In 2002 a native that goes by the name of Desmond, approached a fellow native, Volker, with a request to assist him in re-skinning his broken djembe. Over a couple of beers, many fat steaks, and long nights at a table, Ongoma, 'The Drum', was born. Later, a close friend of Desmond’s, Ponti, joined the group. And so, Volker Röder, Desmond Nasima, and Ponti Dikuua set off to spread their message of beats and rhythms through Ongoma.

They were soon joined by other natives, and with the ever-increasing demand to beat the drum, started performing at functions and receptions around the country, all the time extending their repertoire of African traditional and contemporary songs while also working on their own melodies.

Today Ongoma is an integral part of the Namibian musical landscape, representing unique African traditional sounds fused with a modern approach to the African lifestyle.

Volker passed away on 13 February 2012 after a two-year battle with cancer. A man of nature, with great respect for his fellow beings, Volker will be remembered in the hearts of many. It was Volker’s encouragement, his vision and philosophy that made Ongoma what it is today. To Desmond he was like a father, a teacher of life. And Volker wanted to be sure that his ‘adopted son’, as well as his wife Irmi and daughter Vera, would be taken care of.

After his death, and as he had wished, the company got reorganised into a trust, jointly owned by Irmi Röder and Desmond Nasima, with Vera as one of the beneficiaries. The legend, and his message, lives on!

Volker Röder Volker Röder
Destiny changes
Inspiration reawakens
Expression becomes
Existence is
Declaration becomes
Creativity the meaning;
The reason.
20.11.1965 – 13.02.2012