REMARKS BY TIM EKANDJO AT THE 2013 NAMA POST PRESS CONFERENCE IN WINDHOEK

Let me thank the media for responding to this press briefing at such short notice.  As promised before the awards, we will have a post press briefing where we will take stock of the event, reflect about the positives and areas for development and also to get the public’s comments about the event. This is all meant to make the next event better.

The NAMA brand:

Despite being a very young brand, the NAMA brand has become synonymous with characteristics of quality and excellence, and this is a conviction and commitment that we do not want to steer away from. We have made a commitment to superior quality and will therefore continue pursuing this vision in the best interest of the music industry

Areas for Development:

As organizers of the event, we have planned for the 2013 NAMA’s to not only be spectacular but also well planned in terms of execution. This did unfortunately not happen on the night as the event was marred by technical nightmares which were unforeseen amongst other things. I will deal with them one by one:

1.      Guest presenters seemed evidently unprepared and had stage fright when on stage

2.      Technical issues

3.      Quality of the sound

4.      Stage invasions

5.      Choice of winners

Over the last 2 years, the NAMA brand has delivered beyond people’s expectations in all aspects of the awards and the public’s outcry on the points raised are therefore totally justified. We have promised excellence and we need to be held accountable to deliver on these promises. We will therefore not shy away or come up with excuses, or try and justify them in one way or another, but we will do the honourable thing which is to apologize for all the technical glitches experienced on the night. Our viewers and those in attendance deserved better and we have already started addressing these matters without wasting any time. Live broadcasting an event is obviously not an easy task and the last thing you want to avoid is be surprised with unexpected technical problems on the night of the event because it leaves you with no time to recover in time. The crew experienced two power failures which had to be restarted as quickly as they can and these were unfortunate and unforeseen. We will however not be discouraged by our non-delivery this year, but we will dust ourselves off and pull up our socks to normal height and deliver a better event next year.

We have already decided on a number of things to address the issues raised and experienced on the night so that we ensure they are never to be repeated again. The NAMA’s are still young and we will be met with different challenges every year but these experiences can only make us stronger and better prepared, but we accept with no conditions that Saturday evening was not a reflection of what we are renowned and capable of.

Guest Presenters:

We have given our guest presenters their short scripts 3 days in advance so that it allows them enough time to make themselves comfortable, but coming on stage does give some people stage fright and instead of dissing them we should encourage them. All our guest presenters will have to attend more intensive training next year before we allow them on stage even though you can never totally prepare somebody for live audience.

We are also investigating the causes of these technical failures that happened on the night so that we put in place action plans to mitigate against such risk next year.

Category winners:

As expected we have also received a lot of complaints about the winners in the different categories. The Judges had their 70% final say in the matter while the public had 30%. Some artist made an effort to campaign really hard and this obviously helped their course. I however need to explain that we have a system in place that allows only one vote per category per mobile number and we are very strict with that. All the nominees deserve to win  but there can unfortunately only be one winner and the Judges and the public has made their decision and that decision is final and cannot be challenged by  the organizers or by the public. Going forward we need to decide whether we only want the Judges scores to select the final winners or whether we would like to involve the public, either way we cannot make everybody happy because some will always either accuse the Judges or the public for not voting for them based on the quality of their entries. To give you an indication of how powerful the public vote is in deciding the final winners without divulging the actual numbers, the public vote changed the winners based on the Judges scores only in 17 categories.

Highlights:

However on a positive note, we do have reason to celebrate and not just focus on the things that did not go so well. We had some awesome performances from various Namibian artists and it was certainly a pleasure seeing them allow us to celebrate our own music in the manner that we did. Some of these artists have already had talks with South African labels for possible performances in SA, and that came as a result of having the SA media and celebrities present at the event. Media 24, Move magazine and The Sowetan has conducted interviews with most of our artists with the intention of marketing them beyond Namibia.

It is indeed not true that MTC paid the SA celebs and media for attending the event. These rumours are unfortunate and deliberately meant to cause confusion and controversy but we will not be distracted by such.

Performances:

Despite the happenstances, the flukes and oddities on the night, we must truly and sincerely from the deepest parts of our heart s – usher appreciations, good commendable thank you’ s and gratitude’s to our performers on the night. They amazingly reminded us what a talent and resolute people we are that even in the midst of calamity and uncertainty we pull together as one brave nation to make something good out of a bad omen. We, press ahead in unison and  thanks to you, you made best of the situation at hand, had it not been for your awe inspiring performance –who knows,  in short to all those that performed on the night thank you for coming through for us, in the end Namibian music was the winner.

Finally we would like to thank all our sponsors, the Steering Committee, Judges, the public and the media for their role played in the 2013 NAMA’s. The NAMA organizing committee are very ambitious and we are confident that we can only do better next year, we shall dust ourselves off and forge ahead to bring you the best at all times and without fail.