18 February 2014
Let me thank the media for taking the time to attend this latest Namibia Annual Music Awards (NAMA) press conference. Two weeks ago, I promised that we would continue to keep you, as important stakeholders of the NAMA project, updated as to all the any new developments.
As of 6 February 2014, the judging process is fully underway and is expected to continue until the end of February. A second phase of voting will then begin once the nominees are announced. This year features an extremely high calibre of both local and international judges such as Head of Music and Talent of Africa’s number one music television channel Trace TV, Phillip Nwanko, and Lee Kasumba, who will be selecting the top six nominees per category. We are excited and looking forward to 31 March 2014, when the nominees will be revealed live during the Watagwan programme from 16h00 to 17h00. The NAMAs will also be showcasing five brilliant performances to keep TV audiences entertained throughout the one-hour live broadcast. The live format will allow us to maintain the surprise element for the artists who will be finding out whether they have been nominated at exactly the same time as the audience at home.
NAMA FINAL DATE:
The official dates of the Namibian Annual Music Awards have now been confirmed for Friday 2 May 2014 with the main event taking place of Saturday 3 May 2014. This coincides with the long weekend, a befitting time to celebrate music through the lens of Namibia’s rich history.
We want to ensure that we give the public sufficient time to budget and buy their tickets therefore ticket sales will start much earlier than previous years. Ticket sales will therefore go live on 25 February 2014. Tickets are for sale at Computicket Shoprite/Checkers outlets Nationwide in Namibia. A total number of 1 568 VIP tickets will be printed, of which 800 will be reserved as complimentary tickets for nominees, sponsors, media and invited guests. This means only a limited number of 768 VIP tickets will be available for sale. A total number of 1 968 standard tickets will be for sale. VIP tickets will sell for only N$ 500 while standard tickets sell for only N$ 250. We will run an early bird special between the 25 February and 31 March - anybody buying their tickets between these dates will only pay N$ 450 for a VIP ticket and N$ 200 for a standard ticket.
Our VIP guests will be treated to a premier seat, free drinks from Castle Lager, Jameson and Coca-Cola; as well as a free entrance to the after-party. In addition to the 1 568 VIP and 1 968 standard tickets, we have reserved an additional 400 standing tickets along the stage area. These 400 tickets will not be for sale but rather will give people who would otherwise not have the opportunity to attend the NAMAs due to various circumstances, and they include High school and University students. We strongly encourage the public to buy their tickets in advance as there are strictly no ticket sales at the venue, under any circumstances.
We have always maintained that the NAMA’s is a national event and it must therefore reflect a national identity. This is why we took a strategic decision to invite as many corporates to participate as category sponsors. This year we have managed to acquire the largest number of sponsors since the inception of the event three years ago, clear testimony that despite the criticism we receive every year, corporate Namibia perceives the NAMAs as a reliable, transparent and ethical brand that doesn’t compromise its image or that of its sponsors.
We therefore thank the following corporates for their willingness to invest in the Namibian music industry, our artists can but prosper with our support. I would like single out Xwama, the only SME amongst a list of 16 sponsors, for being highly commendable by bravely and passionately coming out to support in the manner and magnitude that they did. With that said, we are delighted to confirm the following sponsors.
¥ Huawei Technologies (N$ 200 000 cash and 37 Huawei P6 Smartphones for all winners to the value of N$ 200 000)
¥ Air Namibia (air tickets to the value of N$ 150 000)
¥ Castle Lager (N$ 100 000 cash; and Castle Lager drinks to the value of N$60 000)
¥ National Arts Council of Namibia (N$ 100 000 cash)
¥ John & Penny Group of Companies (N$ 75 000 cash)
¥ Methealth Administrators (N$ 40 000 cash)
¥ Jameson (N$ 40 000 cash)
¥ Namibia Film Commission (N$ 25 000 cash)
¥ Old Mutual (N$ 20 000 cash)
¥ Radio 99FM (N$ 20 000 cash)
¥ Erastus Shapumba Foundation (N$ 20 000 cash)
¥ Financial Investment Services (N$ 40 000)
¥ FNB (N$ 20,000)
¥ Social Security Commission (N$ 20 000)
¥ Xwama (N$ 40 000) – especially commendable because it is the only SME
¥ Only three categories to the tune of N$ 60 000 not sponsored yet
VENUE FOR NAMAS 2014:
We have a tendency to throw a few surprises every year and that is how we grow the currency of this brand. For the very first time in the history of the NAMAs, the event will be taking place in a city other than Windhoek! The decision was to relocate the NAMA's to one of Namibia's many other amazing hotspots and following an extensive procurement exercise and bid by His Worship the Mayor of Swakopmund including key stakeholders in the beautiful town of Swakopmund, namely The Indoor Sports Centre, the NAMA Executive Committee have made the decision to host the NAMAs in Swakopmund this year. This is reflective of some of the core objectives of the NAMA platform - as Namibia's biggest night in music and the only major and all-inclusive marketing platform for the best of Namibian music and for communities from all corners of our beautiful country; and as such creating opportunities for this momentous annual event to also be hosted in other corners of the country.
This year, we also made a decision to celebrate the NAMAs over a full weekend and that is why we are hosting two awards ceremonies during one weekend. People wait in anticipation for the NAMAs for 12 months, and when it eventually comes it is our responsibility to give them nothing but total entertainment, and what a way to compliment that with a full weekend away for a breath of fresh air in one of Namibia’s favourite holiday destinations, Swakopmund.
We are also thrilled with Swakopmund as an amazing weekend destination, and alongside the new structure of the NAMAs from this year being hosted as two award events on both the Friday and Saturday, thus creating an amazing opportunity for Namibians from all corners to come together in Swakopmund for a great weekend at the coast and also be surrounded by all of Namibia's greatest artists and musicians; and experience an unprecedented music filled destination weekend. What could be more perfect than this weekend also being a long weekend so families and friends can come out and have an amazing time, and at the same time experience the NAMA's like never before in one of Namibia's newest and most exciting world class venues.
The 2014 NAMAs will therefore take place at the newly-built Swakopmund Indoor Sports Centre on 3 May, while the venue for the Friday night awards is yet to be confirmed. The Swakopmund Indoor Sports Centre is a massive 6200 sg meter multi-functional facility with ample parking space and it presents the NAMAs with a perfect opportunity to stage a spectacular show. Because the venue is new, it is safe and reliable in so many aspects including from electricity failures. Our decision to take the NAMAs outside of Windhoek also gives other towns the opportunity to boost their local economies considering the economic boost the town will receive with everybody flocking in over that weekend. I would therefore like to thank the management of the Swakopmund Indoor Sports Centre for having contributed immensely to making the venue available and for taking their social responsibility seriously. Pictures of the venue can be viewed on their website www.swakopindoorsport.com
We will provide free transport to all the nominees from Windhoek to Swakopmund to attend the NAMAs. All nominees will therefore be bussed in luxury coaches to Swakopmund on 1 May 2014. We will also provide free accommodation to all the nominees at the Swakopmund Bungalows which will be turned into a NAMA village for that weekend. Members of the media who wish to stay there will also be provided with free accommodation. We would like to thank the Swakopmund Municipality through the Office of the Mayor for having made this possible.
We are looking at more ways to make it as easy for people to travel to and from Swakopmund because we know this is relatively a new experience for all of us. The organizing committee is therefore hard at work to acquire 3-4 sponsored busses that will transport people to and from Swakopmund at no charge provided they have a valid NAMA ticket. We are also in the process of negotiating to the hospitality industry in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay for special discounts to be offered to travelling guests provided they have a valid NAMA ticket.
We would like to encourage everybody in the Erongo region to come out in their numbers to attend the NAMAs because this is their opportunity to attend the live event and experience the thrill. We know we can rely on their support to be there and fill the venue to capacity, and we encourage those from elsewhere to travel and experience the weekend away extravaganza. Corporates can use this opportunity to treat their staff and use this as a teambuilding exercise, while families can use this as a weekend away.
In conclusion, we encourage you all to pay your TV licenses so that the NBC can show important events like the NAMA’s live and direct.