Pieter Hoakhoab was my music colleague at the University of Namibia. He studied music at the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa. One day, in the piano teaching studio, I played and improvised on “Come Sunday” by Duke Ellington. Pieter heard it, liked it a lot, and very soon could play it by ear.
In her interview for the Namibian Soundscapes book, Minette said her most important contribution to music, music education and ethnomusicology on an international level has been to alert people to the fact that not everybody has the same values. Western educators are inclined to impose certain ways of doing things, certain methods, strategies, contents, and ways of delivering those across the world. Read more about Minette’s ideas in the book.
Living and working in Namibia was eye-opening for me. Teaching at the University of Namibia was a challenge. How do you teach piano/music to students who have no access to a piano? It took some ingenuity. But, what a rich cultural experience just being there. I saw the rugged beauty of the country and rode on some of the worst roads I’ve ever experienced. Namibian music and dance drew me in and eventually led to the interviews in my book. There are many stories to come!