WINDHOEK, JUNE 10 – Known as the first Black child to appear on South African television in 1981 during the testing times of apartheid, Yvonne Chaka Chaka’s will grace Namibia as one of the group of judges for this year’s Namibia Annual Music Awards. The internationally recognized South African singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, humanitarian and teacher has been dubbed the “Princess of Africa” and has been at the forefront of South African popular music for 27 years.
Popular in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Gabon, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast for songs like “I’m Burning Up”, “Thank You Mr Dj”, “I Cry For Freedom”, “Motherland” and the ever-popular “Umqombothi,” Chaka Chaka is a household name that needs no introduction.
The song “Umqombothi” was featured in the opening scene of the 2004 movie Hotel Rwanda. She has shared the stage with persons such as Bono, Angelique Kidjo, Annie Lennox, Youssou N’Dour, the crossover group Appassionante, the classic rock band Queen and South Africans Johnny Clegg, Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela, to name a few.
She has performed for Queen Elizabeth II, US President Bill Clinton, South African President Thabo Mbeki and a host of other world leaders. Yvonne is a champion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, the United Nations MDG Envoy for Africa, and the Goodwill Ambassador for the Roll Back Malaria Partnership.
She was chosen by Nelson Mandela as the first ambassador for his children’s fund, and has also established her own charity, the Princess of Africa Foundation, using the name first given to her in Uganda. The Princess of Africa Foundation is a partner of the ACTION global health advocacy partnership. In 2012, she was the first African woman to receive the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award.
She teaches literacy part-time at the University of South Africa, sits on several boards of charitable organisations and NGOs, and serves on the boards of the Johannesburg Tourism Company as well as Executive Board Member of the Hall of Fame Africa and the League of Kings & Queens.
AXALI DOESEB (Namibia)
Axali is Namibia’s first post independent black conductor of the Namibian National Symphony Orchestra and author of the Namibian National Anthem. The NAMAs recipient for the Lifetime Achievement Award has made his mark in contemporary Namibian music industry is all over and to this day he still continues to play a greater role in nurturing, and advising and composing music for various scores of the Namibian society.
The music legend was born in Okahandja and came into contact with music when he took up piano lessons for the first time at his Alma matter the Martin Luther High School in Okombahe during his teenage years. Axali is a graduate of the Hochshule for Music at Herfort in Westfallen Germany and the Maborough University – United Kingdom.
He composed the liturgy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Republic of Namibia. He represented Namibia and had chaired the committee that was tasked with the composing of the AU Anthem in Addis Ababa- Ethiopia. In addition to have served on the panel that was entrusted to compose the SADC Anthem.
Axali is also the founder with co-founder Emil Keister of the Ugly Creatures music band – a pre independence pop, soul and gospel live Namibian band. His vast musical knowledge and experience led to Doeseb becoming the first black Namibian music producer manning the then NBC Music Makers Competition – the predecessor to the Namibian Annual Music Awards and had produced tracks for some of Namibia’s greatest artist like Ras Sheehama, the late Jackson Kaujeua, Eric Mundjua, Sharon Van Rooi and legendary Pieter Josef !Auxab.
SEAN WATSON (South Africa)
Sean Watson is the Managing Director of Sony Music Entertainment Pan Africa and one of the most highly acclaimed music entertainment industry moguls on the African continent. He is the man behind the global success and careers of a myriad of the biggest names in African music including megastars Wizkid, Davido, Alikiba, Kwesta, Joyous Celebration, Zonke, AKA, Shekhinah, DJ Maphorisa, Mlindo, D’banj, Riky Rick, Lira, Amanda Black, DJ Fresh to name a select few.
He was also behind the success of international mega stars within the African continent for Beyonce, Usher, Chris Brown, Khalid, Alicia Keys, Childish Gambino, Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Daddy Yankee, Pitbull, Calvin Harris, Will Smith, J Cole, Kesha, Chainsmokers, Justin Timberlake to name a few.
Sean was also the former Managing Director of CCP Records, Director at EMI and former CEO of the South African Music Awards. All of the global Sony Music Group imprints falls under Sean’s report across the African continent including RCA Records, Arista, Columbia, Provident, Sony Masterworks, Legacy Recordings, Century Media, Red Distribution and BMG.
ALMA ULAMBA (Namibia)
Alma Ulamba comes from a musical family where her foundation started as piano student many years ago. Artistcally inclined, she followed the artistic urge by joining the Art Industry. Her experience in the industry is versatile since she has been in the corridors of arts as a chairperson of the national arts council, recording industry of Namibia and currently she is the Head of the national Theatre of Namibia. As a seasoned judged, she has been with the Namas since inception but took an interval for three years. She is back to to rock the ship like never before.
JASMINE DOTIWALA (United Kingdom)
Jasmine Dotiwala, who studied at Roehampton University in the United Kingdom where she completed a BA Honours degree, is an award-winning trail blazer and key influencer who has gained international acclaim over a career most would just dream about.
Jasmine has worked with talent, moguls and celebrities across the board from breaking new, young talent, to working on groundbreaking and edgy TV programming featuring A-List celebrities including the likes of Eminem, Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child, Usher and Mariah Carey.
She has interviewed a multitude of rising stars such as Goldie, Mark Morrison, Jean-Claude Van Damme and even went record shopping with R&B singer Aaliyah and Jodeci. She did the first ever UK interview with Mary J. Blige and an interview outside an L.A. courtroom with rising star Snoop Doggy Dogg at his murder trial which aired across the global news networks.
She was a presenter for MTV News, before becoming Senior Producer-Director for many of MTV International’s flagship TV shows including ‘Making the Video’, ‘MTV Cribs’, ‘MTV’s Diary Of’ and ‘MTV News Specials’.
In 2000 Dotiwala became the Senior Series Producer/Director of MTV News Specials’ where she hosted, produced and directed MTV shows featuring celebrities such as Madonna, the Spice Girls, Radiohead and U2. Dotiwala also directed and produced the world famous MTV Cribs, where viewers were shown around the houses of celebrities including Dolce & Gabbana, Richard Branson and Craig David, along with Diary Of… episodes featuring Jay Z, Mariah Carey, Eminem and 50 Cent, and Making the Video which went behind the scenes at video shoots of Usher, Busta Rhymes, Sean Paul, P Diddy and Estelle.
An Executive News Editor of the youth London 360 News TV Magazine Show at the Media Trust which broadcasts on SKY 539, Virgin Media 233, BBC IPlayer and Freeview 109, Dotiwala has written for a variety of publications including The Voice, Touch Magazine, the Daily Mail and Caribbean fashion publication Ocean Style and regularly writes for the leading global publication The Huffington Post and hosts regular on-screen reports for both Channel 4 News and London Live. Jasmine is now also the host of her own radio show “The Scene” on the biggest broadcast platforms in the United Kingdom BBC Radio London.
MORGAN HERITAGE (USA / Jamaica)
Morgan Heritage, formed in 1994, made their first appearance at Reggae Sunsplash in Jamaica. They were subsequently signed by MCA and released their debut album Miracles the same year. After the release of the Miracles album, the family moved to Denroy’s homeland of Jamaica.
Once in Jamaica, Morgan Heritage began working with reggae producers Bobby Dixon and Lloyd James, resulting in the release of their second album. Following the release of their 2001 album More Teachings. Morgan Heritage toured Europe again, and they later returned several times. Also in 2001 they took part in the Vans Warped Tour.
Their sixth studio album, Three in One, came out in 2003. They released two DVDs, “Live In London” and “Live Over Europe 2003”, and their seventh studio album Full Circle was released in 2005. Their latest album, Mission In Progress, was released on 15 April 2008. It includes the singles “Faithful” and “Raid Rootz Dance”. After several years during which the members worked on solo projects, the band came together to release the single “The Return” in 2012, and indicated that a new album would be recorded after their 2012 European tour.
The album, Here Come the Kings was released by VP Records in June 2013, followed by a tour of Europe. Morgan Heritage have worked with many reggae bands and DJs, including Capleton, Junior Kelly, Luciano, Gentleman and Beres Hammond. The group’s 2015 album Strictly Roots won the Grammy Award in the Best Reggae Album category in 2016. The band later released the album Avrakedabra, which was nominated for another Grammy in 2018 for the album “Avrakedabra”, and in 2019 received a second Grammy.
LISCHEN KHACHAS (Namibia)
Lischen Khachas has been dubbed Namibia’s top female DJ. She is a holder of a diploma in Sound Engineering and Music production. Lischen Khachas is also a Radio personality and an MC and has been a part of the Namibian music industry for more than 12 years as a DJ and also behind the scenes. She has worked for Radio Energy 100 FM where she started off her career as a commercial DJ in 2010 and also worked for Fresh FM radio and has vast experience in the broadcast and media industry.
In 2014 she was nominated and won the Windhoek Lager Ambassador in the Arts category via public vote. Also in 2014 she started up and managed a local radio station Equity FM in her home town of Otjiwarongo. She is still regarded as one of Namibias Top female commercial Dj’s and has played alongside South Africa’s Top female DJ’s the likes of Ms Cosmo from Channel O.
Lischen has also assisted and worked alongside a Grammy Award winning sound engineer and producer Allen Sanderson in 2013 during the recording of one of Namibia’s top Rock bands Penilane.Lischen has also released two house singles as a DJ of which one made it to International African Top 10 Charts.
SAMMY FORSON (Ghana)
Sammy Forson is a Ghanaian Award-winning broadcaster with Joy99.7 FM and has over 14 years on air experience, business manager for BET & MTV, VGMA Award winning Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie and CEO of both Aspire Music/Entertainment and Evolve by Sammy Forson.
SOMOINA KIMOJINO (Kenya)
Managing Director at the number 1 radio network in Kenya, 98.4 CAPITAL FM and Managing Director of one of the biggest music, media, entertainment broadcasters and networks in East Africa, Capital Group LTD East Africa. Somoina Kimojino, for the last 14yrs has been at the realm of Radio in Kenya as Programmes Director for Capital FM .
She has successfully managed a number of talents and kept the brand innovative and alive as one of the leading stations in the region. A music enthusiast with a keen eye for talent, has built a great team of noteworthy shows and presenters.
From Marcus and Leo, Chao Tolle, Cess, Chris Lugoe, Chris foot, Renee and Maqbul, Amina and Solo to name a few. She has created noteworthy programs or specials such as The Capital One which is the only talent search for media talent in Kenya. Having pioneered and brought back the concert culture back to Kenya which have seen the likes of Joe, Johnny Gill, Erykah Badu, Papa Wemba, Freshly Ground, Baaba Maal just to name a few through Tusker Lite Experience, The Lounge Unplugged and now the curator of one of Kenya’s largest festivals The Koroga Festival. She also launched a talent management at the end of last year to focus on nurturing upcoming talent http://www.Somztalentmanagement.com
SAMMY THUO (Kenya)
Sammy has been in the marketing, digital, advertising and media industries for over 21 years and the Director and co-founder of Saracen OMD – one of East Africa’s largest independent media specialists agencies providing world class media planning and buying services to leading local and international clients across the sub-region and the biggest media agency in East Africa today. OMD, the global media advertising company of Omnicom in 2003 is arguably the world’s largest marketing communications network, with offices in over 80 countries.
CHE S ULENGA (Namibia)
Che Ulenga joined Katutura Community Radio in April 2006 with the stations youth show and since has grown amongst the nation’s most sought after radio personalities. She took the world of radio by storm, acting as a strong voice on Namibia’s most prominent radio stations breakfast shows and as a Master of Ceremonies (MC) at a string of Namibia’s most sophisticated events, both entertainment and corporate based.
Since then she has continued gracing the stages of many other showcases by prominent and established Namibian artist, including being the host at events for major African artist, such as Jimmy Kane Roux (Zambia), Dama do Bling (Mozambique), Bleksem, Black Motion, Dr Malinga, Busiswa, Trompies & Cassper Nyovest (South Africa) and Paul G (Angola).
Including special celebrations such as the 80th birthday celebration of the Founding Father of the Namibian nation in 2009 and since its inception – Chè has hosted international acts Eve, P-Square and Boyz II Men at the annual Windhoek Draught Live Concert including American RnB crooner – Trey Songz at the MTC Namibia 25th year Independence celebrations and the annual City of Windhoek Jazz Festival in 2015.
A nominee of the Annual Namibian Music Awards in the Best Radio DJ category (2017) and most recently the Namibian representative at the 9th Advance Media Training Course hosted by the Egyptian Media Training Center in Cairo, Egypt in October 2017, with qualifications in Public Relations and Marketing from the University of Cape Town (2016/2017), she continues to host corporate, entertainment and private functions and since 2012 daily welcomes the sunrise on 99FM’s breakfast show – The Ignition from 06H00 to 09H00 and then takes Namibian Music to greater heights with 99FM’s The Tribe on Friday’s from 19H00 to 20H00 sponsored by Castle Lite an initiative created by her to give growth to Namibian music beyond borders and beyond. – NDN Staffer
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