Local musicians to pay respects to late president in concert

Namibian musicians will honour president Hage Geingob with a star-studded tribute on Wednesday at the Katutura Independence Arena.

The show will feature some of Namibia’s most beloved musicians, including Big Ben, Gazza, King Tee Dee, TopCheri, Ras Sheehama, Ugly Creatures, Yeezir, Jossy Joss and Jericho, among others.

This was announced by information and communication technology minister Emma Theofelus on Tuesday.

She highlighted president Geingob’s love for local music and his known presence at music awards.

While it remains unclear if the artists will be paid for their performances, Namibian Society of Composers of Music (Nascam) chief executive Albert Nicanor expressed support for the artists’ willingness to perform for free.

He said while they usually advocate for the remuneration of artists, the organisation understands the importance of honouring president Geingob.

“We are keen for our members’ work to be remunerated always, however, we are also conscious that they felt obligated to perform without payment during a time of loss. Their performance should be limited to their own copyright work. In terms of the act we are obligated to licence the event and we will provide a general licence for this event in solidarity with our late president. Hence, Nascam does not require any payment,” Nicanor said.

This comes after the information ministry put out a call for artists to perform pro bono at tribute events for president Geingob that have been taking place across the country over the last two weeks.

“This concert will allow Namibian musicians to celebrate the life of the ‘people’s president’ as many have fondly remembered him over the past few weeks,” Theofelus said.

Some musicians, who opted to remain anonymous, told unWrap.online that they are disappointed in the government for being able to pay other service providers to host events but not artists to perform.

“Imagine a band of seven people being asked to perform for free. Artists already do not get compensated fairly, it is not fair. We want to speak out but cannot due to being scared of being discriminated against. We will pay respect to the late president regardless.”

Meanwhile, some musicians, including Promise, have shared the poster for the concert on social media.

“See you at the Independence Arena. Let’s celebrate our legendary father together,” she said.

The event is slated to begin at 16h00. Tickets are available for free at Webtickets at any Pick n Pay stores.

Information ministry spokesperson Shoki Kandjimi did not revert to The Namibian before publication regarding payment for artists.

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