n Jeoffrey Mukubi
At a press briefing recently held in Windhoek, The Namibian Society of Composers and Authors of Music (Nascam) Chief Executive Officer John Max expressed his disappointment at the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) for not reviewing their local content policy, after adopting the Code of Conduct for Broadcasters back in 2018.
“Nascam artists rejected the 15% of local content which has already been gazetted and should come into force in May 2021. We are all in agreement that it’s an insult to the creative industries and shame to the culture and our identity as a nation,” said Max.
The policy would provide for 15% of music on the radio, 10% of commercial television programmes, 15% of community television programmes and 1,5% of subscription television to be local.
“Radio stations operating in Namibia should know that they also must contribute to the national identity and cultural development. They cannot allow a foreign culture to be imposed through music, we need to respect what we have and build on the foundation of our diverse cultural backgrounds,” Max continued.
The most obvious objective of a revised local music policy is purely for the benefit of local artists and should receive serious attention if the music industry is to be developed further in Namibia. Radically promoting local content is one aspect of developing the local music economy, he said.
In 2016, the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) mandated 18 of its radio stations to play at least 90% of South African music, this culminated in other commercially owned radio stations to play 60% local content, which considerably changed the South African music landscape for the better as more royalties stayed in the country. “The CRAN team should go back and see how they can review the local content policy to be appreciated and be fair to all parties. We hope CRAN will do justice to the nation on this policy,” Max concluded.