The biggest night in Namibian music entertainment, the Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs), is stepping it up this year with a stellar line-up of judges set to score this year's entries.
The esteemed judging panel comprises a group of credible and highly acclaimed Namibians together with music, entertainment and media executives from South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Jamaica and the USA.
The judges are:
Axali Doeseb, Namibia's first post independent black conductor of the Namibian National Symphony Orchestra and author of the Namibian National Anthem. He is also a NAMAs recipient for the lifetime achievement award.
Sean Watson from South Africa, the managing director of Sony Music Entertainment Pan Africa, the label behind the global success and careers of megastars Wizkid, Davido and DJ Fresh, amongst others.
Yvonne Chaka Chaka, an internationally recognised South African singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, humanitarian and teacher. She has been at the forefront of popular South African music for 27 years with hits like 'I'm Burning Up', 'Thank You Mr DJ' and the ever-popular 'Umqombothi'. As a young performer she was the first black child to appear on South African television in 1981. Since then, she has shared the stage with international artists like Bono, Angelique Kidjo and Queen.
Namibian Alma Ulamba has been in the corridors of arts as a chairperson of the National Arts Council and is currently the head of the National Theatre of Namibia.
Jasmine Dotiwala from the UK is an award-winning trail blazer and key influencer who has worked with the likes of Eminem, Jay-Z and Mariah Carey. She's interviewed a multitude of rising stars and even went record shopping with R&B singer Aaliyah and Jodeci. She did the first ever UK interview with Mary J Blige and interviewed Snoop Doggy Doog outside an Los Angeles courtroom during his murder trial, which aired across the global news networks. She was a presenter for MTV News, before becoming senior producer-director for many of MTV International's flagship TV shows including 'Making the Video', 'MTV Cribs', 'MTV's Diary Of' and 'MTV News Specials'.
Morgan Heritage from America and Jamaica was formed in 1994, and they made their first appearance at Reggae Sunsplash in Jamaica. They were subsequently signed by MCA and released their debut album 'Miracles' the same year. The group has worked with many reggae bands and DJs, including Capleton, Junior Kelly and Luciano.
Lischen Khachas has been dubbed Namibia's top female DJ, having been a part of the Namibian music industry for more than 12 years.
Sammy Forson is a Ghanaian award-winning broadcaster with Joy99.7 FM, has over 14 years of on-air experience, is the business manager for BET and MTV, VGMA and award winning Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie, as well as the CEO of both Aspire Music/Entertainment and Evolve by Sammy Forson.
Somoina Kimojino from Kenya is the managing director at Capital FM, as well as one of the biggest music, media, entertainment broadcasters and networks in East Africa, Capital Group LTD East Africa. For the last 14 years, she has been at the helm of radio in Kenya and has successfully managed a number of talents and created noteworthy programmes.
Sammy Thuo, also from Kenya, has been in the marketing, digital, advertising and media industries for over 21 years and is the director and co-founder of Saracen OMD - one of East Africa's largest independent media specialist agencies.
Rounding off the judging panel is Namibia's own Che Ulenga, who joined Katutura Community Radio in 2006 and has grown to be one of the nation's most sought-after radio personalities and MCs, as well as being a NAMA nominee in the best radio DJ category in 2017.
Watch the press for more details on the date and venue for this year's NAMAs. - MTC