By Pinehas Nakaziko
Namibian Afro jazz and award-winning songstress Colleen ‘Chikune’ Tjikune became the talk of the town after scooping an international accolades as Best Female Southern Africa in the African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA) recently, just a few months after winning as the Best Female Artist of Year in the Namibia Annual Music Awards (NAMAs).
Chikune always demonstrated a winning spirit, even before she entered the music industry. And she has no intention of stopping anytime soon.
She is currently hard at work in her attempts to penetrate the international market, while at the same time working on her new project, which she does not want to reveal at this stage.
Today Chikune is set to perform at the Windhoek Jazz Festival, where she will share the stage with Letta Mbulu, Caiphus Semenya and Nathi Makhanyi, alongside local artists Suzy Eises, Big Ben, Fu Jazz Band and the Swingerz Band.
She says she has many surprises in stall for the fans and while she is not known for jazzy tunes, she is not planning to disappoint jazz enthusiasts at the concert.
It has been a long journey for Chikune, who scooped her first international accolade in 2012. It was the year she won the Senior Vocalist of the Year at the World Championships of the Performing Arts (WCOPA) and ever since that, she never showed any intention of stopping.
The year 2014 saw Chikune enter the local music scene with a bang when she signed up to the Ogopa Butterfly label, now renamed as Ogopa Inc.
She debuted with her first single, titled ‘Pumpkin’, which went viral on social media, with music lovers sharing it repeatedly on YouTube and Facebook.
Last year, ‘Pumpkin’ was named the Best Single at the NAMAs. An award that says encouraged her to work even harder. Chikune released her debut album, titled ‘I am with the New’, with hit songs ‘Kapana’ and others, under the same record label.
Her album was so successful that she won the NAMAs Best Female Artist of the Year 2016, which saw her stepping into the big league with local artists, such as Gazza, The Dogg and others.
Another surprise came when she was crowned at this year’s AFRIMMA, beating renowned international artists, such as South African singer Lira, Zambian singer Ice Queen Cleo, Mozambican singer Lizha James, South Africa’s Busiswa and Zonke, Botswana’s Nnunu Bomolemo Ramogotsi and Zimbabwe’s Pah Chihera.
After she was announced the winner, Chikune was very excited and even posted a video on Facebook, saying how happy she was.
“As much as I believe in my talent, I was surprised, as the pool of talent I was placed in was intimidating. They all are worthy opponents,” she said, adding that her recent win validated her earlier recognition at NAMAs.