Namibia mourns Willy Mbuende
New Era, 22/01/2015, By Carlos Kambaekwa

WINDHOEK – The Namibian music industry is in mourning following news of the sad passing of veteran musician and salted bass guitarist, Willy Virimuje Mbuende, 67.


The deceased was the elder brother of former parliamentarian and Namibia's Ambassador to the United Nations in America, Dr Kaire Mbuende.


The latter confirmed that Mbuende, took a bow from the game of life in a Windhoek hospital on Tuesday evening after a short illness and will be buried at his home village of Okapendje in the Otjombinde Constituency of the Omaheke Region next weekend.


Two weeks ago, Mbuende got married to Rupiu Katjaimo – the mother of well-known NBC radio sports presenter Rodman Katjaimo.


Born in 1947, the music crazy Willy skipped the country at the fairly young age of 15 to begin a musical journey that started in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, before finding home in Sweden via Hungary and England.

He might not be a household name in the same breath as Gazza, Erna Chimu and The Dogg but not many local musos have played on a larger scale than Bra Whacks, as he was affectionately known. The adorable dreadlocked bassist was an in-demand session bass guitarist and has performed with some of the finest musos locally and internationally in a musical career stretching over five decades. He is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest instrumentalists in the history of local music and played a pivotal role in modernising cultural music. Bra Whacks' astonishing musical career saw him performing with several high profile session bands in his adopted country, Sweden, before retreating to his native land in 1990. He also rubbed shoulders with South African musical legend and much-coveted drummer Vusi Khumalo. Upon his return from Europe, the gap-tooth bassist formed the popular afro-pop band Mukorob alongside musical buddies Jackson Kaujeua and Ras Sheehama with golden-voiced pop diva Charlotte Gertze, as lead vocalist.


A vegetarian, the humorous late bassist was one of the brains behind the popular Namibia Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) during his time as a noted music producer at the Namibian Broadcast Corporation (NBC).
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