WITH the thriving Namibian music industry receiving extensive airplay across the continent and local musicians dominating this year’s Channel O Video Awards (VA), artists Lady May, Gal Level and The Dogg believe Namibia deserves to host the next Awards ceremony.
Nigeria won the prestigious honour of hosting the Kora Awards for the first time outside of South Africa, while Kenya has launched a campaign to host the 2009 Channel O Music Awards.
Local artists and their record label managers have called on music industry stakeholders to drum up support for local musicians and campaign for Namibia to host next year’s Channel O awards ahead of Kenya.
They believe that in hosting the event, Namibia will boost its influence in the continental music competition, which has been hosted in South Africa since its inception.
It also stands to boost the Namibian economy through socio-cultural exchange and tourism. “Yes, Namibia deserves to host the event, it’s the only chance to prove that local musicians are not only some of the best in Africa, but the country is capable of hosting an event of such gigantic magnitude,” the artists said.
The award winning artists say that because Gazza has broken the Kwaito ceiling and become the first non-South African to win ‘Best Kwaito’ artist at the Channel O Music Awards – a genre traditionally reserved for South African artists - with fellow Namibian, The Dogg, succeeding him to the throne, the country has a greater opportunity to snatch the event than ever.
“If you watch Channel O, you will find that a lot of Namibian music is given airplay and the Namibian audiences also participate immensely. Apart from Nigeria, fans from Namibia have been participating with SMS on ‘Oboma’ live show.
“Namibia boasts of having one of the finest infrastructures in Africa. Yes, it’s very possible. If South Africa are able to host World Cup 2010 – a world class event of that magnitude - then why not Namibia hosting Africa Channel O VA? Yes we can,” they said.
They say that given that Nigeria will host this year’s Kora Awards, Kenya stands a good chance of hosting next year’s Channel O Awards in the interest of regional balance. East African music suffered a major blow this year when Tanzania became the only country in the region to walk away with a ‘Best East Africa Award’.
The local artists have urged all Namibian Channel O winners, both past and present, along with other influential personalities in the entertainment industry, to drum up support for Namibia in its bid to host next year’s Awards.
Despite being a young nation, Namibia managed to beat out all other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries at this year’s Channel O Video Awards - including hosts South Africa - to become the second most successful country overall, just behind Nigeria.