NAMAs winners set for world stage
Windhoek – National broadcaster, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), and mobile telecommunications giant, MTC Namibia, continue with their invaluable contribution to local music, through their co-hosting of the Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs).
Over the years, the music awards celebrated the rising popularity of the Namibian music scene and since taking over the sponsorship of the event, the organisers have gone out of their way to present an annual event that recognizes accomplishments in the Namibian recording industry.
Since the event was revamped in 2011 and after some trials and tribulations, the organisers have managed to perfect the NAMAs, turning it into the most exciting annual event on Namibia’s entertainment calendar.
In addition, the corporate sector both private and public has been lifeblood of the NAMAs since its inception by sponsoring price money for individual categories.
Executive chairman of the NAMAs, Tim Ekandjo, has acknowledged the priceless support rendered by companies such as Air Namibia, Namibia Film Commission, Castle Lager, Huawei, Swakopmund Municipality, Paragon Investment, FNB, National Art Council, Old Mutual, Coca Cola, NDTC and many others.
“Thank you for understanding that our artistes deserve recognition and respect, and for the prize money that come directly from you to them,” Ekandjo said.
This fourth edition of the music awards was held for the first time at the coastal resort town of Swakopmund’s Indoor Sport Centre from May 2-3, 2014.
The well-attended event was beamed live on NBC TV. Therefore, the rest of the Namibian nation witnessed the cream of the local music industry being acknowledged and awarded for their hard work during the past year. Overall, 37 awards were given away including the price money of N$850 000.
The NAMAs kicked off on the evening of May 2, with what was dubbed as ‘industry awards’ attended by the media, artistes and corporate sponsors.
Various artistes were awarded during the night, before the main event on May 3. Celebrated singers including The Dogg, Gazza, Lady May, Exit, Mr Makoya and others took to the stage, to the delight of the audience that braved the cold coastal weather.
The opening act was by the kwasa kwasa outfit 4×4 Too Much Power, which excited the larger section of the audience mostly female with their unorthodox backbreaking kwasa-kwasa dancing.
In addition, multiple award winners – Gazza and The Dogg ‑ once again restated their popularity after receiving standing ovations from the audience after performing their hit house songs “Shuna Monima” and “Nuka”.
The biggest winners of the 2014 NAMAs are Gazza and jazz queen, Erna Chimu who were named the Best Male and Female Artistes of the Year. The former also scooped The Best Video Award for his popular house song “Kwateni Omunona”, Chimu also walked away with the Best Traditional and Instrumental awards.
Special honours were also bestowed on Axali Doeseb (Lifetime Achievement Award), the composer of Namibia’s national anthem. Kwaito/house kingpin – The Dogg was recognised with a special award from the NAMAs custodians for his contribution to local music since coming on the scene more than a decade ago.
He was also awarded for Best House Song, and Song of the Year for the song, “Nuka”. Upon receiving the special award, the first of its kind to be handed out, The Dogg said: “I am humbled to receive this award. For me to be recognised in this way, is something big and I am promising you that as long as I live, I will continue giving you good music.”
To his fans he said: “I thank Namibian people for making me who I am today. You are the reason I am here today”.
He further thanked NBC and MTC for hosting the NAMAs, noting that the event made it easy for Namibian artistes to collaborate with their international counterparts.
The kwaito maestro, Exit, walked away a proud man after years on the side-line. He was awarded for best kwaito artiste, and most popular artiste of the year.
Lady May, who was banished from the NAMAs in 2012 for her controversial f-word slur, came back strong, winning best soukous/kwasa category.
When receiving her gong, and in her usual self-confidence, she said: “My name is crazy Lady May. You are not gonna see no drama tonight,” then thanked God and her legion of fans for support.
The awards were graced by Namibian Prime Minister, Dr Hage Geingob, who also charmed the crowd after taking to the floor with 2013 female artiste of the year, Blossom.
The Premier presented the Best Male Artiste of the Year Award. Later, during backstage interview, PM Geingob could not hide his enthusiasm and appreciation of the local music. “I am proud to see young Namibians enjoying themselves.
At independence, we used to invite international artistes like Brenda Fassie to come perform, now we have our own artistes,” said the Prime Minister.
Also as part of their winning prizes, Gazza and Chimu are slated to perform at one of the world’s biggest musical stages, TribeOne Dinokeng in Tshwane, South Africa.
Elvis Se Seun, who scooped the Album of the Year Award, will also form part of the official main line-up at Africa’s biggest annual music festival in September 2014. About 350 artistes and DJs gather for three days of non-stop music festival, performed on 62 stages from September 26 to 28.
“You have exemplified the future of the music industry and we are proud that the NAMAs could assist in providing access to such a great platform to showcase music talent,” Ekandjo said in a statement issued by African Star Communication on behalf TribeOne Music Festival.