22 August 2005

Namibia: Music Awards Organisers Reach Compromise

Windhoek — A DEFINITE duplicating and overlapping absurdity of two bodies organising the same annual musical event has been averted through an agreed compromise by the timely intervention of the country's only artist union.

The Sanlam-NBC Music Awards and the Namibia Music Awards, both creating opportunities for Namibian musicians to exhibit their musical talents, were planned to have taken place 10 days apart respectively on December 2 and 12 this year.

A press briefing to this effect was yesterday held in the capital by the Oruuano Artists Union on behalf of Down Town Advertising Agency.

"Our union is pleased to announce that the two musical events will now be held at separate dates: the Sanlam-NBC Music Awards on December 2 and the Namibian Music Awards on May 6 of each year.

Considering the importance of uplifting the welfare and status of Namibian artists, Oruuano is optimistic that the relationship between the two parties will grow from strength to strength," said Vincent Mwemba, the union's secretary general at the press briefing.

Because of the debacle between the two parties involved, many musicians have been uncertain, confused and divided.

"Down Town Advertising categorically denies that its brainchild, The Namibian Music Awards, had been offered on public tender for take-over a few months ago and that the NBC got the tender," the managing director of Down Town Advertising, Namvula Ankama, defended her company's stand on a question to that effect by this reporter during the briefing.

Ankama further denied that she or her company had been forced or bullied into agreeing to the compro-mise.

"In fact, we approached Oruuano Artists Union to act on our behalf in this matter," Ankama said at the briefing that was held in the boardroom of the said ministry's building.

"It is against this background that the union would like to thank the two organisers through consultation for considering our advice by agreeing to stage these two important events at separate times.

This new arrangement will afford more time to artists to prepare themselves for both events," said Mwemba.

A representative of Sanlam, Simatha Mulele, informed the press that his company is sponsoring the Sanlam-NBC event to the tune of N$250 000, compared to the approximately N$120 000 that Down Town receives from NamDeb, the City of Windhoek, the Municipality of Swakopmund, Nascam and a local soft-drink company.

"A black empowerment company got the tender to organise this year's Sanlam-NBC Music Awards and we are confident the company will deliver the goodies," said Mulele, who indicated that the BEE that got the tender had no name yet.

According to Banana Shekupe, president of Oruuano Artists Union, Namibian musicians need more regular events to get better opportunities in the music industry.

"Considering the small local market both events are important to help promote and market the country's musical talents domestically as well as abroad," Shekupe said.

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