Is This True Namibian Music?

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK And there the reported cream of the crop in the music industry were last Friday honoured by way of the NBC/Sanlam Music Awards at a well known hotel in the capital. What a stimulating, but creatively very limited and really shallow musical experience it was, in format, more one of self-praise by the NBC, once again producing a below standard live programme. The head of tv programmes, Claudia Ikela jumped around like an excited child on stage after receiving a certificate for the production of some obscure music programme, at least to me who once in a blue moon watches anything on the national Tv. Whilst closing my eyes, at least the time an NBC camera didn’t pick me up, for whatever reason it showing me whenever I cover a story, the event came across very shallow and repetitive in content and pre-recorded sound. I suppose gone are the days of having had a live band on stage and fittingly accompanying the singers. Is this true Namibian music or is it more imitations of American rap crap dished up to the audience under a Namibian label, it flashed through my mind at that very moment. No, this sounds more foreign to me. I was missing good old traditional and love songs to be heard, but no, only these sometimes nonsensical superfluous rap-race sounds for which the Weekender’s Agetto Graig won an award, competing against himself. I would like to think and consider the heavily sponsored event as just one category for rap music of a larger endeavour; otherwise broader Namibian music development is in danger of stagnating and eventually disappear. Is that what Sanlam and NBC want? I hope not. And why only honour certain Namibian musicians posthumously? I am talking about respect for people like the late Wiks Louw, Archie van der Ploeg and Willie Collins, people who have really contributed towards the development of Namibian music before they passed on. Their names should be permanently engrained in the minds of the Namibian people, specifically at events such as the NBC/Sanlam Music Awards. Were their names deliberately left out or was it a case of a lack of appropriate footage? No excuse, NBC should have excerpts of the mentioned artists in its archives. After all they have been featured on national television in the past. Let’s hope Downtown Promotions does better than this in May next year, show more respect for the real pioneers of Namibian music. More critique on the awards on the next page.

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