The Namibian music industry has been plunged into grief following the death of acclaimed music producer Araffath Muhuure, who passed away on Friday after a short illness.
His lifeless body was found in his apartment in Windhoek.
Muhuure owned a recording studio called Tripple Seven Studios, and produced songs for numerous Namibian artists. The exact cause of death is still under investigation.
Described by many as a musical genius, Muhuure, better known only by his first name or simply Ara, could make magic with any type of music, be it House, Kwaito, Oviritje and even gospel. He was instrumental in creating hits for Jericho, Papa Hishishi, Dice as well as playing a vital role in putting together groups like Maszanga and Ethnix, plus producing songs for Teqla, Makoya, Gazza and Ann Singer.
At the time of his death, the Arandis-born Araffath was busy promoting his latest album called ‘Arapiano’.
In his last interview with New Era in May last year, the Namibian award-winning music producer said “just because you see them happy and dancing every day, [it] does not guarantee they are okay”.
Many fans and fellow artists he worked with took to social media to express their grief and disbelief in his death, and to comfort his family.
Citing vulnerability to depression in the local music industry, Gazza said: “I will remember Ara as yet another fallen soldier for the course. But we don’t have to lose any more soldiers, and we don’t need to sing songs of hate and pain... Remember, we control the notion, and we can penetrate any home anywhere in this country and beyond. We want to continue singing songs of hope, and contribute our bits towards nation-building.”
“Rest with keys, Ara, and let the angels sing for you,” he ended.
Musician Big Ben said Araffath was an exceptional artist, whose skills and knowledge were like deep wells waiting to be tapped into.
“Unfortunately, we will regret not having taken the opportunity to learn from him while he was still with us. Whenever I approached him for sharing sessions, he generously shared what he understood, and even reached out to me to learn about live instruments. However, it’s a shame that we, as a nation, struggle to acknowledge and celebrate our own greatness. As a result, we miss out on valuable lessons from those around us… Kaende nawa murumendu. Omengi omungandjo, vesa vehungire.”
Rizzy said Araffath was her friend, producer, brother and “a gentle giant, a massive ball of energy, a musical genius with the hottest fingers, who could play anything on the keyboard”.
“I say he’s a gentle giant because those who really knew him can attest to the fact that the one thing that Araffath feared the most was being alone, as much as he was such a larger-than-life character, a Leo for that matter. He told me so many stories about his life because he kept saying that he will go before me, and he needed someone to write his biography.”
Radio presenter Paula Christoph also poured out her grief, saying through her job, she was honoured to have known a legendary producer such as Araffath.
“Spending time in his space, I got the opportunity to experience first-hand the talent everyone knows him for…He was a passionate individual who didn’t hold back from expressing how he feels, even if it got him in trouble sometimes.”
Dragan Djokic, better known as Antonio of Antonio Artssaid: “We lost a great guy, a massive loss for family, the music industry! Irreplaceable, massive gap in the music industry which will last! Araffath was my business partner for years. I will not be where I am in the music industry without him!”
Jericho said: “I am lost for words, my brother. I am confused, I am lost in myself, and I don’t understand life anymore.”