By Charles Tjatindi
Pandemonium is in the air as Oviritje artists start the countdown to one of the most prestigious events rewarding their toil and labour – the Oviritje Music Awards Namibia.
The awards, which will be held on November 3 this year, will highlight the achievements of Oviritje artists during the course of this year. The awards will also incorporate the Namibia Excellence Awards, where positive influential role-players will be awarded for their involvement in the social-economic and cultural development of the country in general. Abed Nakalenga, Promotions and Publicity Officer at the Pekepena Productions, said the idea behind the awards ceremony was to recognise the impact of the Oviritje genre on the music industry as one of the fastest growing genres.
Said Nakalenga: “Oviritje has really grown in leaps and bounds. We just thought we should recognise that kind of effort by awarding prizes to the best role-players in that genre.”
The awards ceremony will also feature performances by prominent Namibian artists, and will be attended by top sports stars, international music promoters, captains of industries and entrepreneurs amongst others.
Although the Pekepena representative could not reveal the names of the judges at this stage, he did mention that they would include music consultants and veteran musicians among others. The artists will be judged on various disciplines including overall organisation, quality of the music, arrangement of songs on the albums, and the message contained in the songs.
“We want to make sure we have the best artists emerging as winners. That is why it is important to include an array of judging criteria for judges,” said Pekepena’s Promotions and Publicity vocal person.
Awards will be accorded in 20 different categories, which include: Best Newcomer, Best Solo, Best Collaboration, Best Stage Performer/Dancer, Best Music Video, Best Spiritual Song, Best-Dressed Artist, Best Group, and Best Instrumental Player. Music promoters, and producers will also be awarded in the categories – Best Cultural Promoter, and Best Music Producer, respectively. Other categories will include Best Manager, Best Music Studio, best positive message, and best jukebox played song. Lead vocals will also be recognised for lighting up the house with their voices through the categories Best 1st, 2nd and 3rd voices respectively.
The main category will be the Artist of the Year, in which the winners will walk away with a cool N$5 000 in cash, a Brahman cow, and a holiday for two to a surprise destination. Other prizes in this category will be an Oviritje award trophy, promotion on the Oviritje website and a recording contract for a year. Other categories will receive unconfirmed amounts in cash prizes, trophies and certificates. The nominees for this year’s awards include popular music groups Ovikango nominated for their hit song “Ali”, Pouua Music group with “Delilah”, Okazera with “Skuturu”, Millennium nominated for “Tijuana”, Kakazona Kavari for “Owee Nependa”, and the Tjitjekura group nominated for “Ombunda”. New kids on the block Kappa, Katja and Mandala are competing in the Best Solo Category.