The Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) nominee announcement last week proved to be quite surprising as has become the norm, with some significant absences but also a considerable amount of newcomers bagging nominations for the upcoming awards show.
One of the most notable newcomers to the awards is Romi, the only female rapper battling it out for the best hip-hop award. Other newcomers who've secured their first nods include 'Warakata' hitmakers One Blood, Athawise, Leather Mein, Cool Under Pressure, Salvador and Suzy Eises.
With the highest amount of nominations, Sally Boss Madam and Eises bagged six nods each. Speaking to The Namibian about her nominations, Eises was ecstatic about the possibility of walking away with awards at the NAMAs, but more so for what the prize money would do for her music business.
"It feels so good to get so many nominations and to be honest, I'm very excited but also nervous. I feel like I've worked very hard to get here. The NAMAs are a great platform and since I'm someone who doesn't usually get sponsors, I'm hoping to bag something to support my business," she said hopefully.
An interesting addition to this year's awards is the return of popular musical trio, PDK. The group has in previous years not taken part in the awards show and is this time around nominated for best duo/group, best Afro pop (inclusive of township disco) and best soukous/kwasa.
With a record number of 978 entries received for this year's awards, 115 nominees were announced at the event which took place at the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN). The event was attended by the crème de la crème of Namibian music - from singers to producers, videographers and promoters.
Setting the tone for what could be expected at the main awards show due to take place at Swakopmund later this month, performances from Top Cheri and Rax Kandjoze kept the event upbeat as emotions ran high in anticipation of the announcements.
Bracing for the controversy and debate that usually follows any nominee announcement and consequent awards ceremony, MTC's Tim Ekandjo reminded nominees that any amount of nominations they received was no indication of how many awards they were going to receive on the main night. "The fact that you've been nominated once, twice or thrice does not mean that you'll be a winner on the night... Your number of nominations does not suggest winning," he stressed.
The NAMAs will once again take place at the Dome at Swakopmund on 28 April. This year's show has been cut back to a one-day event with all awards to be handed out in one night