Crowds Feel Cheated by NBC

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By Petronella Sibeene and Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Disorganisation and poor planning has left hundreds of people, mainly children, very disappointed after the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) whisked away the two celebrities Paloma and Barbara without according the crowd an opportunity to be photographed with them. Two days ago, the NBC invited the public to pay N$25 each for a photo shoot with the Mexican actresses of the popular soapie “When you are Mine”. However, much to their utter shock and anger this never happened after they had been queuing at the NBC headquarters in the capital since 11h00 yesterday morning. When the New Era news team arrived at the scene, visibly angry youngsters and adults were still demanding for their photos with the celebrities. New era learnt that the situation became so tense that police and Special Field Force members had to be called in to maintain order, as the crowd was likely to become rowdy. According to sources, the photo session was supposed to start at 14h30 but the two actresses only turned up 30 minutes later. However, things turned out differently when Paloma and Barbara only spent a few minutes inside the photo studio, leaving hundreds of fans disappointed. “Some of us came here as early as 11 o’clock; we stood in the sun just waiting to see Paloma and before we could even get what we paid for we were told we should go to the Sam Nujoma stadium tomorrow for a show. We needed the picture and not the show,” lamented one angry youngster. Others came all the way from Rundu to at least have a glimpse of their favourite actresses. “They just wanted to make money out of this whole thing. They say they are a better companion but it is a lie,” another frustrated youngster told New era. The situation became chaotic to an extent where the crowd was not allowed to use the toilet facilities inside the premises and had to resort to nearby bushes. Claims were made that someone even fainted from the heat and exhaustion while waiting in the 80-metre long queue. One mother who was hoping her eight-year-old daughter would have a chance to see the two stars noticed what she termed as favouritism and corruption on the part of NBC. “Two NBC officials in a Mercedes and another one in a bakkie pulled out of the gate and picked up some ladies a few meters away from the entrance and drove them in, where they took pictures.” She questioned if the two actresses were brought only for NBC officials or the public. She added, “This is why we do not pay out TV licences. They do not take care of the local people.” Efforts to seek comment from the Acting Director General Stanley Simataa and the organiser proved futile.