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Lockdown Missive: Odile Gertze

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 former Miss Namibia 2010, Odile Getze, an established dancer, actress and model who burst onto the acting scene in 2013 with Renier de Bruyn’s experimental film Gutter Culture (2013). Since then Odile portrayed various film roles including lead in Marinda Stein’s Coming Home (2014) and Florian Schott’s Katutura (2015), the latter of which garnered a Best Actress award at the 2017 Namibian Theatre & Film awards. She is equally at home on stage and has tread the planks in productions like The Girls and their Sunday Dresses (2017) directed by Vickson Hangula, Ndakalako Shilongo’s Thinning Lines (2018) and Donald Matthys’ Battered (2019), the latter for which she was nominated Best Actress in Theatre at the 2019 Namibian Theatre and Film Awards. Also, in 2019 she was the lead in the short film Encore (2019), directed by Senga Brockerhoff. A true performer, Odile believes that empathy is at the core of every great performance. When she is not on stage or in front of the camera, she is behind the scenes as a producer and Brand Ambassador for Gondwana Collection Namibia and a Radio Presenter on Radiowave. (You can catch her every Friday Morning for the Local Focus) She has also expanded her platform to include Performance Director at the 2019 Namibian Annual Music Awards.

Odile Gertze (MUA: Jay-Aeron & Image: Zina Namibia)

When the first lockdown was announced in March, what was your initial reaction?

I was shocked. Fear of the unknown slowly crept into my thoughts as our daily schedules were brought to a complete standstill. It has been a challenging experience. And with my involvement in both the tourism and entertainment industries, this pandemic has certainly been a shock to the system. Now is when we need to join forces and support each other. Support the Arts. Support our Tourism Sector. Support each other!

What really bums you out about the current state of events?

As mentioned, fear of the unknown. We can prepare ourselves, but only to a certain extent. The lack of social securities for our Namibian Artists has also been a concern for me. However, I am glad to see that there is still positive activity amongst our artists online. This has pushed us out of our certain comfort zones to embrace the change this lockdown brings and teaches us how to adapt more efficiently to the ever-changing world.

Productivity wise, what have you been up to?

There has certainly been more than enough time to catch up on sleep, admin, personal projects, reading, meditating and exercising. I am fortunate enough to have my ‘lockdown schedule’ which includes my work for Gondwana Collection Namibia and also a few writing challenges.

It’s probably hard but how have you been trying to keep a positive mental attitude during these times?

Prayer, Meditation, Reading and Exercise. I keep a schedule during the week to maintain some sort of normalcy in my day.

With the arts temporarily shut down, how would you advise people to continue to support the arts industry?

Divert your attention to online platforms of artists. Our Namibian artists have been keeping themselves very busy with live shows, insta live discussions and personal interactive posts to keep us entertained (and sane) during this lockdown. Follow, Share, Support!

During the lockdown, have you discovered anything that you’d like to recommend to Namib Insider! readers?

I’m still on the Netflix and Ted Talk bandwagon. However, Namibian films are available online. Also, check out Phillippe Talavera’s Salute! (2018) on YouTube.

Looking to the future, what are you looking forward to most when all of this is over?

Getting back to Traveling our country with Gondwana Collection Namibia and watching Lize Ehlers stage production, Boet en Sus!

Lastly, a penguin walks through your door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

This is clearly Mumble from Happy Feet and he is here to dance with me. He asks me to teach him the #soulstylechallenge hahaha hahaha! Obviously!

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