Concern over Trend in Music Industry


I am writing with concern about the trend in our music industry. Some if not most corporate entities promote music that is originally not Namibian. An article was recently published in a local daily’s Friday edition where the journalist claimed that he conducted a comprehensive investigation in order to determine the origin of Damara Pantsi and Oviritje. He, however, only interviewed three people on whose accounts he based his conclusion that Damara Pantsi like Kwaito (and Rap) has a strong influence from South Africa. This was said by the one producer he interviewed. There are many producers of Damara Pantsi and Oviritje who were not considered, therefore I beleive his conclusion would have been different if he had conducted a comprehensive investigation like he claimed. What worries me is that he has a platform, and many people will beleive such claims. Therefore I want to call on the journalist to reconduct his research and include such people as anthropologists, music experts, other producers/artists, the general public, etc., in order to arrive at a credible conclusion. Unless he does that, I am confident that Damara Pantsi and Oviritje are genuinely Namibian, and even after his second investigation I am confident the evidence will prove me right. Namibia was recently said to have slipped down a couple of places on the world economic forum, Global Competitiveness Index (GCI). Innovation was mentioned as one of those things that have an impact on the index. A major award will take place in one month, and it would be interesting to judge their claim of awarding artists “for their musical originality, creative presentation and artistic brilliance”. This was hardly reflected by the people who won that award the last couple of years. I just think Namibian/national corporations should be mindful of their responsibility, not only to promote but to protect Namibian culture. People who copy are not very innovative and should not be rewarded since it won’t help develop – not to mention giving the country – an identity. Maybe it’s time we consider going ‘Team Namibia’ on music as well. Respectfully, Michael Gaweseb Katutura