Namibia: Alif Naaba, a Highness of Music!

The barefoot prince of Africa, Alif Naaba, arrived on stage exactly forty bitterly cold minutes after the scheduled eight o clock, and throughout the interim we were amused by the falling of things behind the counter table and talk of a revolution by Tracy Chapman.

However long it took the god of princely to appear from the dressing room, no-one was inspired to leave because forty minutes later, we were all still clung to our black plastic and very unfriendly chairs.

Oh, he is a mighty handsome man with deep dimples in his cheeks and when his chanting realised, I was finally hypnotised in a deep uncompromised trance. He strutted on stage and now and again twitched as if struck by an electric cord, while he carried us away with his deep yet sensual voice to just below the dunes in the Sahara Desert.

It is not particularly easy to describe his voice, and while fiddling with my camera, I realised that even if uncle Fifi was to accompany me, no picture can express the wonder that this man, Alif Naaba, is. He is an embodiment of all the spiritual occurrence, his singing brings you so close to death and life, I am not entirely sure how to explain that too, but I do know that I saw myself at pearly gates.

If it was not for my PMS I would certain jotted down that when Alif Naaba open his mouth like a hungry lion then you feel it is necessary to cry, he sings so beautiful and suddenly you realise there is no – one that sings like him.

And an hour later I jumped out of my black unfriendly chair and began stomping along to royalty sounds, my early annoyance with his late arrival completely brushed away as a silly reason not to have stayed. He is indeed the highness of music.

Caption: Alif Naaba was taught tradional music by his mother that was a traditional singer in Burkino Faso.

Alif Naaba is on tour through Africa, most of his songs are in his mother tongue Moko.

Alif Naaba and his band members during their performance at the Warehouse on Tuesday night.

BY JEMIMA BEUKES,

ALLAFRICA

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Surnommé le Prince aux pieds nus, Alif Naaba est issu d’une famille nombreuse : il est descendant de Naaba Konkiss, du village de Konkistenga (Koudougou, Nord-ouest du Burkina Faso).

Élevé par une mère chansonnière traditionnelle, Alif est bercé dès sa tendre enfance par les chants de celle-ci. Sa musique vient de cette intimité, cette complicité et ce secret entre une mère et son fils.

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