Tim Ekandjo, Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs Officer at MTC said that they have moved the timeline one month earlier to give themselves enough time to prepare for the actual event. The cut-off dates for qualifying albums remain as is. All commercially released albums from 01 December 2014 to 31 November 2015, qualify for NAMA 2016.
He further explained that the categories of Best Rock/Alternative, and Best Instrumental (inclusive of Jazz) have been dropped from the 2016 list because of low number of entries received in these categories over the past years. Further, he said they have also decided to drop the category Most Popular Artist of the Year, as the element of popularity is already represented in other categories, through public vote.
The NAMA Committee have also decided to introduce a new category, the Best Pan African Artist of the Year, which is open to artist from the rest of Africa, excluding Namibian artists. They emphasised that this category is in appreciation for African music most played on local radio stations.
Ekandjo clarified that they have introduced this category with the understanding that Namibian music co-exists within a larger African market, and while Namibian music is celebrated, they must also learn from the rest of African. “This also gives the NAMA an opportunity to attract a wider African audience as we are only five years old and still in the process of marketing this event to the rest of Africa,” he said.
Other changes made to the format of the awards are that the categories of Best Newcomer and Best Group/Duo will join the non-entry categories and will be selected by the judges. The Song of the Year nominees will now be determined by the radio stations, and not via public vote and the Most Disciplined Artist of the Year will be determined by the nominees.
For the two media categories, Entertainment Journalist and Radio DJ of the Year, participants will be required to enter themselves and the Committee will determine the top five nominees which will be open for the public to vote and determine the winner.
Artist can enter themselves electronically by visiting the NAMA website or drop their physical entries at the MTC Head Office for now. The committee have also put in a request for towns to submit their bids to host the Awards. The tentative dates for the NAMA 2016 are 6 and 7 May 2016.