapala Shikwaya, is currently working his way up the music ladder with his latest tune, ‘Khotsimunene-Ingoma’, also known as ‘Ayishe’.

After being inspired by musician Samuel Ngodji, Omlongo, who is also a qualified teacher, joined the industry in 2018.

“When I first started listening to his songs, they always sounded unique compared to other Namibian musicians. I wanted to follow suit and create my own unique sound,” he says.

Omlongo says at first he could not afford recording in a profesisonal studio.

He says he struggled to find his authentic style.

“Producers wouldn’t give me enough time in the studio, so I just sang anything that came to mind,” he says.

The singer is now making waves with his latest single, ‘Ayishe’, which features Namibian musician Courage Dave, one of the country’s up-and-coming talents.

Rilox Records produced the song.

‘Ayishe’ quickly became popular on social media after Omlongo recorded a video of himself dancing to the song at his graduation event.

“The message in this song is fun. The song on its own is a dance song, and one can tell by how people are reacting to it and the message it tries to spread,” he says.

Omlongo says the song combines traditional Venda music and contemporary beats.

“’Khotsimunene-Ingoma’ is referred to as a big uncle, and an ‘Ingoma’ is a royal dance. The complete expression is the uncle who enjoys dancing.

“The title is quite strange, but when we perform the song on several stages, the complete concept becomes clear.”

He says the song’s creation was challenging because they only had a week to record it.

“I wanted to feature a bigger artist, but they wanted a lot of money, and they didn’t even want to promote the song thereafter,” Omlongo says.

He says he was surprised that the song became popular, because it was out for a long time and initially received negative feedback.
“For the time being, people must enjoy sound first and visuals afterwards. The video is going to be massive.

“I’m filming with a really well-known company. Everyone deserves to be in it, since it’s going to be filmed all over the country.”

The singer shared his future intentions, saying he is hard at work on his debut album, which is scheduled for release in November.

“We don’t want it to be long, there won’t be more than 14 songs,” he says.

“I still haven’t been in touch with some of the big names I want to highlight, like Tate Buti and Top Cheri, but I’m crossing my fingers they are reading this. There will undoubtedly be international features.”

Omlongo has been performing the songs at various events in the country, including Top Score, BeFree, and weddings.