Windhoek — Namibian local Kwaito musician, Ees, has scooped the coveted Most Gifted Kwaito Video Award at the 9th Channel O Music Video Awards in Johannesburg last weekend.
Namibian local musicians The Dogg, Gal Level and Ees competed with various artists from the continent and managed to bring home the Best Kwaito Award. Ees and The Dogg were both nominated for the Best Kwaito award, which eventually led to first time nominee, Ees, bringing it home for his hit collaboration with Kwaito legend, Mandoza, Ayoba. " I felt great when I got the award but one needs to know that being on that platform, and even having been in the same category as The Dogg, we were all there representing Namibia. And as this was my first time to the awards, I am glad that I won," says Ees.
The Dogg has to date been nominated five times, winning times while Gal Level has been nominated a staggering nine times. Ees contended with some of South Africa's biggest name in Kwaito like Kabelo featuring Professor, Big Nuz and Spikiri. Gal Level was nominated for the Most Gifted Afro Pop Video Money featuring Toniks
Ees says having attended the awards with fellow musicians was a delight as they were there to support each other, as well as bring the award home on behalf of the country as well. "It was not cool being nominated in the same category with The Dogg. I mean we are brothers and we have always been supporting each other and we are cool and when that came up, we were forced to see each other as competition and I did not want to see him that way. And when I won the award, we were all relived that this was coming back home with us," he said.
He adds that prior to winning the award, he had no idea that collaboration with Mandoza would lead to him scooping the award. The road, initially, according to Ees, began with an email to Mandoza's manager, which eventually led to a year of negotiations and inevitably the song Ayoba was produced.
"It would be nice to see more local guys making it to the very same awards, our music videos are good and professional. I think that they are not pushing to get into the awards. Yes people will say why is it always the same people and that's because those people are pushing year after year, and that's what we need to do. It doesn't help to just send your videos there, you must make sure that they play it," he says.
Ees emphasises that even with this award in the bag, the real work is yet to start as taking part in such an event not only opens doors for him but for other Namibian musicians ."I now have this award, and normally they say if you are not the best, go back and work on something. And if you are the best, then doors open for you, and people want to work for you. This is not only for me but for my fellow musicians who are just as capable,' he adds.
Ees jetted off to Germany and plans to release a house album by the end of this year. He is yet to find a name for his new album, which fans should look out for. "I am very proud it's not about an individual artist but Namibia, the fact that Namibia is there to represent. It's not every country that gets to make it and for the past years Namibia has been there. The most important thing is the recognition that we as a country get for ourselves," says Gal Level's Frieda.
Frieda adds that Ees' winning the award had many surprised as this was his first nomination and he managed to scoop the award. She adds that this just proves how equally competitive Namibian musicians are. "At the after party, they played his music and those who didn't know who he was got a taste of what he is about and they were impressed. But what they heard and saw, they agreed that he definitely deserved the award and he worked hard for it," Frieda notes.