Aletta Shikololo & Paheja Siririka
One of the winners of the Tala Namibia Online Film Festival, Nicky Munyandi, says such platforms reward them for their efforts and advertise them both locally and globally.
He said online platforms also motivate Namibian creatives to strive in perfecting their content, be it films, music, acting or whatever form of production they are into. There is thus a need to invest in quality content and meet the standards of the global industry to receive proper recognition.
“If there’s anything discouraging to a creative, it is not being rewarded for your hustle. This is why this is important to me,” said Munyandi, who won N$30 000 for his music project My Namibia, which featured at the film festival.
The Tala Namibia Online Film Festival boasted over 200 Namibian-made films, music videos, live concerts and animation content from 12 to 23 May, and was presented by Tala Online Streaming, the Namibia Film Commission and other stakeholders. Cash prizes of N$10 000 and N$ 30 000, respectively, were up for grabs as an audience prize and most-popular content prize.
My Namibia is a 04:25 minutes music video that was shot at Avis Dam, a few kilometres outside Windhoek.
“I feel so relieved, and still can’t believe that I am now an award- winning artist. It has been a long time coming, and this has boosted my confidence. I am very humbled and excited,” shared Munyandi, who is also known as Nicko Zamaleck.
“This is my love song to Namibia. It was composed in June 2017, when I was in high school, and believe me or not, I came up with everything, from the tunes and lyrics in less than 30 minutes. Everything was automatically appearing in my mind, weird right?”
The video was only shot in 2019 with Eric Mule Productions because he wanted the video to complement the message of the song, which is close to his heart.
“The message of the song preaches unity, peace and love amongst all Namibians. It’s quite obvious that our country continues to suffer from tribalism, corruption, crime and so many social injustices that usually make Namibians feel discriminated against and divided.”
Munyandi, a media student at Nust, added that he is in the process of working on his 17-track debut album, which will be released in September this year, with every song expected to have visuals.
“I am also still trying to find proper management because being an independent artist can be overwhelming. But I am so proud of how far I have come managing myself.”
Tobias Shinyemba scooped the N$ 10 000 prize for dedicating 45 hours of his time logged onto TALA during the festival.
Speaking to VIBEZ!, Tala’s communications manager Caillin Basson said they engaged over 10 000 Namibians through the streaming platform.
“Tala Namibia Film Festival offered a necessary central platform for all creative Namibian content. This aided in essential audience creation for local products in the long term,” she said.
Basson added that the festival was also a unique opportunity to collect information and test the capacity of Namibian infrastructure on the side of the audience, as well as on the side of the creatives who submitted their content with the hope of leapfrogging online.
“Tala Namibia is thrilled to have celebrated this historic venture for the creative industry with Namibians, and there is more in store,” she teased.