Confusion surrounds NAMA 2017 host town

The Namibia Annual Music Awards (NAMA) will not be hosted by Swakopmund despite the municipality setting aside N$200,000 for the accommodation of this year’s performing artists, crew members, nominees and the media.
This was confirmed by MTC Corporate Communications Practitioner, John Ekongo, who told the Windhoek Observer that the 28 and 28 April event “will not be hosted in Swakopmund this year”.
“We had approached the municipality, but it would have been too costly for the rental of The Dome (indoor sports complex), so we have already made provisions to take it (the awards show) elsewhere,” Ekongo said.
The Swakopmund Municipality confirmed last week during its first council meeting for 2017 that it will sponsor an amount of N$200,000 towards accommodation arrangements for the NAMA participants.
This had created the impression that the town, which played host to the glittering awards show in 2014 and 2015, will once again be the host this year.
Corporate and Finance Manager at The Dome, CB Van Zyl, told the Windhoek Observer that they had not received a response to the quote they sent to the NAMA organisers last year.
During last week’s council meeting, a letter emerged, dated 7 December 2016, in which MTC executive, Tim Ekandjo, had asked the municipality to sponsor the accommodation for around 382 people, including a 42 DB Audio member crew expected in the town from 16 April.
In their response to Ekandjo, the Swakopmund Municipality welcomed the opportunity to once again host the event and confirmed that they had block-booked the Municipal Rest Camp for the requested period.
Mention was also made about VIP tickets being issued to councillors and management staff to attend the awards.
But Ekongo claimed this week that the organisers had considered Swakopmund, but had made a decision to take the NAMA show to another town, providing that all the hosting criteria are met.
He said that since the awards were held in Swakopmund twice before, the organisers felt it was necessary to take the show to other regions.
“A decision and announcement will be made shortly about which town has been chosen,” said Ekongo, adding that the hosting criteria included that a town should provide a large enough venue, as well as ample accommodation and facilities for the stars, crew and influx of guests.
This year’s NAMA have received a total of 802 entries, up from the 599 entries received last year.
The Best Collaboration category received the highest number of entries, with 120, followed by the Best Single category, which raked in 92 entries.
The Best Song with a Message category received 75 entries, while Best Music Video received 68 entries and Best Gospel, 63 entries.
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 each, while Most Socially Responsible Artist received eight entries.