MTC Namibia has ended its sponsorship agreement with the Namibia Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) from 2021 onwards.
The announcement was made by MTC chief human capital and corporate affairs officer Tim Ekandjo at the launch of the 2020 NAMAs call for entries in Windhoek on Monday.
“We wish to assure the music industry that this was not an easy decision to take," Ekandjo, who doubles up as NAMAs chairperson, said.
"But after 10 years of making a concrete contribution, we feel it is time to move on and give somebody else the opportunity to take this project to the next level.
"The NAMAs are scheduled to celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2020 and has over the last nine years grown to become the best national music awards ceremony on the African continent. The fact that we are ending this project does not necessarily mean that we have lost interest in the music industry.”
He added: "We remain proud of the brand we have built, a credible and entertaining brand second to none on the African continent and one that would be easy to maintain in terms of its momentum. We would like to thank the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation [NBC], all our partners, Rockstar Namibia and everybody that supported us for the last nine years."
NAMAs executive Umbi Karuaihe-Upi said: "MTC has always invested in the music industry and next year it will come to an end. Sometimes when something ends, we feel it is the end but it’s an opportunity for new doors to open.”
Music In Africa spoke to local artists who expressed their displeasure about the development.
“It’s sad to hear about the end of MTC partnership with the NAMAs,” Elemotho said, adding that he hopes Namibian artists will continue to work hard irrespective of accolades.
R&B singer Ann Singer weighed in: “I was shocked like everyone else. MTC has been a big and significant part of the NAMAs but I hope that pulling out was for very good reasons. We just hoped that the company that will take over will be incredible and take the future of the Namibian awards to greater heights.”
The Dogg said: “I am not really into awards but those into them will be disappointed.” – Music in Africa.