So are they on or not? Mixed signals are surfacing from Windhoek, Namibia, about this year's Kora All Africa Music Awards scheduled for March 20.
Amid local reports to the effect the awards have been indefinitely postponed, the ministry of Environment and Tourism says it has not been informed of any cancellation or postponement of the awards.
Responding to the local reports, minister of environment and tourism Pohamba Shifeta is reported saying he has not received any information about the cancellation or postponement of the event.
He said the organisers of the Kora Awards have indicated to him that the event will take place.
“Until that time comes, that’s the time we are going to ask ‘what happened?,” he noted.
Shifeta further said the N$21 million (Sh138 million) the Namibia Tourism Board made available to the Kora organisers “is not a donation, but is meant for promotions and the advertisement of Namibia outside the country”.
However, a statement from Anoh Herman Nyamke, who is the personal assistant of Kora music awards president Ernest Coovi Adjovi, indicated there were hitches in clearing equipment for the launch.
“In early February, our suppliers alerted us to the necessity of securing clearance for the Dome and the equipment to cross the border from South Africa into Namibia.
“We immediately commenced with efforts to secure the clearance with the relevant authorities to enable the cross over.
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we have to date not received the clearance to enable our supplier to move the structure and equipment into Namibia in time for a March 20 event date. As we speak, we are still pursuing this crucial waiver.
“As such we have had to take the difficult decision to postpone the Kora All Africa Music Awards.”
The Kora music awards are given annually for musical achievement in sub-Saharan Africa. They were founded in 1994 by Ernest Adjovi and are comparable to the American Grammy Awards in intent. The award is named after the kora, a West African plucked chordophone.
Kenyans have been regular participants and this year will not be any different.
They are contesting on four fronts.
There is the Best Female Artist – East Africa division where Victoria Kimani and Avril Nyambura are throwing the punches for Kenya against the likes of Irene Ntale (Uganda), Vanessa Mdee (Tanzania), Juliana Kanyomozi (Uganda), Knowles Butera (Rwanda).
The Best African Group where Sauti Sol have the likes of Bracket (Nigeria), Double Bangz (Sierra Leone), Toofan (Togo), X-Maleya (Cameroon) and Bana C4 (DR Congo) for competition
In the Best Female Artist – Spiritual Music, Gloria Muliro will have to contend with African heavyweight Rebecca Malope (South Africa) besides Lara Georges (Nigeria), Kanvee G Adams (Liberia), Sarah Hagos (Eritrea) and Samira Adzabe (Gabon).
In the Best Group – Spiritual Music category, Kenya will have 24 Elders fronting their cause in the face of opposition from Simply Chrysolite (South Africa), VM Six (Namibia), BNG (Nigeria), Eden (Ivory Coast), Penuel Cantorum (Benin).