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 Jason Kooper, who is a Television Production graduate from the College of the Arts, specializing in Scriptwriting and Directing. Kooper worked on Oshoveli Shipoh’s award-winning feature film Hairareb (2019) as a Production Designer/Wardrobe Supervisor and Props master. He is also a playwright and Theatre Director, having staged his play The Encounter(2017) through the National Theatre of Namibia’s Theatre Zone program.
When the first lockdown was announced in March, what was your initial reaction?
I was mad that Lize Ehler’s musical, Boet en Sus got postponed. I was looking forward to it.
What really bums you out about the current state of events?
The fact that all art and entertainment projects have been either postponed or cancelled. It’s hard enough being an artist but do not have any income during this period is saddening. There are artists that can’t pay their bills and we don’t know when this pandemic will actually end.
Productivity wise, what have you been up to?
I’ve been reading a lot lately, there are books I’ve been telling myself I’ll get to once I have free time. I’ve also been binge-watching some shows on Netflix such as Queen Sono and Shadows, they’re brilliant South African shows.
It’s probably hard but how have you been trying to keep a positive mental attitude during these times?
Social media has become a necessity during this time. I’ve had friends that have been keeping me entertained and occupied. It’s really good to keep in contact with those you love and meeting new people. I’ve been chatting with Nigerians I met through a friend and communicating with them became my daily routine.
With the arts temporarily shut down, how would you advise people to continue to support the arts industry?
That’s a tough question. I think the best way is to buy whatever artists are selling. To follow and promote the brands of artists on social media and to check in on your artist friends, they need assurance that they matter during these trying times.
During the lockdown, have you discovered anything that you’d like to recommend to Namib Insider!’ readers?
Netflix has been keeping me busy, I would recommend watching Queen Sono and Shadows. I’ve been reading ‘Sailing Back to my Home’ by Ndatyoonawa Tshilunga, it’s a tiny pocketbook where the author recounts some of her personal experiences which helped build her character.
Looking to the future, what are you looking forward to most when all of this is over?
Seeing Boet en Sus and going clubbing or being at a bar and conversing with random strangers, I miss that a lot.
Lastly, a penguin walks through your door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?
He looks really angry and declares he’s here to kill me and I laugh because imagine a penguin killing a human being.