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Top Cheri: Nascam never paid artists

2021-10-19  Staff Reporter

Top Cheri: Nascam never paid artists
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The Covid-19 pandemic brought tough economic challenges to everyone, and artists were not spared. The education, arts and culture ministry released N$5 million to be allocated to artists, but award-winning musician Top Cheri claims artists never received the funds. 

The ministry released the funds to the Namibian Society of Composers and Authors of Music (Nascam) to disburse to artists in need.

However, Top Cheri has revealed artists never received the money from Nascam, whom she claims threatened and asked her to not speak out about the issue. 

Top Cheri revealed these details in a conversation with a tweep on Twitter, who wanted to know if Nascam ever paid Covid-19 relief funds to artists.

This tweet is not the first time Top Cheri has spoken out about Nascam and the Covid-19 relief funds. 

Earlier this year, she humorously tweeted in a sarcastic post that Nascam had paid certain artists N$13 000 as Covid-19 relief funds. 

Nascam denied these alleged payments, and asked Top Cheri to take the post down – even if it was sarcastic and humorous. During this time, Nascam chief executive John Max told the public the music organisation was still looking for ways for artists to get the funds. 

Up until now, it seems Nascam has not found ways to distribute the funds that artists desperately need.

Another artist responded to Top Cheri’s tweet, wondering why Nascam has not responded on the progress of disbursing the Covid-19 relief funds. 

He noted the Covid situation was hectic on artists, but Nascam does not seem aware, as the music body has not been triggered to respond.

The Covid-19 period has been unbearably hard for artists who depend on money from live performances and royalties to make a living. 

Live performances were not possible due to Covid-19 guidelines, while the royalties in 2020 were very low due to limited advertising packages among broadcasting stations.

Artists normally receive two payments a year as royalties.

Nascam also has limited funds and is using the available money to keep the organisation running. 

The dry spell in artists’ finances is expected to continue this year and into 2022 because Covid-19 is still a threat, and the rate of vaccination in the country is low.


2021-10-19  Staff Reporter

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