Local Kwaito artist Ees, real name Eric Sell, recently released a video in which he asked the state to redirect funds for Independence Day celebration to a nationwide clean-up campaign, and this has hit a nerve with other local artists.
Although few applauded him for the initiative his fellow musicians said he should have chosen a better day.
Vibe spoke to voices in the industry and this is what they had to say.
Sometimes we really need the publicity but publicity can be hurtful to both our careers and to those around us if we don’t really watch what we say. In fact it causes people to start looking at us differently.
I think it is just a publicity stunt gone wrong, he has been doing a lot of those to stay relevant but it was good and beneficial to the country because he was standing up for the whole nation.
I think it is wrong for some people to take it racially, it’s not a racial thing it is simply a mistake from a person, not from a white person or a black person but just a person.
Ees has been doing great so far, in terms of promoting the country, we don’t see anything wrong with that and there is also nothing wrong with being patriotic.
But I think now he stepped in a field that is not his, not everyone is born to be a politician, especially if you don’t have the depth to be either sympathetic or empathetic with situations.
A person from his background in most situations will only be sympathetic but will never be able to share some sentiments of empathy because he was not there, he did not experience it and it is also not his fault.
Independence was the biggest thing that happened to us because we finally got the chance to find ourselves.
We did not have the right to search for that before.
Now, having all that background and comparing to his background I am sure, he meant well but I think he just opened up a lot of healing wounds.
It could be a mistake, sometimes we say things meaning no harm and with good intentions.
There are a lot of clean up campaigns or charity events we do personally as artists to better the lives of those who are disadvantaged, still in an independent Namibia but it is not publicised. I believe if you’re doing something to be publicised it’s a publicity stunt.
Mother Theresa did not use Facebook or whatsoever to do what she did to get the nobel prize and I am sure she did not advertise anything but people saw that and went to her and started praising what she did.
I think the whole idea about having a clean country and as Namibians taking the responsibility is definitely one that can be commended and try to come up with that initiative but if you do not live in the country and you are not here to support the everyday Namibians then you can’t really say much.
What about we see you do it, this thing of just talking and not really acting is unappealing. It doesn’t show any team-manship if that’s what you want to call it.
Maybe what we should have seen is cleaning Rundu and the community will join him probably. I think he made a bad move trying to make it like a public thing, I mean if you really wanted to do something about it you wouldn’t talk about it and act on it.
Talk is cheap and action speaks louder than words but then the initiative is commented and just like Calle said in that tweet, ‘all Namibians should clean up their own mess’.
There are two ways to look at it but what I personally feel is that, why can there not be a specific day?
I think cleaning is a habit that we all have to teach our kids, yes you can clean today and what about the next day?
It is a good initiative but this is something that can be implemented and kids can be taught at schools already or everyone taking it upon themselves to keep the country clean.
I support the vision yes but, what does he know about the struggles we went through.
That is a special day for the black people, now coming from a white person sounds very wrong already. If it was a black person telling me let’s clean on Independence Day, maybe that would have made sense.
Cleaning should be an everyday thing and a thing based on common sense.
It's two things, it was a good initiative. I agree with Ees but he chose a wrong date, especially being the guy of that colour. Independence is for people celebrating what their fore fathers fought for.
You can’t substitute that with a cleaning campaign. Unfortunately, as much as the idea was good, it landed on a bad day and people will take it as an insult especially coming from a white person. I am not a racist I am simply just saying.
He must choose another date, good initiative but wrong date.