By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK He is of the opinion that the Sanlam/NBC Music Awards can become an African extravaganza in the not-so-distant future because of its phenomenal growth since its inception only three years ago. This is the view of the new Director-General of the NBC, Bob Kandetu, in his apparent first public engagement since his appointment some three months ago, on the launch of the awards on Tuesday night at the National Theatre of Namibia. “We Africans always make music, even in times of sadness and death – the music is just different, to soothe and comfort, but there is always music. Musicians accompany us on our long and sometimes lonely journeys with their songs. They console us when we’re depressed and also educate our children about the facts of life, which we sometimes fail to do. Yet we hardly say ‘thank you’ to those musicians,” Bob Kandetu said. A large number of invited guests and business people attended the launch at which Lydia Hawala gave a brilliant and emotional own rendition of the National Anthem. “The main aim of the Sanlam/NBC Music Awards is to give recognition and to promote Namibian music locally and internationally. It is also aimed at offering an unforgettable experience to local music lovers, to provide opportunities for talented Namibians to realize their dreams in expressing their aspirations and feelings through the art of music,” Kandetu said. He also paid tribute to Namibian musicians such as The Dogg, Sunny Boy, Gazza and Phura for having been part of the awards since its inception. “They have been part of the Sanlam/NBC Music Awards journey, and today they are outstanding performers ready to take on and conquer the international music market. “The awards have come a long way since its inception three years ago. We are extremely proud of where we are and are still growing in leaps and bounds. These awards are very important for the development of the local music industry,” he emphasized. Kandetu also invited the local business fraternity to join hands with Sanlam and the NBC in making the event a worthwhile experience for Namibian musicians. “The NBC’s mission is to inform, educate and entertain the Namibian nation. Music is one of the tools we use to accomplish part of our mission. Nowadays a radio station has a competitive advantage if it plays the latest local music, hence our effort to encourage musicians to produce more. It is time our local artists were given more respect, recognition and acknowledgement for their creativity and talents. So, please buy original Namibian CD’s, not pirated copies,” he moralized. The Sanlam/NBC Music Awards takes place on December 1 at the Safari Court Hotel.
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