These past few weeks sombre news has been on loop on the internet. For this reason, Namib Insider! is keeping up with our friends in the stage and screen industry through a series of Q&A’s titled ‘Lockdown Missive’. During this series, we will feature various performers and creators as they share their quarantine experiences and at the same time, bring a little more light on the internet.
Today we have Adriano Visagie, who recently scooped an international award at the Sotigui awards in Burkina Faso for Best Male Actor: Southern Africa for his performance in Philippe Talavera’s Salute! (2018). Visagie is also a holder of the Best Male Actor In Theatre award from the Namibia Theatre and Film Awards. He also earned a Best Supporting Actor Nominee from his performance in Donald Matthys’ Battered (2019). Visagie stares in the soon to be released film Kapana (2020) by Talavera and has featured in numerous plays including Lize Ehler’s upcoming play Boet & Sus. Dabbling in presenting, Visagie has been the presenter for various entertainment events and is also the official 2020 RMB Song Night host.
When the first lockdown was announced in March, what was your initial reaction?
I panicked at first – I don’t think I took to heart what the impact was going to be prior to lockdown as I just finished shooting my third film and started rehearsing for Boet & Sus. But after much reading and attention, I immediately took the necessary precautions.
What really bums you out about the current state of events?
The roller-coaster of emotions we are all going through daily, not having certainty about anything except to live daily and take care. I’ve been more focused on daily affirmations and mantras regarding what’s important and not, but I do miss being creative in spaces like the stage or behind the camera.
Productivity wise, what have you been up to?
I form part of Namibia’s essential services as a banker, so I do work from office at times and then at home. I’ve collaborated with Monochrome Magazine on a new series of #LivewithAdriano as we engage local personalities . I’m reading my script and books I never got a chance to read, but loving the time with my family.
It’s probably hard but how have you been trying to keep a positive mental attitude during these times?
I exercise daily. This has become part of my daily schedule. I’ve also dedicated the time to planting and polishing my Portuguese. I finally finished my vision board as well and working on editing videos for my YouTube channel.
With the arts temporarily shut down, how would you advise people to continue to support the arts industry?
I believe during this time a lot of artists have their gigs cancelled/postponed until further notice, thus putting on a lot of flow of income. My proposal for support would be for corporates to engage artists in spreading a positive message about around safety around Covid-19 and give them an incentive. Corporations that don’t have social platforms should engage graphic designers/web designers and corporations can meet artists halfway through engaging their arts and crafts, etc. Engage with artists on their social platforms, purchase their content.
During lockdown, have you discovered anything that you’d like to recommend to Namib Insider!’ readers?
I’ve read both Mark Manson’s ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck’ series’. The second series is all about hope. I advise this read because during this time we do feel hopeless and it really speaks about purpose and serves as a guide to what you should really care about. I have also been reading ‘No Ashes In The Fire’ by Darnell L. Moore. Through this upbringing, he explores the life of a queer black man and his hurdles through poverty and struggling to be accepted in a generation that bullied him. I have been listening to Lize Ehlers’s album – ‘Lize Live’. Seldom one finds Namibian albums that speak to the heart or get you in the space of asking ‘What was the artist going through?’ and she has allowed herself to be vulnerable in this album. My brand celebrates vulnerability and sees that as strength.
Looking to the future, what are you looking forward to most when all of this is over?
Being able to go to church, being on stage and hugging people. Trust me online church is not the same as being in a space of fellowship with my Koi Family.
Lastly, a penguin walks through your door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?
Some cool penguin in a deep Mexican accent: Hey, I’m here to make you some Tacos.