KATIMA MULILO – Ever since the beginning of the Namibia Annual Music Awards (NAMAs), artists from the Zambezi have always felt left out from the event.
After lengthy deliberations, the idea to establish awards exclusively for artists from the Zambezi region was born and resulted in the formation of the Zambezi Annual Music Awards (ZAMA), which will debut on 28 December.
According to one of the organisers of the event, Eliot Mowa, the objective of ZAMA is to appreciate local talent in the Zambezi region.
“The idea was born out of the need to appreciate local talent. Ever since the likes of Spine and the Green Kids came in 2008/2009, the number of artists and talents has expanded, but these artists haven’t been nominated or recognised for their musical talents,” said Mowa.
Earlier this year, in a letter published in The Namibian newspaper, Afro-pop and house star Topsy Kim advocated the representation of more artists from the region in the awards. “There is equally enormous talent and good music in the Zambezi region,” she wrote.
She further claimed the NAMAs were “imbalanced and biased”. Topsy Kim said artists in the Zambezi region should not be neglected and deserved a place among the “best of the best”.
He added that several meetings were held with local artists where the idea to establish the event was discussed and given the green light.
“We have had several meetings with local artists, and we deliberated on the categories as to which categories most of the artist fall into, so there are several genres that were identified as the mainstream genres that most of the artists in the region fall under,” he said.
Mowa also pointed out that currently they do not have a sponsor, and the funds will come from the tickets and registration fees. He, however, stressed that what is important was the beginning of the awards ceremony and sponsors might come on board in years to come.
He further stated that the registration of artists has already started, and each artist is required to pay N$300 per entry and it will close on 2 December. Mowa, however, explained that each artist is only allowed two entries, this he says was done to give everybody a chance.
He also explained that voting would be done through the ballot system on the day of the event. “Each ticket holder will be given seven cards, because there are seven categories, on each card, there will be a category and the names of all the artists who are competing for that category will be listed on each card, and the voter will be able to choose their favourite artist,” stated Mowa.
The award show will have seven categories: Best Shikokoshi/Rumba, Disco/House/Kwasa, Best Kwaito, Best Hip-Hop/R&B/Trap, Best Gospel, Best Reggae, Best House and Best Afro Pop.
Although the Katima Mulilo Town Council has not yet come on board in terms of financial support, Mowa explained that they are supporting the event.
Katima CEO Raphael Liswaniso confirmed this saying he was aware of the event, and he was still waiting for the organisers to present the project to him.
“Their project still needs to come because they were requesting for funding. Once they have brought the project then we will allow them to run the show in town. I told them to consult the governor also, but as for us, we are open to assist,” said Liswaniso.