Namibian music awards: A tale of two events


Windhoek – On one hand, the organisers of the 2015 Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) wanted them to surpass the previous awards and be the talking point for a long time while  on the other hand however, the judging left a lot to be desired.

It was an event of glitz and glamour when the 5th NAMAs took centre stage at the Swakopmund Indoor Sport Centre as local artistes like Oteya, Bullet Ya Kaoko, and Female Donkey gave stellar performances to complement the performances of international recognised stars like the Nell sisters – Riana and Nia.

In the end however, it was Gazza and Oteya who walked away with the Best Male and Female Artistes of the year awards, scooping N$100 000 each in the process.

Nonetheless, the biggest talking point of the 2015 Namibian Annual Music Awards wasn’t on the hosting of the annual event nor the performances but rather the questionable decisions by the judges.

One such decision was the awarding of the Best House award to the little known Star Dust when it was almost certain that multiple award winner Gazza would get it with his internationally acclaimed house song, Shuna in which he features South Africa’s Uhuru and Dj Bucks.

Shuna however went on to go win two awards, Radio Song of The Year and Best Collaboration.

Meanwhile Star Dust won two more awards for Best Reggae and Best Group or Duo which they received to loud jeers from the crowd which did not prevent them from savouring the moment.

“Thank you to every single person who made this possible! Thank you to our team, our supporters, friends and family! We are extremely grateful. Honestly, words will never be enough to describe how thankful we are,” they wrote on their Facebook page after the awards.

There were also qualms in Oteya being named as the Best Female Artist of The Year, with many feeling that her album wasn’t good enough for such a big category.

But if there were doubts about her award, there were however no doubts about her performance on the night. She gave an electrifying performance, after a grand and well-choreographed stage entrance on the ropes from the ceilings.

And if there wasn’t enough controversy already, Paradox announcement as the winners of the Most Popular Artist of The Year ahead of international recognised artist such as The Dogg and Gazza left many wondering.

Paradox also went on to win the Song of The Year category which like the Most Popular Artist of The Year was voted for by the fans.

In an effort to help local artistes break into the international market, NAMAs’ organisers also hosted the first ever conference ‘How to Succeed in the Pan African Music Industry’ on Saturday morning.

The conference was meant for producers and musicians, where experts inculcated in them invaluable insights, advice and tips on how to approach, pursue and succeed in their music, brand and music entertainment business across the African continent.

The speakers at the conference included Angola’s Karina Barbosa; International Music Entertainment consultant and broadcaster from England, Jasmine Dotiwala, and Head of Music and Talent of Africa’s Trace TV Phillip Nwankwo.

Despite some hiccups the organisers of NAMAs, the Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) and the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) must be complimented for organising an event worth of international standards. 

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 the Namibian entertainment calendar.

May 2015
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