Huge changes coming for NAMAs

02 Jul 2013 10:20
WINDHOEK, 02 JUL (NAMPA) ? Members of the public will no longer be able to vote in the majority of the Namibian Annual Music Awards? (NAMAs) categories, MTC?s Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs? Officer Tim Ekandjo said here on Tuesday.
He made the announcement during a media conference held at the Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC)?s head office.
?The public vote is not always informed by quality, but by popularity. We, therefore, do not want to disadvantage artists with good quality sounds that might not have the (large) fan base,? he explained.
The public previously had a 30 per cent vote, with the judging panel making up the other 70 per cent. Judges will now hold 100 per cent voting power in most categories, with the exception of publicly-voted categories such as ?Song of the Year?.
?I expect complaints, but we have made this decision in the best interest of the artists,? stressed Ekandjo.
He went on to say that because this reduces the role of the public in the NAMAs, new categories will be introduced to encourage public participation.
These include Most Popular Artist of the Year, Most Socially-Responsible Artist, Most Disciplined Artist and Best Live Act.
The NAMAs will also limit the number of categories artists may enter, come 2014.
?It allows us to manage the entries better, allows traditional artists in certain music genres the ability to still compete, and motivates artists to stay within their genres?, Ekandjo noted.
Single artists will be limited to a maximum of two music genres, excluding the Best Male and Female Artists of the Year categories and Best Group category.
Many decisions have now been taken in the light of several incidents which occurred in the past, such as the withdrawal of artists from the awards, as well as the quality of presenters.
Artists will also not be allowed to withdraw from the awards once they enter, and will need to get consent from producers and record labels prior to entering songs.
?We will have auditions for MCs and category presenters to give everybody an opportunity,? he added.
Ekandjo noted that auditions will commence this year so that the host and presenters are chosen early enough to ensure that they are ready for the occasion.
The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC)?s Head of Corporate Affairs, Umbi Karuaihe-Upi said the national broadcaster will train presenters and masters of ceremonies prior to the event.
MTC and NBC are the main organisers of the NAMAs.
?The candidates will gain training on various entertainment programmes on NBC,? said Karuaihe-Upi.
The NAMAs will also be changing its format for 2014. The awards, which were usually held on a Saturday, will now be held on both Friday and Saturday next year.
?This will make the show less tedious and more entertaining,? said Ekandjo.
The Friday night ceremony will be focused on industry awards such as Producer of the Year, and will be attended by invite only.
?However, we will try to make some tickets available for the public, but the venue may limit the amount,? he stated.
Ekandjo said the Friday night show will not be televised live, but inserts of the show will be shown in the live main show on Saturday, giving audiences a chance to see who won the previous night.