We were startled and disappointed to read the Oshili24 article – a write-up so full of inaccuracies and outright untruths that, against our first instinct, we feel compelled to respond, to ensure that the record is set straight, and that the culture of peddling falsities about the event is curbed with immediate effect.
We’d first like to address the fact that the article levels a range of accusations against KORA Executive Producer, Ernest Adjovi – we challenge Oshili24 to substantiate these claims or face immediate legal censure. We will also be turning to the Media Ombudsperson for remedy, as this entire article is a perfect exemple of a culture of false reporting.
Having worked with a wide range of local and international media since our establishment in 1994, we are also curious about the bizarre and underhanded manner in which Oshili24 rushed to print an article so full of damning statements, without even affording ‘the accused’ a chance to respond to questions, or offer up their point of view. Is this what Oshili24 labels fair reporting?
It is an irrefutable fact, and one that we will never deny, that financial support is required from corporate and government institutions anywhere where a major event is being hosted. This is an international convention and represents best-practice – to quote a few examples:
• Such investments are the very reason that Cape Town has a vibrant and booming film industry – the administration of that city has poured millions over the past two decades into developing film infrastructure and skills – today, Cape Town is a go-to destination for Hollywood to shoot a range of big-budget film and TV productions, pouring millions of dollars and euros into the economy. South African film production crew are sought the world over for their world-class skills as a direct result of these investments.
• The province of Kwa-Zulu Natal, also in South Africa has become a vibrant destination for cultural and musical events. The effect on job-creation and economic development has been immediate and tangible – however, this did not take place within a vacuum. KZN government and industry have made focused and strategic investments in events such as The Durban July, the MTV Base MAMA Awards, and TV productions such as international format ‘The X Factor’ and ‘Take Me Out SA’.
Namibia is no stranger to this principle – the international film productions that have taken place in the country are a testament to this. To emphasise the point – there is absolutely nothing wrong with an event requesting sponsorship and financial support from corporates or government institutions– certainly not when there is a tangible and measurable benefit for the host country/city in question from a point of view of job creation, infrastructural development, promotion & marketing, tourism and skills development.
That said, at no point is the expectation that the majority of KORA Awards will be financed by Namibian corporates and government institutions. On the contrary, an extremely beneficial revenue generation plan has been established to ensure that the bulk of the funds do not come from local funders.
It is a pity that Oshili24 places so little faith in Namibian captains of industry and leaders in government that they assume that sponsorship would be made with no regard to return on investments, effects on the economy and development of industry.
This brings us to another lamentable issue in the Oshili24 article – the culture of using unnamed sources and making damning statements about key players. As an example, the article makes an accusation about an ‘unnamed minister’ – we reject with contempt this trend of inventing complete falsehoods while hiding behind anonymous sources and throwing out veiled accusations.
In the same vein, Oshili24 has committed a grave and malicious abuse of the State President’s name by claiming that he has ‘dumped KORA’ as articulated in their article. This is completely contrary to the support that H.E. Hage Geingob has lent the event, both historically and currently. H.E. has a holistic understanding of the social, cultural and economic benefits the event can bring to Namibia, and is on record as having supported KORA at various local international events. Again, we challenge Oshili24 to either substantiate this allegation, or to unreservedly withdraw it and tender a formal apology.
Organising Committee, KORA All-Africa Music Awards