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Parliament pushes for more local content on Namibian radio, television

Written by on June 20, 2024

Popular Democratic Movement member of parliament Inna Hengari tabled a motion in the national assembly that proposes local radio and television stations do away with 80% of foreign content they are currently playing.

She wants this to be replaced by a domination of local content to grow the local industry.

“This contributes to a homogenous and limited musical environment,” she says.

Speaking in the national assembly on Wednesday, Hengari said the prevalence of foreign content dilutes Namibia’s unique cultural identity, stifling the representation of local narratives in our media landscape.

The lack of comprehensive surveys further inhibits a nuanced understanding of content usage dynamics.

Hengari told parliament that the Namibian Society of Composers and Authors of Music (Nascam) collected N$2 million in royalties last year.

She said 1 200 local artists received royalties, while N$152 000 was paid to 65 sister international societies.

Hengari said the reliance on foreign content not only leads to a significant outflow of royalties, thereby economically marginalising Namibian artists, but also hampers the growth and sustainability of our vibrant creative industry.

She said a total of 2 000 broadcasters are currently registered with Nascam.

Visual artist and musician Ndasuunye Shikongeni, popularly known as Hishishi Papa or simply Papa Shikongeni, says Namibia has become a house that does not recognise its cultures.

Shikongeni says even after independence, the nation is still not culturally independent and that is why local radios are dominated by music from outside, especially South Africa and Nigeria.

“We are calling for the implementation of the Arts, Culture and Heritage Act that was endorsed by the Cabinet in 2017. The act aims to regulate the percentage of arts that should be consumed on local broadcasters,” he says.

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