Namibian singer Tunakie has been confirmed to have passed on by her producer this afternoon who said he had just received the news.
The artist is renowned as the Queen of Otyaka.
The news of her death has already gone wild on social media, confirming the report also was The Namibian one of the country’s biggest daily newspaper publisher.
Producer confirms Tunakie’s death
Legendary Shambo queen, Tunakie, has died.
The death of the award-winning traditional music artist was confirmed by her producer Trace Garren, who said he had just received the news.
This is a developing story. pic.twitter.com/Wze7DbuJuL
— The Namibian (@TheNamibian) April 24, 2021
JUST IN | Local music diva Tunakie (real name Maria Tuna-Omukwathi Uushona) has passed on. The Queen of Otyaka died this afternoon. This is a developing story. pic.twitter.com/WFOftc6Nl0
— New Era Newspaper (@NewEraNewspaper) April 24, 2021
The cause of her death I still not yet disclosed as many of her fans and loved ones shares their heartfelt condolences on social media.
Who Is award-winning Shambo artist Tunakie
The Multi award-winning Shambo artist Tunakie was born to Namibian parents in Angola, Tunakie was a traditional musician who began singing when she was a teenager. Her parents moved back to Namibia when she was eight. She was raised by her grandmother in Ontananga village.
She started singing and dancing for a music group called Kakulu Kadhi Mungunda in Ontananga.
Tunakie was the lead singer of the group and soon stood out. In 2004, she was offered a recording deal by a local record label in Oshakati, which she signed to.
Her debut song, ‘Wameme’ won her the first Sanlam-NBC award. She later moved to Windhoek, where she began working with session musicians to fuse her Oshiwambo traditional music with contemporary music.
In 2005, she released her debut album ‘Ombwila’. It was followed by ‘Going Back to My Roots’ in 2008.
Her other albums include ‘Ondjila’ and ‘Endunge’. In 2014, the Shambo queen was nominated at the Kora Awards in the Best Southern African Artist of the Year category. Apart from Namibia, Tunakie has performed in the US, UK, Czech Republic, Spain and Austria.
One favourite of her collaborations was a project she did with Jericho Jerome a Namibian multi-award winning rapper who worked on few inspirational short films.
Jerome’s breakthrough came when the song “Helele” featuring female Shambo artist Tunakie was dropped just days after its release.
The song Helele won him his first NAMA Award and leapfrogged The Dogg and Gazza one of the feared artist in the country to win the Artist of the year award.