Say TeQuila and what pops into your mind? Namibia’s top female vocalist or a Mexican drink maybe, but not necessarily wildlife and conservation. But changing attitudes is part of what TeQuila – the singer – is all about. And promoting Namibia is definitely for her.
“I’ve always been proud of my country,” she says. “I think it’s beautiful and I want to involve myself in anything to do with it.” Which was why she accepted the invitation to write a song about conservation and to perform it at the 2012 Tourism Expo, to be held at the Windhoek Showgrounds from June 6-9.
Namibia’s youth know TeQuila as a top performer, but not everybody knows her history. Born in Kwanza Sul, Angola, Tekla (as she was christened) was a struggle kid, and her mother was a nurse in the camps. Like most of her friends she was a SWAPO Pioneer and her first introduction to music came from liberation songs.
Upon returning to Namibia she says that “Owamboland was green in those days,” and she formed an attachment to the Namibian landscape.
After schooling, Tekla wanted to get ahead, and enrolled at UNAM to study business. She was 21, and business of another kind soon came her way. “Everybody is special,” said her Business Studies lecturer, and asked the class members to prove it by …. Doing Something. Tekla’s contribution to the class was a song, and TeQuila the artist was born.
It wasn’t long before she hooked up with a third year UNAM student who had rigged up a studio in his room, and the first single came out. After that, TeQuila formed a band called Eenanga with Jackson Wahengo, and Namibia’s future top vocalist started singing live.
She says she wants to go for the “live feel” at Expo, and will perform with a backing group. TeQuila will also be sharing the stage with several choirs on Friday 8 June, when the Joint Venture Lodge Song Competition takes place. It will be a case of pop meets trad, with everybody joining in for a grand finale.
Back to the roots is fine with TeQuila, who has toured Namibian small towns and “danced in that hot Owambo sand.” For her, conservation means “a way to get in touch with the land you live in, and to be a part of it.”
Perhaps that’s the motivation for singing at Expo: to get the younger generation interested in their country and its fabulous landscapes, populated by free roaming wildlife. TeQuila has her eyes set firmly on the future, which for her will include a new album in August called ‘Unbreakable’.
Sounds like there’s a lot in store.