Namibia gears up for annual music awards

Popular South African act Uhuru and local superstar Gazza will be headlining the upcoming Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) in May.

Gazza will headline this years NAMAs.
Gazza will headline this years NAMAs.

Uhuru, signed to Kalawa Jazmee, are currently dominating the South African music scene with their massive hit ‘Y tjukutja’. The group includes Maphorisa (Themba Sekowe), Mapiano (Nqobile Mahlanu), DJ Clap (Sihle Dlalisisa) and Xeli (Xelimpilo Simelane). They have been generating hits for big names such as DJ Zinhle, Dr Malinga, L’vovo and Professor. Says the band: “We always produce, search for different styles of making music and trying to stay on top of our game. We live and eat music but we are not where we want to be yet, we are not musically free. We are still under construction. We want to reach an audience beyond Africa with a live performance.”

Gazza, meanwhile, has worked his way up to become a firm favourite with young and old alike. He has released 10 albums to date, which have made him one of the best-selling artists of all time in Namibia. Gazza is a role model with a special interest in promoting education and serves as the Goodwill Ambassador of Education sanctioned by the Ministry of Education, as well as an ambassador for Team Namibia and the Back To School campaign.

The NAMAs takes place on the 1 and 2 May 2015 at the Swakopmund Sports Indoor Centre. Tickets have gone on sale at Computicket, with VIP tickets selling for N$500 and general tickets only N$250. There is a N$50 early bird discount for fans buying tickets before 31 March.

The Executive Committee of the NAMAs recently announced that all 38 categories have secured sponsorships. A generous amount of N$3.4 million (US$280 000) was bequeathed to the NAMA by 17 diverse set of corporate players. Of this amount, N$2,5 million is set aside as part of the artist prize winnings. The Best Female, Best Male and Album of the Year will each receive N$100 000 (over US$8000), while all other categories have been pegged at N$30 000 each. Winners of each category will also receive a brand new Huawei P6 Smartphone.

The event’s main sponsors, MTC, have contributed a further N$5.3 million towards the organisation, planning and hosting of the event, pushing the total amount of sponsorship for the NAMAs to around N$8.7 million (US$715000). According to Tim Ekandjo, Executive Chairman of the NAMAs, this means each and every category is guaranteed its prize thanks to the generous and grateful support of the various corporates who believed in the empowerment and promotion of local arts and music.

The nominees will be revealed on 27 March 2015.

Following the astounding performances and world-class production of NAMA 2014, the 2015 edition is gearing up to take Namibia and its music industry to stellar new heights in Swakopmund, at the world-class Swakopmund Indoor Sports Centre. The Industry Awards will take place on 1 May and attendance is strictly by invitation. On 2 May, it will be the Main Awards ceremony open to everybody and a valid NAMA ticket will give you access to the biggest night in music.

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