'The industry chose me'

If you picture yourself having all access to the best exclusive parties, music concerts and taking selfies with big African stars backstage, you might want to read further.

17 May 2019 | Art and Entertainment

Music promoter, artist management and event organiser are terms you sort of know what they are concerned with, but at the same time, not really. If you have ever confused them for magic, do not worry, you are not alone. They might really not be that different.

Julia Kadhikwa, or Boss Lady as she affectionately calls herself, is one of the people in the music business who has been able to bring her experiences of partying with continental stars to Namibia through her Vlistyle parties.

In a sit-down with tjil, the Olive Entertainment founder shared how she got into showbiz, her dreams for Olive Entertainment and the progress on the movie she is working on with Nigerian actor and filmmaker Mike Ezuruonye.

Kadhikwa told tjil that she first got into event organising because she just wanted to have all access to events where her favourite celebrities were booked. “I had access to the VIP area at my first musical outing and I loved the experience so much that I always wanted to go to shows knowing I had access to rub shoulders with the stars.

“I was young and it is every young person's dream to have a moment with their favourite celebrity,” she said.

She mentioned that by having access to these artists, she began knowing them personally and she became one of the go-to people in the entertainment scene. “I remember being approached by an artist who was big at the time asking me to speak to Cabo Snoop for them for a collaboration.

“I felt so honoured because that made me the 'connect' person,” said Kadhikwa.

She maintains that what separates her from other music promoters and event organisers is her charisma and ability to make and keep friendships. Kadhikwa believes everyone can have the opportunity to engage with a celebrity but not everyone has what it takes to keep the celebrity wanting to talk to them again. Through her travels, she has met and partied with a lot of African stars, some of which she has hosted through her Vlifestyle parties. “Vlifestyle is a networking event. People see me partying with the likes of D'Banj and are impressed by that and my aim is to bring those experiences home,” she said.

Despite managing to throw parties with some of these stars in Namibia, she admitted that the entertainment scene is fickle and she has had her own fair share of disappointing encounters.

Last year she was supposed to host South African television personality, rapper and actress Boity but changed to Minnie Dlamini-Jones at last the minute.

“Not that Minie Dlamini-Jones is a less of a star but I acknowledge that there were people who were disappointed because they wanted to party with Boity as we initially advertised, but the party went on regardless and I was happy with how it came together.”

Kadhikwa explained that she booked Boity in May 2018 for her party which was scheduled for August that year. “As we were getting close to the day of the party, Boity was booked by NBA Africa for the same day. It is NBA so I don't blame her, as much as it was unprofessional; a lot of people would have taken her decision.

“She wanted me to postpone my party to the following week but I did not have the energy to market the event for another week. Plus, that was going to cost me more money,” she said. She told tjil that her favourite Vlifestyle party was the recent one where she hosted Sthembiso 'Shaka' Khoza. “My dream for the Vlifestyle parties is to grow the platform to the point we start hosting parties at stadiums with multiple marquees. I want Vlifestyle to be like the Sun Met or Durban July.”



New ventures

Earlier this year, she branched out to production and content creation when her company Olive Entertainment joined forces /with Mike Ezuruoenye to work on a movie aimed at promoting Namibia's diversity. “That is why I say I did not choose the entertainment scene; the industry chose me. I did not think of venturing into film but the opportunity presented itself and I grabbed it with both hands.”

“I know Mike for a while now and he loves Namibia and its beautiful landscapes and is going to shoot a movie here,” said Kadhikwa.

Giving the progress report on that production, she said they are busy with the ground work and will commence shooting by next year; they are busy with paper work now. Her dream is to open a school she will call Olive Entertainment Coaching Academy, to groom and help give exposure to new talent with her extensive network.

“Opening a school has always been my dream. I am going to get old one day and I cannot keep chasing celebrities for gigs. My future kids may not have my charisma and confidence so I have to create something for them to run,” she said.

MICHAEL KAYUNDE

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