Namibia: An Outcry to Save the Arts Industry

30 April 2020

The Oruuano of Namibia artist union requested the government to implement the 70% rule across all local radio and TV stations to save the music and creative industry.

The union which is led by Veteran singer, Ueshitile Shekupe pleaded the government and all stakeholders to get involved in implementing the 70% rule in the country.

According to Shekupe, the government needs to enforce a law that allows local content to be at the forefront of the music and creative industry.

"By implementing a rule that enforces local radio stations to play 70% local music, 15% international music and 15% African music will turn around the current situation positively," said Shekupe in the statement to the government.

According to the statement, the initiative will only not increase attraction to local music and other forms of arts and culture, it will also attract masses to local music concerts, art exhibitions, fashion shows and theatre, increase artist awareness across Namibia, instill hope amongst local artists, boost competition amongst local artists and create and retain employment in the arts and culture industry.

"All artists in our country are relevant and they deserve the same exposure and support. They can only be known if their content prevails on our local televisions or radios. We give so much support to international content and neglect our own," said Shekupe to Entertainment Now!

Approximately six months ago, local broadcasting channel NBC stopped broadcasting content from 20h00, which Shekupe believes, has limited household viewing, as previously some households would look forward to watching late-night TV.

The union proposes that NBC avail the 20h00 - 07h00 slot to the arts and entertainment industry to provide content at an affordable rate to entertain the Namibian nation during Covid-19 and post-COVID-19.

"These would include but not limited to short films which have been shot locally and saved on DVDs and documentaries of arts and culture," Shekupe explained.

Shekupe compared the Namibian industry to South Africa, saying regardless of the population, their entertainment industry is growing rapidly because they expose their local contents on their platforms, which allow their artists to grow.

As stated by Shekupe, Namibia's local artists are facing a slump in terms of CD sales, digital music sales and concert attendees have decreased which affects artists negatively as it contributes to their unemployment and inhibits them to compete internationally.

Shekupe also argued that after 30 years of independence, the country still does not have a law that does justice to artists and creatives.

He said, "Our people have side careers to fund their talents and they do not have benefits like other employees because they do not have a constant income."

Numerous complaints from the union prove that there are still loopholes in the industry that need to get fixed hence, they contend the implementation of a ministry that represents them.

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