The ripple effects of America’s recent tough stance on immigration has finally reached the Namibian shores and is now negatively impacting on the country’s creative arts industry.
Entertainment Now has learned that award winning musician, Elemotho’s quest to perform at the 5th Annual Musical Bridges Across the World (MBAW) festival at San Antonio, in the USA is currently in limbo – two weeks before the event – pending the awarding of a US visa to the artist from the relevant authorities.
Elemotho, whose real name is Gaalelekwe Richardo Mosimane, and local saxophonist, Suzy Eises, are expected to perform at the international event, which is slated for 27 January throughout to 4 February 2018.
In an electronic communique with Entertainment Now, Elemotho’s Management hinted that they are still uncertain as to whether or not the ‘My Africa’ hitmaker would grace the big stage in Texas, come song night.
“Regarding the San Antonio Festival invitation, Elemotho is currently struggling with the visa. Let me come back to you, later this week, to assure you that he will participate,” the management replied.
Queried as to whether the event’s organisers are providing assistance in the artist quest to get a visa, the reply from the management was affirmative.
“They are, of course. But they are struggling to get (him) a visa as a “performer”…you know…Trump is tough,” Elemotho’s management responded.
The management was quick to indicate that this challenge is not unique to the Elemotho camp and that there is a high likelihood that other participating acts are facing the same challenges.
When approached for comment, Eises was ecstatic over her selection, which she attributed not to sheer luck, but on the hard work that she put in to cultivate her unique music sound.
“I am grateful that I was selected and proud to represent Namibia at such a large event,” Eises said referring other queries regarding her selection to the City of Windhoek.
The saxophonist said she is looking forward to meeting and learning from international artist in the jazz fraternity. The musician revealed that come night, she would perform her original compositions, among them the hit entitled ‘Harambee’ which is on her self-titled debut album, ‘Suzy Eises.’ She confirmed that MBAW organizers would be responsible for their travel and lodging bills.
While no official confirmation has been received from the City of Windhoek, the selection of the two local musicians to be part of this mammoth event can be attributed to a pairing agreement that was entered into by Windhoek Mayor, Muesee Kazapua, and the mayor of San Antonio, Ivy Taylor, in late 2016. Windhoek is the first African city, to partner with San Antonio, and the tenth sister city agreement with the American city.
MBAW’s mission, according to information acquired on the events promotional page, is to unite, educate and inspire through culturally diverse programming. This is achieved through the provision of free admission to the public, as such making art accessible to all, while targeting youth particularly those who are at-risk. The festival partners with the city of San Antonio and other organisations to foster San Antonio’s reputation as a cosmopolitan cultural center.