Radio personality and podcast host Shona Ngava is of the opinion that Namibian corporates have taken a step back and are setting a bad precedent by using creatives to push their brands without remunerating them accordingly.
He specifically addressed the issue of Namibian Wildlife Resorts (NWR), which was seeking social media influencers to post about their trips to NWR resorts on their social media pages. In return, NWR let them stay and eat for free (drinks are excluded), instead of giving them money.
Ngava admitted that the country and the world at large have been hard-hit by Covid-19, which largely impacts economic activities, but insisted that work done must be paid for.
“I understand we are in a panorama pandemic and business is tight, but you need to consider that influencers put a lot of money into their brand and give quality to their audiences,” he said.
“When you come in and decide you are not going to give money and rather give them free accommodation and whatnot, it’s still not enough because people have bills to pay.
“You ask influencers to use their resources to push your content, and you may potentially make millions from this, but you are not considering paying them,” he charged.
Another scenario he alluded to was the Namibian Breweries Limited (NBL), where one could win N$10 000, Windhoek Draught supply for a year, or legendary status to last a lifetime by creating or designing the look of their custom Windhoek Draught.
“The company can at least award N$100 000, because it can make that money back in three days or so. Why are we giving people N$10 000? Why are we exploiting creatives like this in an industry where they are already exploited?” fumed Ngava.
Entertainment journalist Michael Kayunde said he doesn’t have major issues with the NWR proposal or campaign because it is not forcible, but sternly believes creatives need monetary reward and not necessarily barter agreements.
“This all depends on the campaign. The NWR one makes sense, and it is understandable. If you believe as a creative you need to be paid for that content, then don’t apply. There are still people who would go to NWR and still create content for the socials without getting paid. We are proud to be Namibians. We will upload pictures and tag NWR,” he stated.
NWR extended the offer to influencers after seeing how social media has become an essential part of how travellers decide on their next destination.
“Our greatest wish would have been to pay each influencer,” said Mufaro Nesongano, NWR’s spokesperson, adding that due to limited resources and the significant impact Covid-19 has had on their business, they can only offer an in-kind payment.
“However, when the situation improves, we will look into it.”
They have received 199 applications from influencers, but only 10 will be selected.
Each social media influencer will visit any five NWR establishments for the duration of this campaign under the different classifications that NWR has.
“In return, the influencer will be expected to post about their trip on their social media pages and tag NWR using the #NWRMoments. This will ensure that NWR’s audience will see the social media influencers’ content on the NWR website.”