Namibia is the Southern Africa country too seldom celebrated, if not too often outright overlooked. Located in Southern Africa with a Western coastline bordered by The Atlantic Ocean, Namibia is known for its deserts, namely the Namib and the Kalahari deserts. Namibia has the least rainfall of any landscape in sub-Saharan Africa.
Musician/activist Shishani Vranckx’s mother is native Namibian, her father is Belgian, after a childhood in Windhoek, the capitol city of Namibia, Shishani matured into adulthood largely in the Netherlands with frequent trips to and fro Namibia. Her music is influenced by African American, Southern African, and world folk music traditions.
She is a conscious advocate of LGBTQ experiences and is unflinching in making music that reflects her views and values. Her signature song is “Minority”, which has become a personal anthem with international impact.
Even though she is multi-lingual and a troubadour citizen of Europe, she has never forgotten, nor ever failed to celebrate Namibian culture even as she collaborates with various combinations of Europe-based artists.
She fronts two different bands, “Namibian Tales” and an all-female, women-of-color quartet, “Miss Catharsis”.
Shishani’s album Kalahari Encounters by her band Namibian Tales features original compositions based on traditional Namibian music as performed live by her band in combination with the San female singers from Namibia.
During her homecoming residencies, Shishani had her music documented. She has formally studied Namibian culture and, more importantly, incorporates Namibia into her music and life-long cultural commitments.
Even though domiciled in Europe, Shishani remains rooted in her Namibian heritage. She has founded organizations that promote both Namibia and LGBT concerns.
Dressed in the colors of her native country, Shishani is a prime example of living the life she sings about in her songs.