Landless Movement People’s party chief whip Henny Seibeb has proposed the introduction of the Hall of Fame for creatives and athletes in Namibia.
Addressing fellow parliamentarians in the National Assembly last week, he said an appropriate and meaningful way to commemorate and pay tribute to living and some deceased creatives and athletes is by honouring them through their induction into the Namibian Hall of Fame.
Seibeb noted that a comparative study, examining the impact of Covid-19 on the creative sector in Africa, revealed that the most vulnerable sectors were the performing arts, visual arts and the heritage sector, adding that this experience was no different in Namibia.
“I acknowledge that some of our creatives and athletes have achieved a reasonable standard of living and earned respectable incomes. It is essential to recognise that many others may have missed out on such opportunities due to limited international exposure, insufficient sponsorship and inadequate export opportunities, among other factors,” he stated.
Seibeb urged Namibians to closely examine the creatives’ unique situations and extend support wherever possible.
“Let us be a source of motivation and assistance to those who may not have had the same advantages. I further propose that a committee of experts, comprising individuals with a broad spectrum of skills and expertise drawn from various reputable institutions, be convened to conduct comprehensive research, make recommendations and assess all the proposed individuals, whether deceased or living, for potential nominations to the Namibian Hall of Fame,” he said.
Seibeb added: “I suggest that we explore the concept of this Hall of Fame in greater detail, considering the development of a theme park, featuring state-of-the-art architecture and creative elements. This envisioned park-like Hall of Fame could offer a unique experience for Namibians and tourists alike, complete with restaurants and sitting areas, providing families with an opportunity to enjoy leisure time and educate their children about our nation’s remarkable talents”.
He recommended the matter be deliberated upon in the National Assembly for one week, following which it shall be forwarded to an appropriate Standing Committee for a comprehensive examination.
“This will allow the Standing Committee sufficient time to provide its report to this esteemed House within a period of three months,” noted Seibeb.
The idea was well received by creatives, who said Namibia has amazing talent that deserves to be recognised, especially taking into consideration that several creatives are still appreciated to date in other parts of the world.
MTC Windhoek Fashion Week director and marketing strategist Kalistu Mukoroli said this is a brilliant idea.
“This is the type of recognition and engagement we have been waiting for from lawmakers. Creatives do contribute to the economy and different job sectors through the events they host and many other activities,” he said.
Mukoroli noted that creatives in the likes of Jackson Kaujeua, Sula Kyababa, Cynthia Schimming, Boli Mootseng, Tony Figuera and others deserve to be in that Hall of Fame, stating that there are many Namibians who have contributed to the creative industry.
Movie director Oshoveni Shipoh believes it is about time that something like this was brought to the table because, as creatives, they need to be appreciated more.
“If you look at the curiosity that Covid-19 took us through, we relied heavily on creative content to keep us sane and busy because we had to stay indoors most of the time, and who was at the forefront of keeping everyone safe – the creatives,” said the director of ‘Hairareb’.
Shipoh feels people like fashion designer Luis Munana deserve to be part of the Hall of Fame due to the driving impact he has on the fashion industry.
“He shook the industry with his craft and passion for the industry and continues to do so. I think another person who deserves to be there is (singer) Lioness (Latoya Mwoombola), who has been able to collaborate internationally and still pursue her medical career or goal relentlessly; it’s good. Another creative is Shawn van Eeden; he is a great photographer. He has been able to take quality to the next level,” justified Shipoh passionately.
He added that individuals like the late actor David Ndjavera deserve to be in the Hall of Fame for the immense contribution and influence has imparted in theatre.
Meanwhile, PDM’s Jan van Wyk also stated in Parliament that just like Namibia is a country that has a rich deposit of natural beauty and overflows with natural resources, the same thing can be said about the music industry.
“The country boasts an abundance of entertainers from every art form imaginable. Although there is not a standardised structure or system to measure the impact of Namibian music and its contribution to the GDP of the country, it still holds influence and has the potential to be a force that can be reckoned with,” said van Wyk.