They’d have you believe that the Namibia Annual Music Awards was the most useless thing to have graced Namibian shores. They’d have you believe that the Namibia Annual Music Awards only catered to a certain clique. They’d have you believe that the Namibia Annual Music Awards was a waste of time and resources. They’d have you believe that the Sanlam/NBC era was better than the NAMAs era.
It is amazing how we so conveniently forget the issues that came with the Sanlam/NBC era. But what do you expect from a country that has a severe condition of SMS...Short Memory Syndrome. SMS is not only a persisting problem in the arts and entertainment space but in all facets of life. SMS is rife in sports. SMS is extreme in politics. SMS is deeply rooted in business. We...as people tend to dismiss the importance of historical context. And guess what? It happens to the best of us. The other day on my radio show...I erroneously said that Deon Hotto is the first Namibian to play for Orlando Pirates. Something did not feel right about my statement and I immediately followed up with “I’ll have to double-check and get back to you on that”. Which I did...I consulted football encyclopedia, Isack Hamata and he corrected me. Rudolf Bester played for Orlando Pirates. I apologized and corrected my statement. It really does happen to the best of us. The crime comes when we refuse to be corrected and feast on ignorance.
The NAMAs did something that no organization in the country had the guts to do at the time.... it levelled the playing field. The NAMAs took a different approach by placing categories in the hands of judges instead of the public vote. It allowed the little man a chance at the dinner table with the bigger man.
Because truth be told, had NAMAs left the status quo and continued with the Sanlam/NBC format...artists like Paradox, Blossom, Dixon etc. They would have stayed in the shadows of “heavyweights” like Wambuseun, Tequila and Ou Stakes. The problem with the old format is that it had no room for new artists. It created an unfair environment where popularism trumped quality. Popularism and quality do not always fit in one sentence. Get Lich is extremely popular...does that mean he is better than N.I.A?
No, Namibia Annual Music Awards was NOT the most useless thing to have graced Namibian shores. The awards created work for a lot of people directly and indirectly. No, the Namibia Annual Music Awards did NOT only cater to a certain clique. Deep down...we all know for a fact that the Artist of the decade award went to the right person. Award wins set aside...is there anyone in the right frame of mind really disputing that Gazza was the best musical act collectively in the last 10 years? No, the Namibia Annual Music Awards was NOT a waste of time and resources. The awards created and amplified careers like that of Ruby Nakaambo, Josy Nghipandua, Pombili Shilongo, Paul Da Prince, and Fernando The Drummer etc.
The awards at one point saw the need to award Radio Djs, entertainment journalists and events organizers. No, the Sanlam/NBC era was NOT better than the NAMAs era. But I get it...its a subjective space and everyone will always be entitled to their opinion.
But what the NAMAs did for the entertainment industry, the tourism industry, the logistics industry and the style and fashion industry is unmatched. MTC did NOT have to but they put their name and money to a brand that sometimes was unfairly crucified.
Whether we would want to admit it or not...if no corporate steps up and takes over from MTC, the entertainment industry will struggle. Don’t get me wrong...I never ALWAYS agreed with the NAMAs. But one thing I appreciated about the awards was that the awards were never afraid of introspection. The awards have a recorded history of introspection and correctness where deemed necessary. Thank you NAMAs for an incredible 10 years.
NSK is a professional MC. For bookings, email firstname.lastname@example.org