Namibian award-winning hip-hop artist Jericho Jerome Gawanab, better known simply as Jericho – or J-Twizzle – a few days ago posted a message that could have been just another song which he was writing for his next album.
But the message contained some painful revelation of what he was going through as a person, a person who has always seen his talent and dream through the creative industry of Namibia, but an industry that has consistently been unable to feed, clothe and shelter him despite the hard work, commitment and productivity he has put on the table for many years.
“I lost the ones I used to call friends either by being stabbed to death, shot to death or HIV… We are only 3 left… One gave his life to God living in Upington with his wife; the other as we speak is on his death bed and myself ..,” Jericho wrote on his Facebook wall.
“There is actually no need to explain myself but it hurts to think that I’ve tried so hard to be someone in life and how I’ve been rejected so many times … suicide I’ve tried but God keeps pushing me back to earth purposely …
“I love my kids but yhooo … Time is catching up with me … I am not begging for sympathy but I can hear myself crying out loud … I am tired … I don’t have strength in me no more and I am losing hope … God please …”
Just a few months ago a hip-hop artist by the name of Kannibal had committed suicide. So that hundreds of people, mostly women, posted something positive and encouraging to Jericho.
One of them was new Mayor of Windhoek Ms Sade Gawanas, who posted the following:
“Jericho J-twizz Gawanab I have loved you since the day I can remember. I have loved you beyond the understanding of the word itself. People have never understood what we have gone through, but more what you have been through.
“People know you as the artist, but I know you as my brother, my Boeta. You have such a big heart and beautiful soul. I know your pain. I can feel your hurt. I know your cry. I know you are drowning. I also know that you are strong, you are courageous, you are powerful.
“An inspiration to many. Your story was written by God and only he will ever erase anything.
“Your name is written in Pure love. I love you so so so much this world would be missing such an incredible soul, if you give up.
“Jericho, life is not about how much or how far others are there for you, who isn’t and who is. Life is a beautiful gift regardless of what we go through. I have always told you, that you are meant for Greatness. That your purpose was to uplift others with the voice God gave you. You inspire so many. Many are proud of you. Many love you, even if at times they may not show it.
“We love you so much. I love you beyond any measure. I am here for you, Boeta. I have always been. Together we can cross mountains and oceans. Together we can change lives. Together we can overcome your hurt and depression. Together we can heal your heart. Together we can make life more beautiful. Together we can overcome anything. Together we can achieve our dreams and goals.”
In the photo: Jericho showing off his album ‘Stitch’ in 2013 at a time when his star was rising.