Blossom demands retraction from NAMAs

Blossom demands retraction from NAMAs

Jeremiah Ndjoze

Windhoek-Blossom, real name Ruusa Munalye, is threatening to drag the Namibia Music Awards (NAMAs) to court following her 12-month ban from the awards earlier this week.

On Friday last week the NAMAs executive committee slapped the singer/musician, who was the 2013 Best Female Artist of the Year, with a conditional ban, unless she extends a public apology for her controversial public utterances, failure of which the ban would be extended for another year.

This after Blossom sparked a political storm by posting the comment “Onkwankara eeta ondjala,” on her social media page. The comment caused a furore with many perceiving it as an insult directed at President Hage Geingob.
On Wednesday this week her lawyer, Kadhila Amoomo of Kadhila Amoomo Legal Practitioners, wrote to the executive chairperson of the NAMAs, Umbi Karuaihe-Upi, demanding an unconditional retraction of the ban within seven working days accompanied by a public statement to that effect, in the same manner and to the same extent the ban was publicized.

“Failure to do the above leaves our client no choice but to approach the High Court of Namibia for an order declaring the ban unlawful and setting it aside, in addition to an order for damages for losses occasioned by the ban as well as defamation,” the letter which was seen by New Era reads.

According to Amoomo, Blossom firmly denies that the statement is derogatory and further denies that it referred to President Geingob. The singer, according to her lawyer, further denies claims that the statement promotes tribalism as she firmly insists that the term ‘onkwankara’ was made in reference to the Oshiwambo totem regarded as a natural figure that spiritually represents a group of related people such as a clan, examples being “aakwambahu,” “aakwaniilya” and so forth, but not any tribe the word may loosely be associated with.
“There was and remains absolutely no proof that the statement was directed at His Excellency or at any persons but for unsubstantiated inferences and speculations made by your office, which do not fall within the ambit of our client’s responsibility,” Amoomo wrote to Karuaihe-Upi.

The lawyer denounced the fact that Blossom was never afforded an opportunity to be heard by the NAMAs executive committee or to make any representations regarding her version of the events that unfolded.

As such, Amoomo maintained, the NAMAs has failed to give meaningful content to their client’s inalienable rights, in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia and the widely accepted laws of natural justice.

“The fact that you have sought to condemn our client without a hearing is a clear indication of a preconceived, predetermined position against our client’s participation in the NAMAs. You have adamantly portrayed her as someone who is a tribalist and as someone who publicly insults a sitting President and his government,” wrote Amoomo, further describing the stance that the NAMAs has taken as defamatory in that it has a negative impact on Blossom’s brand and continues to diminish her income-earning capacity, which is directly reliant on her brand.
Karuaihe-Upi confirmed having received the letter. She maintained the NAMAs’ lawyers would handle the matter going forward.

“I saw the letter. This is now a legal matter and our lawyers will respond to her,” Karuaihe-Upi said.

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