Kunene’s legacy lives on


It has been five years since Matshikos lead singer, Penwell Kunene, died.

For many of his fans, it will take a while to heal. Thankfully, the late singer’s positive spirit continues to inspire others musically.  Many still hold dear his music.

More and more Pop-reggae artists are mushrooming around Africa with most of them unashamedly declare that they want to be just like him.

Before he died, Kunene had recorded a Maun-based musician, Taodi Lopang, and gave him the stage name, Innocent Man.

Some Namibian musicians are also following in the footsteps of the Soweto-born artist and even acknowledge him in some of their songs.

One such musician is Jimmy, whose album, Poor But Rich, attests to his deep love for Kunene and his sound. His album fuses reggae beats with some mbaqanga sounds in a similar way that Kunene did with his group, By 4, and his own releases.

In the track Rest In Peace Penwell, Jimmy does not only pay tribute to the departed hero he also exuberantly displays some good vocal skills similar to that of the late singer’s.

In fact, very few who listen to the song for the first often presume it could have been released from the files of the late singer.

Another song composed to salute Kunene’s heroics, U Fana Naye, which loosely translates to ‘you are like him’, perhaps emphasises their similarities.

Although the singer’s Zulu is not that good the fact does not spoil the sweet taste of his music.

Producer, Blenge Ndjavera, also added his studio skills with some mellow sound that enhanced the singer’s immaculate voice.

Even more impressive of the singer has been his ability to provide variety in all the songs and keeping the identity of each one.

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