The Namibian (Windhoek)

11 September 2012

Namibia: Tim Ekandjo Accuses Hart Van Windhoek of Sidelining Namibian Artists

Tim Ekandjo blasted the organisers of Hart van Windhoek music festival, and Namibian sponsors of the event, that took place last weekend.

In his capacity as the Head of the NAMAs organising committee, as well as member of Team Namibia, Ekandjo said in a line-up of about 30 acts, only three Namibian performers took the stage, namely TeQuila, Linda and rock band Famaz Attak.

MTC's Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs Officer and organiser of the Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) expressed his dismay about the popular music show, now in its third year of existence.

Ekandjo claimed there is "a clear reluctance" on the part of Hart van Windhoek to use Namibian artists.He it is unacceptable and is something that should not be tolerated. "While we appreciate the organisers' effort to entertain Namibians with good Afrikaans music, how does our own Namibian artist benefit from this investment if this is to be called a proudly Namibian event sponsored by Namibian corporates," he asked.

He said as the festival is held in Namibia, more local artists should be given an opportunity to perform at one of Namibia's biggest music festivals.

Ekandjo said that most local artists rely heavily on live shows, and denying them an opportunity to showcase their talent denied them a chance to earn much-needed income.

"The fact that only three local artists features on the programme and 30 South African artists is a disgrace," he said.

Ekandjo accused the organisers of "window dressing".

"If this is the case, the event could just as well be moved to South Africa where all this artists come from because then it is not a Namibian event," said Ekandjo.

He also called on Namibian corporates to keep local artists in mind when sponsoring as a way of fulfilling their corporate social responsibility to the Namibian people.

"After the two day event, most of the money invested goes back with this artists because they are all not local and when local artist go to the same sponsors to request for sponsorship they are declined but we are far too happy to invest millions in a totally South African dressed event in Namibia," he said.

Ekandjo however applauded the organisers for having grown the event and hopes the next event will see a significant number of Namibian artist represented in the interest of national diversity.

The Namibian asked the organisers of Hart van Windhoek in South Africa to respond to the accusation but had not received a response at the time of going to print.

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