‘Jessica, we are live’: Tense exchange on Namibia TV goes viral

Tired of “happy talk” on newscasts? Just tune in to these broadcasters from Namibia.

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Namibian Broadcasting Corporation network news anchor Elmarie Kapunda and sportscaster Jessica Kaimu had a tense and awkward exchange during a segment this week and the clip has gone viral.

Kapunda added some more background about an upcoming boxing event in Ukraine before Kaimu cut her off, CNN reported.

“No, you’re not going to do that. You’re just going to greet me, and say, ‘take it away,’” Kaimu told Kapunda. “You’re not meant to do that.”

“Jessica, we are live,” Kapunda answered, which led to a lengthy -- and cringeworthy -- silence between the two broadcasters.

The silence is broken by the news program’s graphics, which pop onto the screen and ease the tension somewhat.

It is unclear what happened after the program ended, The New Zealand Herald reported, although the newspaper speculated that it was unlikely the broadcasters “would have broken out the tea and biscuits.”

Unfortunately for Kapunda and Kaimu, the exchange was recorded and quickly went viral on Twitter.

Lazarus Jacobs, the chairperson of the network’s board, told CNN: “Unfortunately for the sports presenter, I don’t know what happened in her earpiece, (but) she did not realize she was on (the) air. What people heard and saw was something that was supposed to happen behind the scenes.”

Doesn’t matter. “Jessica, we are live,” has gone viral beyond Namibia.

But Jacobs said the two broadcasters were not enemies.

“There was no disagreement of any sort. The two ladies are good colleagues (and) last night they had a live chat where they had a good laugh about it,” Jacobs told CNN. “Once you realize that you are on the air and you’ve said something that might be inappropriate for the viewer, you basically freeze.

“I personally spoke to the two ladies to reassure them their job security is not in jeopardy. This was an honest mistake, it could happen to anybody.”

Jacobs said the pair had a good laugh about the incident the next day, the Herald reported.