By Faith Haushona-Kavamba
THE Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) winners can expect to receive pay-outs for their wins in the next couple of weeks, if they have not yet received anything.
This was a message shared by MTC corporate communications officer, John Ekongo, earlier this week.
This comes after some of the winners complained about what they felt was a delay in their pay-outs, which was causing a dent in their plans.
The payments are normally made a month or so after the awards, and although it has been two months, they have not exceeded their maximum time frame for pay-outs of three months.
The NAMAs were held on the April 29/30 this year at the National Theatre of Namibia and Ramatex, where over 20 musicians received recognition for the previous year’s works.
The most notable prize monies were scheduled to be awarded to Song of the Year and Best Album of the Year who won N$50 000 in prize money, and a jaw dropping N$100 000 for the Best Male and Female artists as well as a car each as part of their winnings.
Artist manager and head of Deal Done Recordz (DDR), Djokic Dragan popularly known as Antonio, was among those who lamented about the delay in payments, noting that it was inconveniencing his artists.
One of the biggest winning musicians of the night, Anne Singer, who walked away with four awards, including that of Best Newcomer, is signed under DDR.
“It has been more than two months since the awards and artists are yet to receive their payment. These artists need their winnings so they can re-invest in new albums which will make them eligible for the 2017 NAMAs but when you call MTC they do not seem to know when the payments will be made. November (when NAMAs entry open again) is not very far,” Antonio said.
Joseph Gabriel, the technical manager for the Ndilimani Cultural Group, also said that he could understand how the delay in payment could be an inconvenience for musicians, as they rely on awards and concerts for their livelihoods.
However reigning Best Male Artist of the Year, Big Ben, who also won a car, took it all in his stride, noting that he did not expect payment within the first 30 days of the awards but knew it would come eventually.
“I have faith in Namibian institutions, if they say they are going to do something, they will do it…The wait was long but I knew they would pay because MTC is not some dodgy institution,” Big Ben said.
He added that he was scheduled to collect the car he won the first week after the awards, however he was on tour travelling the country so he only collected it a month later when he came back.
Apologising for the inconvenience, Ekongo said that the delay was a result of waiting for all the sponsors to hand over their sponsorship; and he could confirm that all the money was submitted as of Friday, April 8.
“The NAMAs are about empowering artists. We apologise for the delay and we are working hard to make sure we pay them. It is not an issue of not wanting to honour them,” he said.
He also noted that payments wold be made in the next two weeks as they had already collected the winners’ banking details and that they were planning an award handover ceremony as they normally do, where artists will be given their winnings, including their personalised awards trophies.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015