Nominees for the Kora All Africa Music Awards were announced yesterday, among them eight Namibians.
The nominated artists are: Ees for Best Album (Authentic Rebel), The Dogg for Best Collaboration (Africa Baby), D-Naff for Best Male-Spiritual Music (Omwa, featuring Tequila), VM-Six for Best Group-Spiritual Music (Ekundugu), Sally for Best Urban (Kukutika), Elize Dentlinger for Best Female Southern Africa (Hold On), Gazza for Best Male Southern Africa and Erna Chimu for Best Traditional Female Artist of Africa (Hai Serute).
The artists competing in the same categories include popular performers like Busiswa, Lizha James, AKA, Pertson, Mavins, Bracket, Dama do Bling and Micasa, among others.
There are 24 regional categories in total within the Kora Awards, with over 150 nominees and 54 participating countries and there is a monetary reward associated with each award, with the main prize, Best Artist of the Continent, receiving a grand prize of US$1 million.
The winners of other awards, such as Best Male Artist Southern Africa, Best Female Artist Southern Africa, Best male Artist Central Africa, among others, will receive US$50 000 each. To be eligible for the Best Artist of the Continent award, an artist must have been voted the best in their region.
The launch event presented yesterday gives music lovers across Africa the chance to vote for their preferred artists, as the countdown for the 2016 Kora Awards commences.
Ernest Adjovi, founder of the Kora Awards, could not hide his disappointment that most Namibian musicians who entered were not present at the launch of the prestigious event. Jovi said many other African artists are keen to know whether they made it onto the nominee list and their absence yesterday did not reflect well on Namibian musicians.
“It’s not a good sign. People in other countries are eager to know whether they made it, but the local musicians are not here,” he said, while thanking those present.
He cautioned that nominated artists, who do not attend the awards next year will not receive the prize money, as winners who are absent during the live broadcast of the show do not get the financial reward. Absent artists will be awarded only with a trophy.
Adjovi also said the award ceremony will see 16 performers from around the globe perform, including a possible performance by Drake, Rihanna or Beyoncé, just to mention a few. Two Namibian artists will also get a slot each in the headline performances.
The organisers of the Kora Awards also called on Namibian producers and composers to come up with an authentic African song, which would become the theme song for the awards ceremony next year. The only requirement is that the song should embrace the African continent.
The composers can decide who will feature on the song and where it will be recorded. Once the entries have been submitted, the judges (Namibian Society of Composer and Authors of Music, NASCAM) will make a decision. The winning song will win N$5000 and artists will have the chance to stage the song at the awards show, which is expected to reach over 700 million viewers worldwide. The song has to be submitted the NASCAM head office. The Kora music awards ceremony, which the Namibian government has officially endorsed, is now scheduled to take place in Windhoek on March 20.