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Road to NAMAs 2017

Fri, 20 January 2017 15:51
by Ester Simon


With the seventh Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) set to take place in May, The Villager Metro took time out to approach artists who were glowing in the limelight during last year’s awards on their expectations of 2017 event.
One of the artists who managed to stand out was Liz Ehlers who scooped the awards for the Most Socially Responsible Artist of the Year and Best Live Performance of the Year.
In an exclusive interview with The Villager Metro, Liz said she entered in five categories this year, and keeps her fingers crossed hoping for the best.
“I applaud MTC and NBC for the great platform which they have initiated to reward us. However, changes I am hoping to see this year are that more should be done to unite the artists, and as well as international streaming of the awards to give us extra exposure” added Liz Ehlers
Big Ben also stood out in 2016 walking away with one of the top awards, that of Male Artist of the Year plus the Best Tradition award.
Speaking to The Villager Metro he said that, “the change I want to see for this year is artists getting paid for performing at the NAMAs.
It does not make sense to me that everyone else is getting paid for doing their jobs ranging from the technical guys, lighting crew, choreographers, camera men, sound; but why are artists not paid to perform?” questioned Big Ben.
Another sparkling diamond at last year’s awards, Chikune, proved that being new on the scene does not limit anyone to low ranging categories and that the sky is the limit by walking away with the Female Artist of the Year award.
“I am hoping to reach for greater heights this year. However, my expectations this year are bigger. I am looking forward to a bigger and better NAMAs” said Chikune.
The Kwaito master, The Dogg, lived up to expectations last year clinched three awards. He made sure to hold on to his title by winning the Best Kwaito award and also scooping the Best House and Song of the Year awards.
In an interview with The Villager Metro The Dogg said it breaks his heart to see artists who are deserving not winning any award, and expressed hope for change this year.
 “This year the judges should be as fair as possible and give awards to deserving artists such as the artists of the year awards, and also the issue of not paying artists for performing at the NAMAs should be sorted out. MTC has a lot of money. We buy airtime every day and data almost every second day. They must pay the artists,” he said.
Ann Singer amused the crowed by walking away with four awards, namely Best Album of the Year, Best New Comer, Best Afro Pop (inclusive of Township Disco, Best RnB)
“My expectations for this year is to see more opportunities given to newcomers at least by allowing them to perform at the NAMAs. We need to see new faces, and through that exposure is given to them.” explained Ann in an interview.
She added that she did not enter for this year’s NAMAs because she didn’t release anything prior to the entry requirement dates.
“I want to take my time and work on a quality album. I won’t rush for the NAMAs,” she said.
According to a press release by the NAMA Organising Committee, “The 7th Namibian Annual Music Awards has received a total of 802 entries this year compared to the 599 entries received for the 2016 event.
It further informed that the NAMA Vetting Committee is set to commence the compliance process for judging phase by 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 entries that comply will go through to the judging phase, where a vigorous judging exercise is to be undertaken by an independent panel of judges.
The Best Collaboration category received the highest number of entries with 120 entries, followed by the Best Single category which raked with 92 entries.
The Song with a Message category received 75 entries, whilst Best Music Video and Best Gospel 68 and 63 entries respectively.
The categories with the least number of entries are Best Afrikaans and Best Entertainment Journalist of the Year with five entries each, followed by Best Damara Punch, Best Oviritje and Best Acapella with seven entries apiece, whilst the Most Socially Responsible Artist has eight entries.
Last year was a busy year and a fight of the titanic, were the best of the bests came to battle for awards such as Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year and many more.
However this year promises to be even better judging by the excitement and expectations out there. The battle continues. Let the fittest survive.