Winners of the 2019 Visible Talent Namibia Show feel exploited, as they are still waiting for their outstanding prize monies.
The show, which was hosted for the first and last time that year, earmarked N$90 000 for winners, which encompassed N$50 000 for the overall winner, N$30 000 for the runner up and N$10 000 for the third-place winner.
“We feel exploited. We only got N$10 000, which we shared among ourselves, instead of the initial N$30 000. We are still waiting for them to give us the rest,” said Moricho Job, a dancer from Hozala’s Finest, who ended as runners-up.
Job told VIBEZ! they are a bigger group of dancers but had to downsize – and with the assistance of their manager, they got money and used it for transportation and other logistics to enable them to take part in the competition without hindrance.
“We kept asking (for our money) but no feedback. Speaking on behalf of the crew, we did not receive any communication. There were a lot of sponsors who came on board. If you are advertising a competition where there is a monetary reward, don’t exploit talent; it’s not right,” vented Job.
The 29-year-old added: “Don’t keep people in the dark; communicate with us – we are not dyslexic. We can comprehend whatever is conveyed to us, instead of ignoring it. If the sponsors are only going to pay after they see the product, communicate; don’t shut us out”.
Omaruru’s Ute Jo-Ann // Hoabes, who ended third overall, said she only received N$5 000 and was promised the rest will follow suit.
The soulful singer shared that since the competition took place before Covid-19, they should have established contingency plans and had them in place.
“I participated in that competition and won during my pregnancy, which was at seven months – and it was not easy. We hustle to earn a living for ourselves. Event organisers should treat us with respect. The prize money is ours, and we need our money now,” fumed //Hoabes.
Overall winner singer Keenan Carelse from Walvis Bay could not be reached for comment.
Founder of the Visible Talent Namibia Show, Tate Buti, real name Abraham Mbangala, told VIBEZ! the Covid-19 pandemic contributed to the winners not getting their full amounts.
“The winners got half their money. We are not sure when the remainder will be given because when we were busy with it (competition), Covid-19 came and it stopped everything – and that’s where we ended,” said Tate Buti.
He said letters were sent to the winners on the status of the show and their money – and everything was clearly explained to them.
“The way forward is, we wait until Covid-19 is gone and we give them the outstanding amount; that’s what I told them. There is nothing we can do; entertainment is dead for almost two years now,” concluded Tate Buti.