By Jeoffrey Mukubi
THE year 2017 was an eventful one in the local entertainment industry, as some were catapulted into the limelight for the first time, while many established artists managed to boost their careers, and the local scene was set alight by international performers and a plethora of festivals.
Not only did the music industry amaze the nation, by delivering up-and-coming artists like Top Cheri, Don Kamati, Nga-I, KP Illest, Lioness and Jeiyo, the veterans were also able to shine bright, like Sally ‘Boss Madam’, Paradox, Oteya and The Dogg.
The year 2017 even saw the welcome return of Tate Buti, and overall, the performances have put Namibia on the right track to finally being a force to be reckoned with, on the African music scene.
The Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) once again saw the so-called industry heavyweights dominate the event. Gazza and Monique English won the Male and Female Artist of the Year awards, respectively.
Gazza evidently made strides to better his brand, and to better manage the artists under his Gazza Music Production (GMP) label, while Monique English has not really cashed in by performing more often, since her momentous win.
With a total of 812 entries received by the NAMAs, 2018 may just be a year of reckoning for the many established artists that have been holding the music industry hostage, and raking in the big categories.
Musical events in 2017 also had their fair share of ups and downs.
The Windhoek Jazz Festival, for one, did not make any strides to change the status quo of inviting South African artists to headline the event, and the Westcoast DOC, who were in charge of planning and organising the Omarion concert, made a complete flop out of the situation, as only about 300 people attended the event, which was held at the Independence Stadium in October.
It is probably safe to say that Omarion will not be returning anytime soon. On the other hand, many other festivals were a success, such as the Otjifest in Otjiwarongo, the African Music and Arts Festival, the Secret Social and Awesome 2017. The fashion industry made significant strides, in order to show millennial Namibians at their best.
The Windhoek Fashion Week proved to be a surprising success, and the industry also saw a growth, as fashion designers made a name for themselves, including Ndahafa Shaimemanya, the owner of MANYA, as well as former Namibian footballer-turned-fashion-designer, Ennio Hamutenya, who recently released his much-anticipated luxury headwear collection in Europe, under his LORD EMH fashion label.
The hats, although pricey, seems to be making waves in America as well.
The Simply You Magazine Fashion and Lifestyle Awards did wonders for the fashion industry and lit up Windhoek with a night of glitz and glam. The fashion industry, with the help of social media, also paved the way for a major boost for local photographers and models. Many varsity students and fashion enthusiasts have taken the opportunity to shine on social media, and in turn, are rewarded with a plethora of likes, shares, retweets and reposts, as well as the occasional gig at local fashion shows.
Online fashion magazines like Monochrome Magazine have contributed tremendously to uplift the industry, and put it on an international pedestal.
With controversies such as Namibian beauty Dillish Mathews being embroiled in alleged romantic affiliations with Tanzanian bongo flavour golden boy, Diamond Platinumz, as well as more recently Togolese footballer Emmanuel Adebayor; it definitely was not a bleak year at all. Meriam Kaxuxwena fed Hungry Lion to her dog, which tragically died a few weeks’ later, and made strides at Miss Supranational 2017, by winning in the Best Body category.
Courage the Comedian made headlines when he was robbed earlier this year at Ausspanplatz, but that did not deter him from performing and releasing his Nambabwean comedy special on DVD. Blossom had her fair share of controversy towards the end of this year, when she was banned by the NAMAs for a full year for comments the organising executive committee said were tribalist. The Third Will, a local soapie, achieved a milestone, as the first season was featured on Zambezi Magic (DStv channel 160). With growth in the entertainment industry, mostly the result of the involvement of young and vibrant individuals, it is evident that millennials are the driving force behind this creative sector, and that the youth can ultimately be the new gatekeepers to catapult Namibian arts and culture into the world.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015