Southern Times Writer
The 081everyone music festival, arguably Namibia’s biggest and most attended music jamboree in a while lived up to its billing last weekend, thanks to scintillating performances by Nigeria’s Davido and Runtown, Zimbabwe’s Jah Prayzah and local stars Sally, PDK and Gazza.
Organisers of the event, Namibia’s Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC), pulled all stops to give Namibia a touch of class that showcased the crème de la crème of the continent’s music heavy weights.
It (081eryone fest) will go down memory lane as the show that created a new romance between fans and musicians on the continent and what better place to host it than the heart of Katutura giving all Namibians an opportunity to attend.
The festival a good blend between backtracking artist, dickey jockeys and those that play live instruments also created a hive of festivities for many Namibians.
Perhaps what many can remember this festival for is that it managed to cut across the social divide and was attended by the who-is-who of Namibian business, arts, politics as well as students and youths in general.
Offering a bit of everything for everyone and driven by a worthy cause of raising funds for the Shack Dwellers Association to construct affordable accommodation, the MTC-organised music festival was attended by 19,800 revellers. The show saw performances by South African turntable wizard, Heavy K, the energetic Busiswa, Zimbabwe’s Jah Prayzah and his military touché ensemble and, of course, Namibia’s Kwaito King Gazza steal many hearts.
One would not see the difference between the stage prowess of Busiswa and Namibia’s queen of Afro-pop Sally, whose performances proved beyond doubt that local musicians are now a force to reckon with and are good enough to shrug off the underdog tags from international acts.
Some of the artists who spoke to The Southern Times expressed their happiness to be given an opportunity to rub shoulders with some of Africa’s top acts.
“We were pretty happy performing at this gig. This is how international festivals are done and this will go a long way in creating a network for Namibian artists,” said PDK’s Patrick.
While critics always have their chance to say the shortcomings anyone cannot be oblivious of the fact that the music festival actually showed that there is not much in separating local acts from their regional counterparts.
In as much as the likes of Jah Prayzah, Davido, and Runtown swayed their legion of fans, Namibia’s Gazza also showed that he belongs to the A-list of African artists matching his competitors’ song for song.
Gazza sealed the contest when he briefly joined Davido on the stage much to the excitement of revellers.
Not to be outdone on a perfect evening that created memories for both fans and performers were Namibia’s PDK, Kalux and ‘Warakata’ hit makers, One Blood who kept the crowd on their feet in the early hours of the morning.
Other than the usual Davido stretching his antics and jumping into the crowd just before finishing his performance, the event also attended by President Hage Geingob and Vice President Nangolo Mbumba will certainly go down as a moment when Namibian artist came off age.
MTC noted that the core essence of the 081Every1Fest concert was to engage and thank the mobile operator’s customers, and this they do after every two to three years. So far they have held two other big events – the Trey Songz show and the Masters of Success event. This time they held a music show at the 10,000 plus Sam Nujoma Stadium in the heart of Katutura, which was admittedly one of the biggest shows ever held in the capital.
The mobile telecommunications has been supporting Standard Bank’s Namibia’s Buy-a-Brick initiative in support of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia. This year in March, MTC injected N$700,000 into that initiative aimed at alleviating and reducing the burden of homelessness in Namibia. It will also use the proceeds from last weekend’s concert to boost the housing federation’s coffers.
“Nothing gave us greater joy, then seeing the Sam Nujoma Stadium (an iconic building named after a revered Namibian who fought for the prosperity of all Namibia) filled to the brim with mostly young Namibians – who through the expressive form of art, came to support a cause which is worthy, noble and empowering to the less fortunate.
“Owning your own home is a liberating feeling and our gratitude to all Namibians who came to the show, we are truly humbled, putting this show together was no easy task but we knew that the cause if far greater than anything else,” said Tim Ekandjo, MTC’s Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs.