Few Namibian entertainment companies have consistently elevated the entertainment industry the way Doctatainment has. Established in 2012 by John Cloete and Ernest van Zyl, Doctatainment is an entertainment company that specializes in social events by bringing together people from all walks of life. These events include their annual Windhoek Spring Fiesta, an all-white party that has won them the 2017 NAMAs award for ‘Best Musical Event’.
Their other events include the ‘Hip hop and Sneakers Festival, their popular ‘Friday After Work’ monthly parties as well as the Matinees. The pair hail from Spokies Dorp in Khomasdal ,Windhoek. They grew up in the same neighborhood and have been friends for as long as they can remember, and that’s one of the things they attribute to their strong partnership.
The very first event they hosted was a ‘Deep house Sunday Session’ which took place at Mansion Bar in Katutura. While those in attendance had mixed reactions to the event, this was only to become a starting point for bigger, better events for Doctatainment.
“Our inspiration comes from the passion we have for entertainment and seeing people socialise, interact and have a good time because of a platform we created, that just gives us satisfaction and joy,” Van Zyl says.
Van Zyl and Cloete say that the entertainment scene has changed over the years and that people are taking a different approach to event planning. “There are many more good quality events on a weekly basis and we’ve seen more individuals getting involved by starting their own entertainment related business such as magazines, marketing and advertising firms as well as event companies because now believe that entertainment is no longer just a hobby but a profession,” says Cloete.
While the market is getting saturated with many other companies in the same line of business, one thing sets Doctatainment apart – their insistence on prioritising Namibian musicians and entertainers at all their events. Windhoek Spring Fiesta for example has a 100% line-up of Namibian musicians and Djs.
“Doctatainment firmly believes in local talent. What we’re trying to do is give local content and local entertainment the best possible platform to showcase their talent,” says Cloete.
While they’ve had successful runs with fully packed shows, good reviews and even the biggest award in the industry, there are some challenges in running the business. “Funding or getting sponsors is a major challenge in our country and now that we in a financial recession, things are worse. But we are fortunate to have worked with a few corporate companies for a while now, and they share the same passion and vision as Doctatainment,” Cloete says.
But how do they juggle organising all the events throughout the year and still maintain a high standard at all of them? “We have a yearly calendar that we work on and you would also notice that our annual events are planned way in advance, but we’ve recently added Friday After Work, that we actually use as a build up to our bigger events,” says Van Wyk. They also also use smaller events like ‘Friday After Work’ to work with musicians and DJ’s that they’ve never worked with before to get an idea of the latest trends in terms of music and what’s currently trending.
Both Cloete and Van Wyk are hopeful about the future of Namibian entertainment. They do however stress the need for more professionalism in the industry, more brand-building and more creativity in order to take the arts to greater heights.
While trying to encompass all these qualities into their business, the men behind Doctatainment plan on continuing to grow their brand and take it onto an international stage while still g their event-goers memorable experiences.
The two are also very passionate about inspiring the youth, and advise anyone with plans on following in their footsteps to be persistent and passionate in order to establish and grow their brands.