Journalist Michael Kayunde said when Namibians receive international artists, they become overzealous but the same energy is not reciprocated to local artists, which begs the infamous question of why Namibians do not embrace their own or whether celebrities exist in the country.
This was discussed in a YouTube channel dubbed Off The Record hosted by radio personality Shona Ngava, music label Executive Vernon van Wyk and Kayunde.
“We have this perception that we don’t have celebrities, we feel like the artists here are not worthy of being called celebrities. Could it be because our artists do not take themselves seriously or is it that the fans don’t care, where does the disconnect lie,” enquired Ngava. Van Wyk said sometimes artists do not take themselves seriously and presentation matters and that the actions of some artists lead to people not taking them earnestly. “How do you come to a radio station to drop off your project but you are wearing sandals, sleepers or sweatpants, you have to take yourself seriously. Make sure when you go out in public, especially for official business, you have to look the part,” commented the music manager at NUST FM. He urged artists to take their art serious as some send their music via WhatsApp, which decreases the quality of their work.
Another annoying habit that artists should invest in more according to the trio is accessibility, something they should be aligned with.
“It all comes down to how they carry themselves. It starts with rocking up at a radio or newspaper interview and looking presentable and being in public and looking presentable. How do you expect to stand out if you looking like everyone else, how do you expect to get that respect of celebrity status, voiced Kayunde.
He added: “They don’t have the right photos to start with. How do you send me a picture of a selfie-and you expect that to be used for a newspaper article? Artists should invest in their images, invest in proper photo shoots. Do that at least every four months so that when you are having a media press release, you will be able to accompany it with professional photos.”
Punctuality is an issue and that has become a bad habit of many celebrities. “They maybe think it’s cool and okay to be late but it’s not, just be on time. It messes up our working schedule as well,” said the disappointed Kayunde. Off The Record is a podcast/talk show that focuses on Namibia’s entertainment business and lifestyle. The platform is created to deliberate on issues in the entertainment industry that are normally ignored in the mainstream media.
“The podcast aims to educate our viewers about how the industry operates and to create conversations around key issues that affect the industry. We also hope this becomes a central platform for all things that affect the industry. We want corporates and the everyday consumer to make the platform their go-to place to learn and discuss issues pertaining to the entertainment business in Namibia.”
They have so far spoken at length on the state of RnB as a genre in Namibia and how it is doing and how it can improve, they have touched on RTE records and their impact and contributions to the entertainment industry.
Off The Record also covered the importance of house music in Namibia, the relevance of radio in Namibia and the influence that radio personalities have.
“One of the main key takeaways from the show is to inform and educate the public about how the industry operates. We also want to set a standard for the entertainment industry and for people to take what we do in the industry seriously, whether we are journalists, radio presenters, musicians, producers and more such podcasts will hold us accountable,” highlighted Ngava.