By Jeoffrey Mukubi
UPCOMING artists are artists who are in the early stages of their career or those who have caught the eye of art critics and the general public but have not yet established solid reputations as fully fledging artists. It is for this reason that Lazarus Ashipala, popularly known as Don Kamati, founded the Project Free Namibian Music (PFNM) awards to create a platform for the upcoming musicians to perform and compete against fellow artists who are on the same par. PFNM was founded by Kamati together with the directors of Optimistic Media Group, Leonard Tshikesho and Boni Paulus as part of the company‘s corporate social responsibility. Ashipala said the purpose of the awards is to connect and create unity amongst artists especially the upcoming musicians and provide them with media coverage because they have talent and deserve to be heard. The PFNM awards have five categories namely; Best Hip Hop, Best Shambo, Best Reggae, Best Afro Fusion and Best Hikwa. Artists that have been nominated are Afro-pop duo Ethnix, Rappers Djay, Bobby WVDK, John Gregorious, J-Black, Hilifa 94 and Boet Mashab. Other artists are Neslow, Slow P, Amazonkies, Sunny Boy, Fire and Shitana. These individuals were chosen because of the work they did with Optimistic Media Group and the Project Free Namibian Music initiative. The public can cast its votes through the PFNM Facebook page. “This event is a first of its kind in Namibia and will only grow bigger as we intend to invite stakeholders for next year. Our upcoming artists’ programs support these artists because they show significant potential, yet they are under-recognised or under-rated,” Ashipala said. The awards are scheduled to be held at 144 Lounge (Old Oluzizi Bar) in Single Quarters, Katutura on 28 September 2018. Tickets are N$40 at the door.
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