Stolen Moments – Namibian Music History Untold (1950-80s)

To celebrate Namibia’s 30th year of Independence,
SOAS Music is hosting a unique exhibition in the Brunei Gallery entitled ‘Stolen Moments–Namibian Music History Untold’.

Which chronicles the intimate stories, songs and experiences of those who shaped Namibian popular culture during some of the most repressive years of Apartheid rule.

“There are many reasons why you’ve never heard this music before. It was censored, suppressed, prohibited and made almost impossible to listen to. Its creators are either long gone or have given up on music-making, by reasons of adversity, death and despair” – Aino Mongo

The exhibition showcases an extensive photographic collection,
a 120-min video projection that revisits the dance styles of the 1950s-80s,
14-listening stations featuring Namibia’s music legends,
a sound installation that explores a selection of over 100-hours of interviews with musicians and contemporary witnesses,
a large collection of record covers and music memorabilia which profile Namibia’s much underrepresented musical subcultures.

Curated by Namibian scholar, Aino Mongo, in association with an international
group of artists, filmmakers and photographers.

‘Stolen Moments Namibian Music History Untold’ is on now until 21st September 2019 at the Brunei Gallery SOAS  – FREE entry.

Full exhibition details

Ben Molatzi's "No Way To Go" album

Ben-Molatzi new african album

Launched at the Stolen Moments exhibition is an album of previously unreleased African folk songs by late singer/songwriter Ben ’Tukumazan’ Molatzi (1954 -2016) from Namibia.

A self-taught singer and songwriter from Tsumeb, Namibia, wrote timeless, beautiful ballads drawing on the distinctive melodies and harmonies of his Damara and Sotho heritage.

His music recordings have been slumbering in oblivion in Namibian radio archives. His songs were consciously censored and damaged as its messages did not please the South African apartheid regime. The album contains field and studio recordings that were made in 1981 by SWABC. Until now, these recordings have never been commercially released. In his liner notes, Thorsten Schütte describes his ultimately successful search for Ben Molatzi and further meetings with the artist, who talks in detail about his life, his songs and the life circumstances in his country.

 Ben Molatzi: No Way To Go is released by Bear Family Records and available on cd and limited edition vinyl from the SOAS Bookshop.

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