The controversy and saga surrounding Desmond ‘Birdy’ Shipanga and Dj Ambizzy is but the tip of the iceberg of what entertainers have to deal with when it comes to some event organisers in Namibia. Honestly, I’m actually surprised at everyone’s “outrage” with regards to the Birdy/Ambizzy saga. Surprised because for years on this platform, I have been highlighting not only crooked event organisers but unethical event organisers as well and their blatant disrespect of an entertainer’s livelihood.
How you are only outraged now is beyond me but be it as it may, I challenge every Namibian that was “outraged” with the Birdy/Ambizzy saga to make time and sit down with any Namibian entertainer and chat about event organisers. Within minutes of that conversation, you will realise that event organisers have for years abused, bullied and underpaid entertainers. What we will not do though is downplay the fact that Birdy’s comments were downright discriminatory and warrants serious recourse. However, what I am calling for is that we need to equally highlight the fact that Ambizzy, and by extension all entertainers in this country, have to deal with event organisers dodging their responsibility of settling their dues.
I’ve had my fair share of drama of putting up with event organisers that make you beg for your money. The longest I’ve had to wait for an event organiser to settle my invoice was a full year! A whole year, omes! Can you fathom waiting for a year to get paid for a gig you did 12 months ago? This was 2015 to 2016!
For years I’ve written about how some event organisers in this country do not give rats *ss about the very same people that they are trying to serve...their audiences. I am almost certain that one out of three people in this country have experienced an event where parking was a mess (or zero parking), bogus VIP sections, main act not showing up, terrible ablution facilities and vok*l convenience with things like the bar or sound. That my dear is what we are talking about when we say that some event organisers in this country are a problem. They do the bare minimum and as Namibians, we don’t do jack sh*t! Our cars get broken into at these dodgy parking areas, we get served Oros in VIP or those cold finger shandis (after paying 500 bucks for VIP), we do not get any apology or explanation of any kind when the main act that was promised does not show up and we are subjected to unhygienic ablution facilities.
I do, however, hope that the Birdy/Ambizzy saga leads to a better working environment for entertainers. I do hope that the Birdy/Ambizzy saga will prompt Namibians to hold event organisers to a higher standard and not be content with the bare minimum. I do hope that Birdy, someone who everyone close to the industry knows has a long history of being guilty of not exactly respecting entertainers, does not leave it at that half-baked apology but put his money where his mouth is and tangibly do better the next time he hosts an event. That’s if anyone would still be interested in working with him.
Until the next Loop, we say #GMTM
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