Omarion: Latest star to get Namibians’ cold shoulder

Timo Shihepo

Windhoek – American singer, Omarion, became the latest victim of disparaging attitudes of Namibian music fans after his much-awaited show in the Namibian capital failed to attract.

The American singer, songwriter, rapper, actor and dancer, whose real name is Omari Ishmael Grandberry, performed in front of about 20 people who turned up for his live show at the 20,000-seat Windhoek Independence Stadium on October 27

Namibian music fans have long developed an attitude of shunning music events, and Omarion was the latest casualty.

South Africa’s superstars AKA and Cassper Nyovest were also given cold shoulders by the local fans. As a result, AKA took to social media to vent his frustration that every contract that he signs to perform in Namibia, there must be a clause that he will only perform at scheduled events if the number of people met a certain minimum, believed to be no less than 300.

Last year in December, Namibians also failed to attend the album launch for one of the top musicians in the country, Gazza’s “Pumumu for Gold” album. Gazza had invited Nyanda – a Jamaican-American recording artiste and songwriter.

“By end of this year, Namibia has successfully handed an L (catching a loss) to a global musician, continental musician and local musician at their shows,” a fan tweeted referring to Omarion from USA, AKA and Cassper Nyovest from South Africa and Gazza from Namibia.

On Friday, there were many reasons why fans failed to attend Omarion show. While international media have pinned the blame on Omarion’s failure to attend the press briefing a day before the event, there were so many reasons.

First, Namibians thought Omarion was no longer a superstar, unlike when he was the lead singer of the American R&B boy outfit B2K.

The show was not promoted extensively because Omarion and his team thought there no was need for that according to the show organisers.

In contrast, organisers of the much-successful concert by American pop star, Trey Songz in Windhoek told The Southern Times that they spent close to a million rand just in promoting the 2015 show. Trey Songz who is a bigger artiste then Omarion also attended a press briefings and interacted with fans a day before the show.

Snubbing the press conference a day before the event just made things even worse for Omarion, as some fans in the country were not convinced that he was really in the country. Omarion’s manager cited fatigue, as the reason the singer did not pitch up for the press conference.

The supporting line up was also questionable. Instead of the organisers including Namibia’s top musicians and local R&B singers on the roaster, they included a gospel singer, a Hikwa musician and a couple of unknown artists from a local stable that organised the show.

“They approached me but they were offering peanuts. Just because they were bringing in Omarion they thought they could just pay us peanuts,” Namibia’s top musician, The Dogg, said when asked why he did not feature on the poster nor perform.

“But it is good that he kept it professional and still performed (without a lot of fans). Job is job,” he added.

Omarion, however, did not seem to be bothered much by the poor attendance of his show. “As long as you had a good time,” he tweeted after the show.

Meanwhile, Namibians received a lot of support from other Africans when the story spread like wild fire on social media.

Fellow Africans urged other countries to follow suit and snub ‘irrelevant’ American artistes, who think they can come to the continent and get one last pay cheque.

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