Dangwa instilling confidence through music

By Rosalia David

MUSICIAN and founder of ED Music Academy, Emily Dangwa is instilling confidence through offering vocal training classes to aspiring talented Namibians from the age of three to those above 50.
In an interview with Confidente, Dangwa shared her musical career while highlighting the importance of going for vocal training lessons as a musician.
“People might have not studied music but they are also not stupid, they are able to pick up when your voice is off. It is important to give high quality work to the audience at all times and you can only do that through investing in the art,” she said.
Dangwa said, although her dream was not to teach music, she found herself offering music lessons to one child in 2017 and now teaches up to 13 students.
Her academy specialises in music theory, piano lessons and music composition.
She added that teaching students how to compose music is an important element in the music industry as it allows them to be able to make their own music.
“We have plans to release our own academy album and each student will be required to compose songs themselves, Namibian compositions,” she said.
Touching base on when the music bug bit her, Dangwa explains how it all started at a young age singing at the age of five.
“My mom would say that when I was five I would make noise and bang the pots and she could tell that it was one of my biggest interest. I have always been taking part in music related things,” she explained.
After completing high school, Dangwa described how her parents enrolled her in different courses but she was not happy as the only thing she wanted to do was music.
“I wanted to do music after high school but my father was very African. He is Tanzanian and did not understand how I was going to make means or survive with music in Africa, it didn’t make sense for him,” she said.
Dangwa added that when she turned 21 she decided not look back and told her parents exactly what she wanted to do for a career.
She said it is through one concert she took part that her dad finally accepted her singing career.
“At my first concert that my dad finally decided to watch, my mom tells me he shed a tear but was trying not to cry,” she said.
Dangwa eventually started her career at age 19 at the Ladybird International Arts Academy in Ladybrand, South Africa where she completed her opera studies with a distinction in Singers Theatre; and proceeded to attain a postgraduate in music performance with distinction from the University of Cape Town in 2015 under Hanna van Niekerk and Kamal Khan.
She worked in Cape Town as a soprano chorus member with the Baxter Theatre in productions such as Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Cosi fan Tutte, Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, Donizetti’s L’elisird’amore, Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman and Janacek’s Cunning Little Vixen.
She was also a member of the Cape Town Opera and performed in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.
In Berlin, she performed in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess production under the baton of Simon Rattle. In 2017, Emily sang the soprano role in Handel’s Messiah at the Odeion in Bloemfontein under the baton of Leona Geldenhuys and she also sang the soprano role in Faure’s requiem under the baton of Alex Fokkens in 2017.
She has since opened her own company ED Music Production based in Windhoek Namibia where she focuses on putting on classical performances where she collaborates with various professional musicians. This company has now expanded to ED Music Academy that focuses on music education.
“Although I did a little bit of piano, violin, I compose and write music, singing has always been my passion. I have always been fascinated by the voice.”
She now has plans to expand her academy to accommodate more people saying that the demand is growing slowly but surely.