Big Mama Triumphs in Last Band Standing Final

The Last Band Standing competition came to an end with a bang on Saturday night after two months of fierce competition.

However, it wasn’t just the five bands on the stage that caused a stir at the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN).

Dismal organisation saw more than 100 revellers with tickets locked out, journalists engaging in screaming matches with NTN staff, and one reporter climbing over a wall to get a piece of Windhoek’s hottest event.

Rowdy revellers not only had to endure the insult of having the doors locked in their faces, but the injury of teargas courtesy of the NTN’s security guards. They are now asking to be refunded.

Live music enthusiast Selma Kaulinge, one of those left outside waving her ticket in vain, said, “I got there at 20h02 and people were trying to get in but the security guards told us we couldn’t as the place was already full.

“What is disappointing is that no one from NTN came to tell us what’s going on. I’m very disappointed. We must get our money back and NTN must apologise to us.”

Catherine Hanse bought four tickets for herself and friends but wasn’t allowed in. She said she got to the NTN a few minutes before 20h00.

“What must I do with these tickets now? Will they refund me?” she asked.

Alma Ulamba, NTN’s programming and production manager, said the NTN had requested Computicket to sell only the number of tickets the NTN theatre could seat. She added that ticket holders would be refunded and that the public and the media should wait for the press release regarding the procedures.

“Call me at five please I want to sleep and people are on my case. We do not know why Computicket sold more tickets than we requested, that you need to ask them, but the head of Computicket is in hospital so I don’t know if you will get anything,” she said.

The NTN, fearing the event would be affected by rain, moved it indoors from the Zoo Park Amphitheatre to the NTN following heavy rains earlier in the week.

Inside the venue, the show went on. The five bands – Big Mama, Hishishi Papa, Esme amp Band, Pule amp Friends and Slow – did all they could to swing the points in their favour, performing outstandingly to a large, apreciative audience.

The bands were so good that even Randall Abrahams, who’s made a career out of crashing hopeful musicians on the ‘Idols South Africa’ TV show, had nothing but compliments for the performers. He was even caught dancing to the beats of some bands and described Big Mama as “terrific”.

Big Mama walked away with the N$50 000 prize, becoming the fourth winner of the competition, which was previously won by Ras Sheehama (2011), Shishani (2012) and Etondo (2013). Hishishi Papa clinched the runner-up spot, with Esme amp Band ending third.

“This is great. I am so happy and the other bands were all very good. I am happy,” an overwhelmed Adeodatha, lead singer of Big Mama, said after clinching the prize.

Big Mama and The Band officially burst onto the Namibian scene more than 10 years ago, in 2003. The band’s vocalist, Adeodatha, also called Big Mama, released an album titled ‘Tsostsi’ in mid 2011.

It did very well locally and also exposed her to the industry.

The band specialises in traditional music as well as delivering a wonderful fusion of African music styles. Their sounds have gone beyond borders, entertaining music lovers in Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Norway.

The Last Band Standing competition kicked off on 1 February with 24 bands in the mix.

Source : The Namibian