11th April 2018 – NAMA Executive Chairperson Umbi Karuaihe-Upi says that the NAMA Executive has taken note of various artists who expressed their dissatisfaction with regards to the double nomination of an artist into the Best Music Video category of a song previously released and entered into the NAMAs, as well as the nomination of a song into the category of Song of the Year also previously entered into the NAMAs. I can confirm that as an Executive Team we have met and discussed this thoroughly with the Vetting Committee, and therefore pronouncing ourselves on the matter.
Firstly, we would like to thank the artist concerned, because the strength of our very existence at the NAMAs has always been on the strength of our values, that of transparency, consistency and accountability.
Firstly, let me tackle the issue on the Best Music Video category. The NAMA rules generally state that all albums entered into the NAMAs 2018 should have been released between 1st December 2016 and 31st November 2017. The Vetting Committee would have disqualified all albums not released during this period.
However, as it pertains to the Best Music Video category, the rules do not specify or prohibit that a music video must be released at the same time as the song was released. In fact, the rules clearly state that Best Music Video is one of the categories excluded from this general rule. In this particular case, the artist in question released the two music videos within the qualifying period with one video having been released on the 28th July 2017 and the other on the 4th August 2018, which is well within the qualifying release period of 1st December 2017 to 31st November 2018, and that is why the music video was properly vetted and qualified by the Vetting Committee.
It is important to note that the Vetting Committee has never in the past 8 years of the NAMAs existence disqualified a music video that was released within the qualifying period simply because that music video is of a song or album previously entered into the NAMAs. We have maintained this consistency within our own rules because we are aware that most artist would not release a music video at the same time when they release the song for various reasons. The Vetting Committee was therefore spot on in applying the rules to the core and I wish to commend them for that.
Having said that, we have never allowed any artist to enter two entries into one category, therefore it was not correct to qualify two entries into the same category. In this case, the artist concerned must select one entry between the two nominated entries and the next music video that was in line will take that spot. The Vetting Committee made contact with the artist concerned after our meeting and the artist chose to keep the music video titled “Up Up Away” in the nominated category. This now means that Sally Boss Madam with the video titled “What you Say” will now take the next available spot as a nominee.
As for the Song of the Year. Let me firstly state that the Song of the Year nominees are strictly decided by the various Radio Stations purely based on the most played songs during the period 1st December 2016 to 31st November 2017. Once these nominees are decided upon, they are not given to the Vetting Committee for vetting because it is based on most played song status by the Radio Stations, and that is vetting in itself. The rules do not prohibit a previously entered NAMA song from being nominated by the Radio stations as the most played song, what we ask the Radio station is to strictly give us the Most Played Songs during that period and that becomes the qualifying criteria, not the release date of the song because the song will not be entered into music genre categories.
If an old song is therefore powerful enough to still become most played on radio stations than there is nothing we can do, because the rules allow for it. We must however admit that this is the first time it has ever happened in the NAMAs but well within the rules.
As for artist who simply complain that they were not nominated, we are in no position to entertain their complaints as when you made a decision to enter the awards, you accepted that your entries will be judged by an independent panel of local and international judges whose decisions and expert opinions you will respect even if you don’t agree with them. It is important to note that artist must at all times act responsibly when commenting about the NAMAs. We have noted with concern that artists would attack the integrity of the NAMAs on social media only when they are not nominated. We will not tolerate unwarranted attacks or any comment that is derogatory especially without any basis and would therefore kindly like to caution artists to refrain from doing so. We will start directly engaging artists who make an effort to insult the NAMAs and take decisive action, for in our view there is a difference between criticism and insulting.
The 2018 NAMAs will take place on 28 April 2018 at the Swakopmund Dome and promises to be another world class spectacular and a celebration of Namibian music.