Deciding to explore Namibia for the first time in their lives, a group of musician friends from Brandenburg Germany, embark on a two week adventure into the unknown.
Their mission: To build a musical bridge between Germany and Namibia.
Before this idea began, however, musician Stefan Krogmann from the former GDR (East-Germany) knew next to nothing about German colonization in Namibia, or its rich music culture from the past and present.
All of this was about to change after getting an unexpected phone call from the Hitradio Namibia station where his song mysteriously landed on the airwaves. The short interview inspired him to take action. Most of all, to battle his own ignorance of a country he can’t stop thinking about.
Sharing Stefan’s obsession with Namibia is filmmaker friend Matt Sweetwood, along with bandmate, guitarist Chris Michalsky (Krogmann, Shantel) and Clemi Kuster the sound recordist, excited to finally visit this fascinating corner of Africa. Touring the landscape in a rental camper truck, they embrace the magic of the vast countryside and wildlife, allowing serendipity to guide their way. Meeting folks from all walks of life, each day new perspectives begin to emerge. At first, Stefan and Chris are facinated by the musical heritage and modern culture, eager to jam musicians young and old. Yet no matter where they go, they can't help being confronted with unresolved issues of race and reconciliation of Germany's dark colonail days, still on the hearts and minds of many Namibians.
Ultimately, a random encounter in the nightclubs of Windhoek suddenly turns their whole trip around, giving all of their serious thoughts another direction. Meeting Ponti Dikku (Performer, music Producer) and his group the Collective Singers sparks a spontaneous musical collaboration. Stefan scraps his plans for traveling deeper inside Namibia, realizing the universe has brought him there for a reason. So having only a few days left, a race against time to accomplish the mission gets underway, to record an unforgettable song from Ponti's tiny home studio before they fly back home.
Namibia Calling documents more than the process of making a song. It tells the story of Namibian and German musicians creating together and making lifelong friendships. The film project has since allowed them to reflect on the politics of Namibia’s and Germany’s past and present, raising awareness and helping us understand Africa in their own words. Whether or not this musical bridge will one day bring Stefan’s new friends to Germany, remains to be seen.