Remembering the legendary Phura

 THE news of Ma/Gaisa legend  Timotheus ‘Phura’ Duwe’s  death came as a shock  to many who had followed him  and his music, as well as the nation  at large. His untimely passing ended  a period long illness, as he had  been hospitalised since September  2018, according to his close friend  and confidant, Gerson Ore-aob.  The news was confirmed by  his longtime producer Steven  !Naruseb, who said Duwe succumbed  to the illness on Wednesday  24 April at a Swakopmund  hospital. Local artists took to social  media to offer their condolences.  Big Ben wrote, “He made a genre  popular and helped build a movement.  He was a part of building a  Namibian live music circuit. Shebeens,  bars and DJs made money  from him. He became a King without  marketing gimmicks and  PR plans. He lived life. Just  being Phura. Atuhe okumaa  tui. Salute. RIP,”  Neslow wrote, “R.I.P  the late ou Phura, your  songs have definitely touched and  impacted Namibia from tribe to  tribe. Heaven’s missing an angel.”  Local Damara punch artist  Damara Dik Ding referred to Phura  as someone who entertained  the nation. “I was shocked when  I heard the news,  i t really  saddened me. His music was great  and he will always be remembered.”  Dik Ding said.  Even the younger generation  of musicians, like KP Illest, Lioness  and Mabuzza offered their  condolences. "Rest In Power Legendary  Phura, my condolences  and prayers to the family, friends  and fans during this dark times,"  Mabuzza wrote.  The king of Ma/Gaisa paraded  local music, grooved and gave  every household a taste of what  Ma/Gaisa is. For more than two  decades, Phura had been  Namibia’s icon in producing  music  that grew  from local  to intern  a t i o n a l  appreciation.  The evolution of his  music career started in  his hometown, Khorixas,  when he was a young  keyboardist in 1996.  As an energetic young  artist, he joined a local  band from Khorixas  known as ‘Moonlight Boys’,  where he was a second keyboardist  until 1999. He then moved to  Swakopmund where he joined  the ‘Midnight Stars’. As a second  keyboardist and backing vocalist,  he had the opportunity to meet a  fellow legendary artist Stanley ‘Ou  Stakes’, who was a lead vocalist for  the ‘Midnight Stars’ band.  It was only in 2003 that Phura  released his first debut album,  titled ‘Tsubates go’. That was the  same year he met Steven !Naruseb,  who at the time was the producer  at Welwitschia Music Production.  In that very same year, Phura won  a talent competition known as  ‘Fame Factory’ for his debut album.  In addition, he won the ‘Best  Newcomer’ award at the Sanlam  Music Awards and that was the  year a star was made. In 2005,  Phura released his second album,  ‘Tihana tsa xue’ (Is it like that?),  with which he won another award  at the Sanlam Music Awards, but  this time around in the category of  ‘Kwiku and Sukus kwasa’.  At the beginning of 2007, he  released his third album, ‘Mama’s  /Guis a =/an’ (Only the mother  knows the father), which was a  resounding success CD project. In  collaboration with Khomas Music  Productions, Phura recorded a  fourth album, ‘Buru tara’ (I wonder),  in 2009.  Right after that Phura Music  Productions started to work on  his fifth album, ‘Uts ha I /kha  /=khi’ (Be happy with what you  have), which became a big success  in 2011.  In 2013 he was preoccupied  with a political campaign and  travelled to China as the only  artist on the Swapo Party Youth  League ticket. That same year,  Phura travelled to South Africa  for a festival in Riemvasmaak and  later in 2014 released a political  album supporting President Dr  Hage Geingob, titled ‘!Khari !gam  aob’ (Brave fighter).  Phura released his eighth album,  ‘Ta !husen’ (Don’t give up),  in December 2016. Gone too  soon, at only 38 years old, Phura  is survived by his three children,  family and fans.