By Petronella Sibeene
Namibia Music Awards 2008, which create a platform for the promotion of local artists, was launched here this week.
Nominations start today and will run until February 21.
Voting begins on March 22 until May 1, followed by the main event at Ongwediva on May 3.
Entries are for songs produced from January last year to last month.
According to Namvula Ankama from the Centric Communications Marketing Department, the public will, for the first time, be allowed to nominate their favourite musicians.
Nominations can be sent in via sms to 8555 at a cost of N$3 or fax is 061-239069 starting with the name of the artist, song and the category.
Ankama said after the nominations, an independent accounting body would screen the nominations and hand the results over in sealed envelopes on the awards night.
“Namibia Musical Awards’ main objective is to award various musicians nominated by the public and media under different categories fairly so that each unique artist’s talent is recognised and appreciated, ” said Ankama.
Patron of the Namibia Music Awards, Pohamba Shifeta, said the event is organised to accord young Namibian artists a floor to showcase their work and at the same time gain inspiration to grow in their profession.
He said before 1996, Namibian melodies where unheard of on the airwaves.
Today, he added, the local music industry has blossomed and through media promotion, the music industry has maintained a growing audience.
Speaking on behalf of the Deputy Minister of Youth, National Services, Sport and Culture, Shifeta commended Cell One’s sponsorship of the initiative and urged other to emulate the example.
Cell One Manager of Corporate Communications, Rejoice Itembu, said her organisation was proud to be associated with such a venture.
“We are proud to be part of a platform that aims at encouraging and scouting for Namibian talent,” she said.
She, however, declined to divulge the amount that Cell One will pump into this event by rather said, “We will be part of it from the beginning to the end”.
Those who nominate and vote using Cell One stand a chance of winning 10 VIP tickets and a Nokia cellphone.
Namibia has, of late, seen dramatic growth in the local music indus- try compared to 2005 where there were only 682 registered local artists, this figure more since than doubled by last year.
This is attributed to the exposure artists receive today, especially through the media.