Namibian artists upbeat about Kora awards

Local artists are feeling bullish about their chances in the upcoming Kora awards, which will be hosted in Namibia for the first time on 20 March.

A total of 12 Namibians have been nominated in eight categories, including Best Album, Best Female Southern Africa and Best Male Southern Africa.

While Namibia is one the smallest nations in terms of population, local musicians believe they have a strong chance of walking away with several wins. Gospel singer D-Naff said “Namibians have a lot of chances. When I look at the nominees, there is no one that we should fear.

It’s not like the days of Koffie Olomide, where there was a clear favourite. Africa needs to be scared of us instead. I think Namibians are going to walk away with something. This is how dreams begin, and we are going to start here”.

On whether Namibia’s population may affect their chances of winning against some of the bigger countries, D-Naff said he was not worried as Namibians also have fans across Africa.

Ghana’s MzVee will be going up against Sally for Best Urban, while VM Six are coming up against Simply Chrysolite of South Africa in the Best Group- Spiritual Music category.

“The way the voting system works will not really disadvantage Namibians because one vote from Namibia will count as one point, but a vote from outside Namibia will count as 150 points, which means that all the Namibian fans around Africa will come into play.

If the nominated artists go on campaigns and Skype their fans to vote for them, we can achieve something. I have been hearing from my fans in Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, and they are telling me they are voting for me,” he enthused.

D-Naff also appealed to the other awards’ ceremonies in the country to not see the Kora awards as a threat as they could potentially help improve the local music industry as local musicians mingle with the African talent which jets in for the show.

A member of the A Capella band VMSix, Mark Chizyuka said Namibians had a good chance of winning.

“It doesn’t matter if our population is small. Look at Gazza when he won it for Best Kwaito in South Africa and against other South African artists.

If he can do it, then it shouldn’t be a problem for us now. If we get 200 000 people voting two or three times, we have a strong chance. We also need to think creatively and have a press conference with all the nominated artists to create awareness.

We could also have a show together to help push the votes”, he advised.

Fellow band member Vasco Mario agreed with these sentiments.

“Local artists will just have to work harder to campaign. We need bigger numbers. We need to have a bigger presence on social media and other platforms.

For us personally, it is exciting just to be nominated. We tried to enter before, but did not make the nomination list. It will be an opportunity to connect to other artists in Africa,” he stated.

Meanwhile, traditional and jazz singer Erna Chimu was less than enthused.

Namibia’s voting code was still experiencing problems by the time of going to print, giving the message ‘’destination is barred’’.

“People cannot go through with the votes, so this might affect us. We worked very hard and we’re looking for the win, so this is discouraging the artists. Other countries who have millions have already started voting last week, and we with our small population are still behind,” she lamented.

Chimu goes up against Dobet Gnahoré of Côte d’Ivoire.