Are NAMA organisers eyeing Walvis Bay?

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Pinehas Nakaziko

Windhoek-Rumours are milling about that the seventh edition of the Namibia Annual Music Awards (NAMA) will be hosted in the coastal town of Walvis Bay this year and the preparations seem to be at an advanced stage.

New Era has been reliably informed that the NAMA organising committee was recently seen in Walvis Bay inspecting possible venues. This comes after the main sponsors of the awards, MTC, recently announced that it is too expensive to host the event in Windhoek.

In 2012, MTC spent more than N$500,000 to upgrade the Ramatex factory, where the show was first hosted.

MTC spokesperson John Ekongo says they only visited the place to inspect it. “We’ve just been chatting to various local authorities to see where we can host the event,” he said, adding that so far they have spoken to four local authorities, but the venue will be announced at a later stage once everything is finalised.

End of last year the awards organising committee hinted that they wanted the City of Windhoek, which owns Ramatex, to contribute to the costs of hosting the event by availing the venue for free. The organisers are also not happy that the City of Windhoek charged them for the days they needed to set up the stage and sound, in addition to the actual days of the event.

“We’re charged for set-up days. If the authorities cannot accommodate us then we might just go to a town that appreciates the bigger picture,” said the NAMA executive chairperson, Tim Ekandjo.

Meanwhile, a total of 802 entries have been received for this year’s competition, following to closing of entries in December. Last year only 599 entries were received.

According to a media release from MTC earlier this year, the organising committee has since the closure of entries been hard at work, even during the entire festive season, to tally the entries and load them onto the electronic database, following which the vetting committee started with their assessment.

A total of 24 categories were open for entry. The Best Collaboration category received the highest number of entries (120), followed by the Best Single category, (92) and third the Best Song category (75 entries), whilst the Best Music Video had 68 entries and Best Gospel 63.

The categories with the least entries were Best Afrikaans Song and Best Entertainment Journalist of the Year, with five entries each, followed by Best Damara Punch, Best Oviritje and Best Acapella with seven entries, whilst Most Socially Responsible Artist had eight entries.

The steering committee will now commence with the vetting process, going through every entry to check whether it complies with the rules. Entries that are not compliant with the rules will be disqualified, while all those that comply will go through to the judging phase, where a vigorous assessment is to be undertaken by an independent panel of judges.

The vetting committee consists of an independent panel of experts drawn from the music industry, including representatives of various music labels, shows and production houses, broadcasters and experts in the music industry, who volunteered to serve on the committee.

The next phase of the build-up activities for the 2017 edition of the NAMA starts in a few weeks with the adjudication process and nominees selection, followed by a rigorous marketing campaign to boost tickets sales before the main event in May.

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