Sunday 20 June 2021
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Keeping up with the Kwiku master – Tate Buti

Fikameni Mathias

Remember that funny guy with blue cut overalls who took to the music industry with a different style and his sister Janice? The musical life of legend Tate Buti has always been one interesting story many want to hear. Right at the birth of local genres of Damara Punch and Oviritje, it was the self-introduced Tate Buti who came out with a different musical style called Kwiku. Namibian music followers got hooked to the genre and many others started to compete with the Dombolo yaSolo hit maker. And just like world renowned music icons, he has kept his tempo by always delivering something unique and unheard of.

Since the years of the Sanlam Music Awards, the kwiku master was a household name and a gum to chew on to one’s greatest delight.

How he sits and produces songs with their unique titles has been a frequently asked question – many still want to know. Name it, songs with the names Eke Wali 4cal, Ekiya, Kastoma Seves, Eefukwa, Ndjino Ohandje Mwene, Ompini, Osuuka, Ombulumela. Beyond a doubt, Tate Buti was the boss of playlists of juke boxes all over the country.

To date Tate Buti has never disappointed, having released his album last year and still making the airwaves. What cannot go unmentioned is his recent entrance into the film industry, a step that has re-introduced the legend with a talent many have never suspected.
The Lounge sat with the kwiku master in his Windhoek home this week to try and put pen to paper about his current lifestyle.

How do you name your albums?
Those in the know of the artist’s unique album names will understand that he is in a league of his own when it comes to naming new projects. How he comes up with these names, only he knows. Asked how he does it, Tate Buti answers, “I also don’t know. But if you want an answer, I would say it’s simply art. Artists will understand how the arts work and the need to be different in this industry.”

Enters Captain Kalola…
Last year, Namibia was introduced to Captain Kalola, a Tate Buti version of acting, something many never expected the artist to have in him. He explains, “Growing up, I always had the acting gene in me. I always had it but just needed the right time and when the time came, I started.

“I wrote the story line of Captain Kalola and decided to shoot it just for fun. It was after I shot it and made it public that people started asking for more. So we are now busy finishing part two which will be out in the next months.

“In part 2, I worked with Monica, the PDKs, Sunny Boy, Buffalo and quite a lot of people. Sometimes I just choose people because I know they can do it and others just come themselves because they want to be part of it. Where to from here? The sky is the limit because we are busy writing part three now.”
No longer under Omalaeti…
Since last year, Tate Buti parted ways with the Omalaeti music stable. The artist has since been seen on social media promoting a new name, La Tangi.

“Omalaeti has stopped productions so that’s why the move. However, Omalaeti to me is still like home. It was more or less like a college where I was studying and I just graduated. It’s like going to Unam and you graduate. I have learned a lot.”

“Now I am having my own company called La Tangi which was born in 2014. We do a lot of things such as transportation, sound, tents, import and export. It’s not only a music record label but a whole company.

“So far we have guys who are approaching us to be signed but I have not yet signed any. But we will surely sign one or two.”

No CD launches?
“It requires a lot to do CD launches. We live in a world where artists give people the stories to tell. But sometimes it is just better to actually not give them the stories, but something to listen to. “When something is good you cannot hide the truth hey. When you do good music, people will look for your music. There is no need to force into their ears.”

Tate Buti and Ibrahim…
“Tate Buti will always be Tate Buti and he has always been the same from the day he came in the music industry. But personally i have been different from Tate Buti. I am me – I have a life, kids and a business to take care of. I think one will be able to see the difference that this is Tate Buti the artist, and this person is Ibrahim Mumbangala.

What inspires you?
“I don’t like normal things when it comes to an artist. When you think it is easy, that is when you are making a mistake. The moment you come to me and you think it is easy, it’s better not to come. So I am inspired by things not done. I always want to do something different.

“Everybody thinks singing is easy. Because, when athletes fail, they fall to music. When a boxer fails, they fall to music. It’s not as easy as we think it is. It is a tricky thing but there is room.

“If you look at guys like Young T, he came out unique and that’s why we know him. But if you just come out singing what I have already heard, than I don’t think you are doing something. It might make you feel nice because of the one song that everyone likes but what happens when people want more?

Who do you listen to?
“I listen to good music. It doesn’t matter from who it comes. If you do good music and it’s good for my ear, then I will listen to you.

“People say music is universal and as such there is no bad song – it is maybe just not good for your ear. But if you do your music locally and you are doing it differently, I will listen to you and you become my favourite.”

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