Geingob busking for a living

By Rosalia David

SELF-TAUGHT guitarist Dion Geingob is just like any other 28-year-old upcoming artist whose dream is to one day make it; record professionally and appear on television.

But for Geingob who is an orphan living with a disability, penetrating into the music industry has proven incredibly difficult.

“Society hardly caters for people who are disabled especially in the music industry. We are also creatives who one day want to make music for the people as well. I will not give up. I know how to play the guitar and I can sing a bit, one day I will make enough money to pay for a studio session,” he said.

Every day a determined Geingob walks on his crutches from his home in Okahandja Park to Katutura Shoprite Centre Monte Christo where he plays his guitar from 09h00 to 19h00 for gratuities to put bread on the table for his family.

With sorrow written all over his face, Geingob explained how his legs became paralysed after receiving a ‘wrong’ paralytic polio injection when he was just four months old.

“I was very small but that is what happened to me. I understand the injection I got for polio got me paralysed. I have pictures of me being a normal walking baby and it hurts, I don’t even look at them anymore,” he said.

After realising that he could not survive on handouts forever, Geingob taught himself how to play a guitar for a living as it was the only thing he was passionate about.

He said at first, he would hustle without an instrument sitting on street corners waiting for good Samaritans to give him money, but last year, he began using a guitar that he had gotten from a family member who saw how passionate he was about music.

Despite that, he recalls how strangers advised him to do something for himself instead of begging on the street corners of Windhoek and he decided to follow that advice.

“People would tell me to at least do something for myself, and I realised, I only have grade five but I have a guitar at home and I know exactly how to play it, so, why not? And from last year November, I have been here every day playing my guitar for an income.”

Geingob said, sometimes, he goes home with an amount of N$100, but most of the time, it is just him sitting there playing the guitar to himself while people pass by without bothering to listen to him.

Although he described the amount of money he is making on a daily basis as ‘okay’ he said he is humbled that he receives something as there are people out there who are fully disabled and can’t do anything for themselves.

He said, he understands that the country is currently going through a pandemic that has somewhat magnified the problems of many people and therefore he is grateful to those who notice him when they go for their shopping sprees.

Geingob added that busking from the Shoprite entrance is not for the faint-hearted as he is forced to ignore the obstacles and negative comments that he encounters every day, although he cherishes the time he spends with his ‘mall family’.

“Some people may pass by and say I am making noise while you find those that will stand and ask questions before throwing something in the basket. Some people ask me how I learned to play and compliment me.  I always say, my legs are crippled but not my arms.”

Asked on what his dreams are, he said featuring a popular musician and walking into a recording studio including shooting his own music video are his biggest desires.

Apart from music, Geingob also loves to cook.