the album.

What you hear is what you get…
so let’s call a spade a spade:

“Our drums are speaking – hey
My language is heard
Give me your voice – now
People let it be heard
What have they promised us –
Hey have you heard?
Why are we lessened
To parts of just one herd?”

(The Natives are Restless)
1) Amina Ngoma
2) Bright Skies
3) Onele Yo Mapenda
4) House Kulelo
5) I Want You
6) Shebeen 107
7) Ouyuni owo Omsamane
8) Mukorob Dub
feat. Konshus Pilot
9) Ti Mama
10) The Natives are Restless
11) ONELE Yomapenda Dub
feat. Konshus Pilot
12) Mukorob

Produced by
Barry van Zyl
Co-produced by
Brian de Goede
Recorded & Mixed at
Windhoek. by
Wouter de Bruyn,
except * mixed at
Noah’s Ark,
Konshus Pilot Media,
Cape Town
Executive Producer
Volker Röder/Ongoma

And, ok, if you have to know, here’s the rest of the gwarra:
we’re couple of guys from the Walvis ‘kasie with time on our hands and the right sound to get your blood going if you care to listen to our rhythms. ‘Spose it helps we’ve been bra’s since we could barely crawl.

So we beat our drums wherever, whenever, it don’t matter, ‘coz it’s all that really counts. Later we got some marimbas – it was about the music, see, singing our songs, African songs, just like that. And people liked it – some didn’t – and when we passed our hat around, sometimes we’d make just enough to pay the taxi man home. Then this lany came along just looking for some ouens to play some drums. He had a Kombi, and now we had wheels. So we all piled in and drove all over the land of milk and yoghurt (that’s Namibia for the un-initiated), doing gigs, sometimes also teaching other lanys to play drums, which worked half the time.

So we stopped passing our hat around because the lanys actually paid real jive ching for our songs. Then the Kombi broke and we had to make a plan to get to the gigs, ‘coz the bookings came in all the time and people wanted to hear our sound. When the corner was calling we packed for Windhoek-city. Tuff tar here in the ‘Tura – no join’, plenty sharks and expensive taxi men. So we go around again with our drums and play them some bit and put out the hat – it was still all about the music, ne?

Again the lanys liked it, even better. ‘coz now we played some own songs and some with messages. Check this one:

“This is not about whether or not we were warriors once
This is not about spilling the blood of them and us now
Either there is joy or there is fear
Either there is love or hate”
(Onele Yomapenda)

Now come the lights and smoke machines, dancers and fire spinners and the sound gets big and bigger. And if the music gets like that, let’s share of hoe?

But then to put it all into a disc was whole other epic. First Brian de Goede, true Nam boy by blood and kop, sorts out all our set-up with control-wiz Wouter on Monday, sommer tracking 5 titles by Wednesday. Then Barry van Zyl flies in straight from months of tour and totally kalm charges the project tracking 5 titles by Friday. That’s it: all titles on this album were recorded thanks to these amazing guys in just one week. Now enjoy ‘coz it’s still all about the music.

(Volker Röder)


Steve for the first djembe – you don’t know what you started; and Karen from Omaruru, for your vision and our first paying gigs; Hardy, mucking in whenever; Tony Figueira and Feo of Studio 77 – your venue did it all for us all those awesome shots; Marcellino putting us up when we needed a roof; Ina Venter for teaching us to sing.
David Benade,Burton Reed and the more than capable team from dbAudio for the big sound and the first real live recording; Wolfgang and Siggi Pack of Tamboti Guesthouse as well as Juergen and Irmgard Rammersmann of Hotel Pension Uhland, you’ve been instrumental in keeping musos, producers, artists happy on so many occasions already – respect; Marian Rehder and Wouter de Bruyn of Take Note Studios for cutting us the slack and showing us how it’s done; Mark ‘n Karen Hannaford of Across the Divide – special thanks for the confidence in this project and chartering unknown waters with us – all part of the adventure. Also loads of gratitude goes to Richard Redecker and his faithful ’69 VW Bus; Bert Bonzaaier & Verua for being there no questions;

Gerian for his magic software touch and “You’re welcome” Esther – sista, you got what it takes. Jesus, Gerhard, Sammy – spot on; Trixie Munyama and the First Rain Dancers – you’ve shown us a whole new world and we love it; Onele and Mukorob Dub’s mixed at Noah’s Ark, Cape Town – Konshus Pilot Media – you’re the kontrolls-guru, Pilot. Brian de Goede – the element: right place, right time, we owe you big time. Barry van Zyl (, hundreds for bringing it together, you’re the teacher: inspiration, belief, faith, experience it’s all in here. To all our booking agents and supporters out there – great stuff, keep ‘em coming. And now a special NB tribute to the one person, without whom Ongoma’s evolution would not have happened: Irmi. Sharing the vision, savvy advice, hours of selfless work, effort, setting up the infrastructure and so so much more: I love you darling; the same goes for all the other women in Ongoma’s lives, indebted as we are for your understanding, compassion, advice, indulgence: in short everything – you’re the rock that Africa’s built on.