Chief Hijangua

Chief Hijangua

Chief Hijangua
by Eslon Hindundu
Libretto by Nikolaus Frei

The first opera in Namibia

On September 9, 2022, the opera "Chief Hijangua" by Eslon Hindundu celebrated its world premiere at the sold-out National Theater in Windhoek. Supported by the Siemens Arts Program, the Federal Foreign Office and others, it is not just about the first opera to be penned by a Namibian composer, but also about coming to terms with the colonial history between Namibia and Germany and establishing a future-oriented cooperation between artists from both countries on an equal footing.

In September 2023 Namibia's first opera will come to Berlin. in cooperation with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the premiere will take place in the Haus des Rundfunks. Further information, dates and tickets will follow shortly.

Artists from Namibia and Germany want to work through their common history and thus gain a new, open and positive attitude towards one another.

how it all started

In 2019, Kim Mira Meyer and Eslon Hindundu met while working together at the Immling Opera Festival in Bad Endorf. Kim Mira Meyer worked as assistant director and director and Eslon Hindundu as singer and choir director. During this time, the idea of ​​founding an opera project between the two countries was born.

Kim Meyer & Eslon Hindundu

Since getting to know each other, Eslon Hindundu and Kim Mira Meyer have been building a cooperation between Windhoek / Namibia and Munich / Germany to enable artistic exchange for music, dance and drama. Under the umbrella of “Opera Namibia” various projects have been and are still being created

The plot of the opera

The story of the opera is based on a Namibian story that has been handed down orally for generations. It's about a Namibian prince in search of himself.
Sung in German and Otjiherero and cast independently of skin color, artists from Namibia, South Africa and Germany will tell the story of a man who, through the manipulation of colonialist forces, is destroying his own and his people's livelihoods. An analogy to the upheavals caused by colonialism that are still having an impact today.

Nikolaus Frei, librettist


“The unfolding of the project has been an exciting journey and I am honored to be a part of it - the future of the Namibian music industry looks bright!” – Natasha Ndjiharine

“I am a professional opera singer, coach, adjudicator and voice-over artist who is based in Cape Town. I perform the role of Chief Hangane in this all-new Namibian opera. Working in Namibia has its challenges but it has been good thus far.” – Monde Masimini

“I am a soprano from Germany and I am singing the role of “Matijua”. It is a big honor for me to be part of this project, to learn more about German-Namibian history and to connect with musicians from different countries through music, which is a very moving process for me.” – Henrike Enoch

“I'm a professional opera singer singing the role of Jackal and Major. I'm enjoying my time here in Namibia so far my experience has been lovely and I intend to gain more experience in this beautiful country.” – Rheinaldt Tshepo Moag

“My role in the opera is a German pastor who turns out to be a master manipulator in the opera. Working with Opera Namibia has presented a few challenges with general professionalism, but it has been interesting learning about the culture in general.” – Yonwaba Mbo

"It has been an adventurous and exciting journey to work on the Chief Hijangua role and an absolute pleasure to be part of the Opera Namibia." – Sahkiwe Mksoana

"Behind the premiere are people full of creativity, conviction and courage who have developed "Chief Hijangua" as a cooperative international team and who, thanks to diverse support, are able to present the opera to you today." – Anja Panitz

“The journey to bringing Opera Namibia to life is definitely one for the books, working with an international team with over 100 people from all nationalities has not only been a joy but has allowed me to grow tramendously in my expertise.” – Gloria Nehoya

“Theatre was where my creative career started before venturing into film. Working on 'Chief Hijangua' has brought me full circle.”
– Michael Pulse

“I am a stage designer and co-founder of the “fettkollektiv” for which I have been creating site-specific play structures since 2020. Together with Tanya I am designing and realizing the stage design for Opera Namibia. I find it most invigorating and fascinating to create this opera experienceover distance within a collective mind.” - Felicia Riegel

“YAMWE is behind the costume design of the Opera Namibia project. They have worked with various stylists and productions in the Namibian creative industry.” – Twapewa Amutenya

"Curiosity. collaboration. camaraderie. 'Chief Hijangua' has offered me a unique opportunity to explore together with fellow artists to create this significant work that is testament to a personal and collective experience.” – Tanya Turipamwe Straw

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