Rina rises, brews storm . . . new artistsÔÇÖ body questioned

anew entity called the Recording Industry of Namibia (Rina) was launched in Windhoek last week to improve the working conditions of artists in the country.
Rina claims to have a membership of the recording industry, recording labels, mechanical rights holders, artists, Nascam, DJs, producers’ guild, artists’ managers’ forum and artists’ union.
The meeting held at MoJoe’s Café at Game Centre was addressed by Zox Labuschagne and Suleiman Kyababa on behalf of Rina, Robert Shipanga for the mechanical rights holders, Herbert Wantenaar for the DJs Association, John Max for Nascam and Big Ben for music producers’ guild.
In a telephone interview last Friday, Zox said they now have 15 record companies as their members.
“Of the 15, seven are top labels among them Ogopa Butterfly, Blend Productions; Mshasho Records; Supreme, Yaziza, Deal Done Records and Bling Entertainment,” he said.
Although Zox could not give a round figure of artists, he said each of the record labels has a maximum of five artists and a minimum of three.
Zox was, however, quick to point out that no Namibian artist is bound by law to be a member of the organisation.
He further said Rina was built along the lines of the Recording Industry of South Africa (Risa) which also runs the South African Music Awards (Samas).
Rina’s ultimate aim among many others, Zox explained, is to run the Namibian music awards just like Risa does with the Samas.
“We have already spoken to Tim (Ekandjo) about it (taking over the awards). Although he has not confirmed it, we expect to meet him Monday (today) to discuss it,” Zox said.
He also said the organisation has had a formal endorsement from the Ministry of Youth National Service Sport & Culture.
Owner of Done Deal Records, Antonio, however, said he only discussed the idea with Zox and told them that he would support it if there was any seriousness into it.
“I don’t want to be involved in something that will not be there two months later. I only discussed the idea but did not sign anything,” he said Friday afternoon.
MTC corporate communications practitioner, John Ekongo told Villager Vibe that he had not heard of Rina until we called him to ask about the awards.
“I do not know anything about them. That’s all I can say for now,” he said before requesting to be emailed the document.
Ekandjo, however, confirmed that Rina called him about two weeks ago requesting to meet him to introduce themselves.
“I accepted to meet them on the basis that they wanted to introduce themselves and discuss how they were working on uniting the industry. But the meeting did not take place then. And they did not come to me after that. If they say I am meeting them on Monday then I am not aware of that,” Ekandjo said late Friday afternoon.
He also said the meeting was never meant to discuss the music awards.
John Walenga of Omalaeti Productions was so blunt about Rina describing some of the members as just ‘artists who do not even own a microphone’.
“I do not know about them. I was not invited. In any case, how can I sit around a table talking to people who do not even own a microphone? What music business can we discuss,” he asked bluntly.
When put it to him that Rina’s other plan is drive juke box operators out of business, Walenga said Omalaeti has a good working relationship with most juke box owners.
“Omalaeti would like to have a closer working relationship with juke box owners. As for running the awards, if they are putting in money then the whole nation should celebrate,” he said.  
Walenga said what is being tried today he tried to do five years ago but did not work, “What makes them think it will work now?”