Tag Archives: Music

The Search- A New Namibian Singing Competition Coming To TV

A group of innovative young Namibians put their heads together to conceptualize a local reality singing competition called The Search, with a faintly stalkerish slogan that goes ‘We Will Find You’.

The formidable show will air on the national broadcaster, Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) from October 2020, seeking to find the next “sensational star across Namibia” and reward them a cash prize of N$100 000. The show will focus on vocalists in any musical genre including choirs, hip hop, rap, RnB, dance hall, reggae, etc., from across the Land.

NBC will broadcast all 16-episodes of The Search season 1 on its prime time channel NBC1 and on its streaming platform NBC Plus. Each episode will be approximately 60 minutes.

Right now, the only prize will be the N$100, 000 cash prize, however, according to the show’s spokesperson, Ndapewa Ambambi, they are looking at record deals for the winner amongst other “cool stuff.”

Ambambi shares that the idea for the show was birthed 3 years ago. “We took time to do a lot of research, planning and we are also a small team so resources didn’t just fall on us we had to dig deep. In addition to that we have a 5 year plan with regards to the show,” she says.

The Search was officially launched on 18 August 2020. Here’s how the show works:

CONCEPT

The initiative that was birthed about three years ago by a group of innovative young people had to go through transformation with the two pilot shows already shot, to make sure a quality product will be delivered to the Namibian audience. The 16-episode reality show, in association with the NBC and ConSoAV will connect with viewers and promises entertainment value.

The three months reality show will have four phases, mainly:

Phase 1:
This stage will allow contestants to submit videos to judges. Where judges will give their verdict on talent. Current cycle closes on 31 August 2020.

Phase 2:
This phase is about instrumental backing. Here, it is cut down to 30 contestants only.

Phase 3:
The 30 contestants will compete to qualify for phase 4. At this stage, contestants will start to receive professional input from industry experts and perform semi-live performances.

Phase 4:
This will be the live rounds, starting with 14 contestants and ending with with the overall winner. They will perform live with the band and backing vocals receiving input from industry experts.

The team behind ‘The Search’ at the official launch in Windhoek (Images: TheSearchNamibia)

JUDGING CRITERIA

Phase 1:
Judges will look at ‘raw’ talent, skill level and vocal texture.

Phase 2:
Special focus on organizing performance. Song choice for performance. Presentation with performance. Vocal texture with performance and how to work with a team for performance.

Phase 3:
The judges will look at stage presence. Performance energy. Task execution. Vocal texture. Contestants will perform on theme base.

Phase 4:
Criteria will be based on stage presence. Audience engagement. Vocal texture. Vocal capabilities. Band and backing vocal support. The contestants will perform their renditions of Namibian songs.

JUDGES

Edo Lutete a.k.a Dice (Musician), Lady May Africa (Musician) and Daniel Nadunya (Journalist/Music Producer) are resident judges on the show. Each episode will have an extra-special guest judge.

Lockdown Missive: Zikii

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 singer-songwriter Zikii, who has also written songs for a couple of Namibian movies. Zikii released her debut album in November last year and she currently serves as the 2020 ambassador of Song Night. Zikii is also a radio presenter and member of Collective Singers- a group of singers who mainly share their talent in aid of the less fortunate.

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Zikii (Image: Provided)

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

I got an instant rush of mixed emotions. I got worried about the projects I have planned for this year as a Solo Artist. And also, the first Song Night for 2020 was basically scheduled to take place in March and the thought of it being cancelled was just terrible because I have always looked forward to being a part of Song Night. As the 2020 Song Night Brand Ambassador, my year was literally marked to officially kick off with the first Song Night of the year, however; everything had to come to a standstill as the lockdown became our reality as Namibians. (Update: This Song Night event will be live on Song Night’s Facebook page.)

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

There are a whole lot of things that really bother me e.g. cancelled performances, cancelled trips etc. however, the one thing that bums me out the most about the state this pandemic has us in, not just as Namibians alone, but as the world at large, is that with all the deaths, pain, sacrifices and social distancing, some people still find room for racism which is so sad and wrong on so many levels. Life in general calls for unconditional humanity and solidarity, now more than ever.

Productivity wise, what have you been up to?

Well… As for me, it’s a tiny bit different due to the fact that I work for a Media House (Energy 100 FM) and therefore fell under the Essential Services. We are, however, on a rotational lockdown and on my off days, I’m either writing a song, rehearsing, reading or busy with some tailoring.

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

God! I start and end off each day with a prayer; spend time in His presence through reading the word and listening to a whole lot of Gospel and uplifting songs. Before the lockdown started, I was so caught up in my Job, rehearsals, performances, recordings, travelling and side hustles which didn’t leave a lot of time for family and friends. So, I’ve been making the most of my days off by just living in the moment and appreciating the time I have with the people I love. Singing and writing also takes my mind off what’s going on around me and always leaves me feeling lighter.

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

I would urge people to really support every artist out there going out of their way to still keep you entertained through Live Streams regardless of our current situation. Also, it would be really nice if our Radio Presenters from their respective Radio Stations focus a whole lot more on Namibian Artists too(Art in all forms).

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

I would recommend The All Americans, Black Mirror and one very special book- The Bible.

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

I’m definitely looking forward to getting back on stage, getting started on my planned projects, seeing my relatives and friends, being able to give hugs again and travelling.

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

He says “Ola Zikiiiiiiiiiiiii, ola mi Amor!” (followed by kisses on the cheek)
“I’ve got a five-course meal delivery for you, yummy in your tummy.” (Yes, because I love my food lol)

Three Namibian Contestants Join KykNet’s ‘Maak My Famous’ Season 2

The second season of KykNet’s reality tv show, Maak My Famous, will feature Namibia’s very own Dynamix, Ayden & Tamaryn and JR.

Dynamix (aka Vocal Dynamix) comprising of Edwin McCorney, Jerome Harnoster, David McCorney and Basil Stevens; Ayden & Tamaryn and JR make up this season’s 48 cast members, selected from 8 000 entries.

South Africa’s Emo Adams and his co-presenter Tarryn Lamb, both very successful Afrikaans musicians, will be back with Maak My Famous to introduce the 48 talented performers for a second season.

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Emo Adams and Tarryn Lamb

“We brought so many new and exciting elements to the second season. We introduced a new category for the groups and rappers and they are insanely good! And off course the Emo ticket is back. Do I use all of them? You have to wait and see!” said Adams, who is also the producer of the show.

The second season of the reality show was in production at GrandWest Casino in Cape Town and will be broadcast on kykNET and kykNET&kie from 29 April 2020. Live tapings of the second season have been postponed to continue from 14 April, following the Covid-19 national lockdown.

The winner of Maak my Famous will receive a cash prize of R100 000, a car sponsored by Toyota, a contract by All-Star Management and a tour with Emo Adams for a year.

According to KykNET, the first season of Maak my Famous was a runaway hit with about 1.4 million viewers voting to secure the top 2 talents in the competition.

(IMAGES: MultiChoice Namibia/KykNet)

The 2010s: A Decade In Namibian Film, Music and Theatre

At the beginning of 2010 music, film and theatre was a struggling business, 10 years later, it is still a struggling business but at least now, quality and substance is the standard. This decade has seen a lot of improvement for the Namibian film industry, and if the years 2018 and 2019 specifically are anything to go by, the 2020s decade is going to be even better and Namibia’s entertainment industry is getting well aligned with the rest of the world.

Capturing a decade in a single article is not easy, but with the input from industry spectators Faith Haushona-Kavamba (Journalist), Rodelio Lewis (Radio Host) and Netumbo ‘Mickey’ Nekomba (Journalist) and myself, we are going to attempt to give you a glimpse of Namibian film, music and theatre in the 2010s decade.

Film

The local film industry is growing from strength to strength as there is an improvement in produced content and narratives. New creative and innovative players penetrating the film market are also on the rise and the more experienced guys finally get the importance of quality production.

However, the greatest challenge to the Namibian Film industry still faces is the lack of consistent film funding and corporate/investor buy-in. Large budget films are largely still funded by the Namibia Film Commission. Naturally, this is the main reason the industry is growing at a slower pace but there have been pretty good films produced in this decade.

What We Liked

  • Coming Home (2014), by Miranda Stein
  • Katutura (2015) by Florian Schott
  • #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm (2019) by Tim Heubscle
  • 100 Bucks (2012) by Oshosheni Hiveluah
  • Baxu and the Giants (2019) by Florian Schott
  • The White Line (2019), (2019) by Desiree Kahikopo
  • Tjiraa (2012) by Krischka Stoffels
  • Hairareb (2019) by Oshoveli Shipoh

Faith’s favourites: Tjiraa, Katutura, 100 Bucks.  “I didn’t really like the storyline of Katutura, but I have to admit it was a visually appealing film. It was a top-notch Namibian production and had a really talented cast. 100 Bucks was simple yet appealing because it simply tracked how money travels from the claws of the wealthy to the palms of the poor. Another local production that was ahead of its time was Tjiraa because it addressed the seldom-discussed issue of arranged marriages and marital rape in this country. It is still very relevant today.”

Rodelio’s favourites: Katutura, #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm, Coming Home. “Katutura spearheaded the standards of what quality can and should look like when it comes to Namibian films and the film showcased the talent of Namibian actors in a way that I’ve never seen it before. It really was a game-changer and from the onset, I perceived the local film industry in a new light. #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm changed my understanding of what beauty really looks like when it comes to our country; it invited you into what makes Namibia so diverse and so appealing. #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm also showed you that there are very compelling stories that need to be told. Also, that is one badass action thriller! In Coming Home, I saw Odile Gertze acting for the first time and I was just blown away by her acting skills. I was like ‘this girl deserves to be in international films’. Coming Home has a very powerful storyline too.”

Mickey’s favourites: The White Line, Katutura. “I would watch The White Line over and over again. It stole my heart with its incredible visuals and a powerful portrayal of an interracial couple in the apartheid era. Katutura had everyone talking. There were so many screenings when it first premiered, that most of the venues were full and it was difficult to see it! When I eventually did, I was quite amazed. What a wonderful movie.”

In terms of technical aesthetics in film, 2019 has been a great year. Compared to the poor visual appeal, horrible sound quality or that one horrible telenovela filter short the decade started with, there has been a major improvement in the technical quality of films. Listen, even the narratives and acting in our films is better these days. Baxu and the Giants and The White Line are not only well received nationally, but internationally the films are also having a feast, enjoying major attention from film festivals and audiences alike. #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm and Hairareb are also doing well for themselves and were beautiful and well-executed films, especially #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm.

Notable Mentions

  • Encore (2019), a short film by Senga Brockerhoff
  • Looking For Iilonga (2011), a short film by Tim Heubscle
  • Everything Happens For A Reason (2014), a short film by Florian Schott
  • Salute! (2018), a feature  by Philippe Talavera
  • Tjitji – The Himba Girl (2014), a short film by Oshosheni Hiveluah
  • The Date (2019), a short film by Mikiros Garoes

Music

Music is probably the most consumed facet of the Namibian entertainment industry and most credit goes to music fans who have kept expectations high, prompting musicians to up their game. The introduction of the Namibian Annual Music Awards in 2011 is also another factor for the massive growth in Namibian music. The technological advances and the rise of seasoned and new- especially new- music industry influences defined the 2010s decade, musically.

Over the span of the past 10 years, many Namibian musicians have made their mark nationally and internationally, with various collaborations, awards and performances.

What We Liked

  • Boss Madam – (Sally Boss-Madam)
  • Swagga (Gazza)
  • Aalumentu (PDK)
  • Zoom Zoom – (Lady May)
  • Penduka (Gazza ft. Mandoza)
  • Thando Iwam (DJ Bojo Mujo ft. Tequila)
  • Warakata (One Blood)
  • Johny (TopCheri)
  • Khâimâ (KK ft Tswazis)
  • Chelete (Gazza)
  • National Address (LSD)

Mickey’s Favourites: Penduka, Thando Iwam, Warakata. “I love my daily dose of local music! Penduka’s release was an epic time in Namibian music. Five seconds in the song and you already know what’s about to go down. It is classic! In 2011, DJ Bojo Mujo and Tequila created a storm with Thando Iwam. There was hardly a place you could step into without hearing “if I marry you, will you marry me?” There’s no doubt this song will continue to create an impact. As for Warakata, One Blood came, they saw and they conquered. No matter what tribe you are, you danced to this song. I absolutely love this hit.”

Faith’s favourites: Boss Madam, Swagga, Aalumentu. “Although we already knew Sally, Boss Madam was the hit that cemented her as the queen of afro-fusion; it was fresh, unexpected and just what we needed on the airwaves. I’m not a Kwaito fan but there was just something about Swagga that I loved. It wasn’t anything like I’d heard from Gazza before. It’s not every day that you hear a cow mooing in the intro of a song, and that immediately grabs your attention and that happens in the intro of Aalumentu. It’s unfortunate that it was so underrated but it’s a great song that shows unity and pride, and dare I say more relevant today than when it was released because we are seeing divisive/tribalist rhetoric being spewed more than ever.”

Rodelio’s favourites:  Zoom Zoom, Boss Madam, National Address. “It’s no lie that I love Sally Boss Madam, and after seeing her perform live, I stalked her and found that Boss Madam song. I saw the respect she has for her craft. Boss Madam is still a hit and Sally understands longevity when it comes to music. Zoom Zoom was and is still a boss song. Plus the music video slaps. Our current economic and political climate is in a very fragile state and it’s important for everyone’s voice to be heard. The group LSD, came together and created an anthem and music video that carries a powerful message that amplifies the frustrations’ faced by the Namibian youth and everyone else as well. National Address carries an important social message and what’s great is you’re still able to twerk and live your best life to the song.”

Songs like Chelete, Johny and Khâimâ define the road to triumph in Namibian music. Musicians continue to create a soundscape that draws from, rap, dancehall, reggae, hip-hop, afro-pop, jazz, hip-hop, otjivire and pop and we are totally here for it. The 2010s decade was a great start and with the looming decade, the possibilities for growth are endless, especially with the growing artistry in Namibian music.

Notable Mentions

  • Inotila (Tate Buti)
  • Saka (PDK ft. Top Cheri, King Elegant and Athawise)
  • Go to Malawi (Exit feat. Neslouw & ML)
  • Young, Wild And Free (Sunny Boy)
  • I believe (Linda ft Petersen)
  • Boom Boom (Freeda)
  • Swaai (Twasis ft. Adora)
  • I Promise (Jerico)
  • Everything Happens For A Reason (Lize Ehlers)
  • Wumwe Tati Kalako (Mushe feat Tequila/Tekla)
  • Netira (Kalux)
  • Chip in, Chip Out (King Tee Dee)
  • Tala (Lioness)
  • Kaandjetu (Jomolizo Ft Liina)
  • Fikulimwe (Young T)
  • Fantastic Sam (Lize Ehlers)
  • Nuka (King Tee Dee ft. Chesta)
  • No longer Slaves (Nam Gospel United)
  • Drowning In My Feelings (Y’Cliff)
  • Net So (Sally Boss Madam)
  • Numba Numba (Big Ben)
  • Twamana (Blacksheep)
  • Lost (Micheal Pulse)
  • Money (Gazza ft. Lady May)
  • Ethimbo (Oteya)

Theatre

Although only having been exposed to the theatre in this decade, Namibian theatremakers made sure Namibia enjoys the ancient craft in its finest form. When the decade started in 2010, theatre was really something you’d only see in schools. Mainstream theatre was poorly attended and only enjoyed by ‘theatre nerds’. Also, not much was happening in the theatre fraternity. If you were a theatre lover, you’d go months without seeing a quality theatre play, but as the years stretched on, theatre productions became more and more frequent.

Since 2015, the theatre has been on an upward trajectory and the appetite for theatre grew as dramas and musicals became popular with more and more people. This decade has seen a range of locally written and international plays produced and performed with quality and zest. As it stands, theatre has a large number of loyal theatregoers who enjoy seeing live performances from some of Namibia’s finest theatre actors.

What We Liked

  • Die Stoep (2019) by Jonathan Sasha
  • Meme Mia (2013) by Sandy Rudd
  • Lammie Beukes (2014) by Senga Brockerhoff
  • Prime Colours (2014) by Zindri Swartz)
  • The Shebeen Queen by Nashilongweshipwe Mushandja
  • Battered (2019) by Donald Matthys
  • The Nuthouse (2018) by Lloyd Winini
  • Ominous (2016) by Jenny Kandenge
  • Fences (2018) by Nelago Shilongoh
  • Meet Me at Dawn (2019) Sandy Rudd

Rodelio’s favourites: Prime Colours, Die Stoep, Meme Mia. “Prime Colours was one of the first multimedia productions, incorporating an LGBTIQ+ narrative in a way that sparked dialogue and opened the door for much-needed healing. It also got me my first two Namibian Theatre and Film nominations and win as a professional actor. Meme Mia inspired me to better my craft and I knew I wanted to one day work with Sandy Rudd, a dream that came true in 2018. Die Stoep invited the coloured and baster community’s lives and truths to the table, with the cast, director/writer, musical director and stage Manger all being coloured and baster, this all Afrikaans play was very loved sold out all 3 nights.”

Mickey’s Favourite: Die Stoep. “After watching Die Stoep, many audience members left the National Theatre of Namibia’s Backstage with tears, which shows how much of an emotional impact it had on all of us. It will remain one of the best plays of 2019.”

Faith’s favourites: Meme Mia, The Sheebeen Queen, Battered. “Sandy Rudd is a force to be reckoned with, she reimagined the classic Mama Mia to suit the Namibian audience instead of regurgitating what we had already seen. Her cast was insanely talented, which just made the play all more magical. Jacques Mushaandja’s debut play, The Shebeen Queen, was spectacular, he had a young vibrant cast, and most importantly the play gave us a glimpse into sheebeen life and unemployment. He was ahead of his time. Sex work is work, a woman has the right to make her own reproductive choices (including whether or not to have an abortion) and LGBTQ rights are a basic human right. Battered brought some of these issues to the forefront, not to mention that it had a stellar cast that brought it all to life.”

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A scene from Die Stoep. (Image: NTN)

In this decade, Namibian theatremakers have adapted numerous world plays such as Mama Mia (Meme Mia), Fences, District Six, and Meet Me At Dawn and the delivery of these productions was stellar. Local writers and directors used the theatre stage to bring comic relief and tackle social issues and productions like The Nuthouse and Daddy’s Girls have been nothing short of pure magnificent theatre. Every year, the National Theatre of Namibia is investing lots of financial assistance in the art of theatre and the creation of local stories and the organisation deserves a nod for its continuous investment into the craft. Smaller theatre venues and theatre organisations also reap the benefits of the growing theatregoer culture Namibians are developing. The 2020s are very promising!

Notable Mentions

  • ‘Revere Them Those Men’ (2014) by Hafeni Muzanima
  • The Teacher (2012) by Frederick Philander
  • Daddy’s Girls (2018) by Jenny Kandenge
  • Every Woman (2019) by Senga Brockerhoff
  • Thinning Lines (2018) by Ndakalako Shilongo
  • Tales of Roses in Concrete (2018) by Ashwyn Mberi
  • Three Women and You (2018) by David Ndjavera
  • Aspoestertjie (2017) Abraham Pieters
  • A Raisin in the Sun (2018) by Sepiso Mwange
  • Fell (2017) by Blessing Mbonambi & Junelle Mbonambi – Stroh
  • Madam President (2017) by Keamogetsi Joseph Molapong
  • District Six (2017) by Tanya Terblanche

‘Song Night’ Ends 2019 On High Note- Director Lize Ehlers Reflects

Song Night is one of the longest-running live music shows in Namibia and it is thanks to the varied acts the bi-monthly show has been offering since its debut in April 2011.

Song Night and its offering have grown over the years. On Wednesday, 4 December, the final Song Night for 2019 was held at the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre (FNCC) in Windhoek. On that morning, Song Night’s Lighting and Sound Technician, Karl Ehlers had to prepare the show after spending 10 hours on a plane from Berlin and Founder and Director Lize Ehlers says such dedication is the substance that makes Song Night work every time.

The show saw 2019 Song Night Ambassador, Treza Cooper ending her reign with two performances, including her very own Afro-Pop single, Déjà Vu. Keeping to Song Night’s tranquil vibes, Treza performed the song alongside award-winning vocalist, Bradley Anthony. Host Adriano Visagie introduced Zikii as Song Night’s 2020 Ambassador, Zikii, presenting a promising 2020, performed her Kanangui & Ii Mindu Wange.

Supported by backing vocals, the night saw performances by Nena + Dee (Jingle Bell Rock), Arthur (South of the River & Happy), Scharlarco (That’s What I Like), Asheeqa (Hamba Nawe), Nadine (Falling & Deeper), Shiruka (Afeto), Radostina + Dee (Life & Superman), BNT (Adrenaline & Swilili) and Dolar (Party Tonight & Karolina).

“We will keep Song Night alive and kicking till we shapeshift it into a festival that is supported by tourists who want to come and experience Namibia in the form of a proudly Namibian music festival.” – Lize Ehlers

Reflecting on the Song Night experience, Lize talks about 2019, the ups and downs of putting on a show like this and the future of Song Night:

When you first started Song Night and looking at the growth and influence the show has earned over the years, would 2011 Lize imagine the show growing the way it has?

I had really high hopes for Song Night because it was created from a need. There was no space or platform for new singers to express their voices. Spoken Word was there for poets. Free Your Mind was there for comedians. But singers didn’t have a place. I created that place with a feeling and vision of growing voices into their potential, with the support of professionals. To me, this has always been about inclusion, mentorship and opportunity. I am over the moon at the response and the support, especially by our professional band.

 

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Nena and Dee opening the final Song Night of 2019 (Images: Martin Amushendje)

Song Night has served as a career booster for numerous musicians. What are your personal highlights from your 9 years on the show?

Every singer that takes the stage with us has their own idea of what they want at that specific time in their lives. We applaud every single person that has used this platform to elevate their sound. I am so happy that singers like ‘Die Ongesluipte Diamant Van Die Suide’, Chris B, (2018 Ambassador), Priscilla The Namibian Dessert Queen & Bradley The Falsetto King (2016 Co-Ambassadors), have been creating non-stop and have been taking the industry by storm. Frans Marti our 2017 Ambassador, just released his latest amazing single called Whomst Are You and he is pursuing his musical career with the support of guitarist, Tad. Another highlight includes Miss H from the Fate of Miss H, who is hands down one of the most incredible Namibian musicians, and she also found her feet on the Song Night stage, years ago. I cannot mention everyone, but Song Night is very proud of it’s 2019 and 2020 Ambassadors, Treza and Zikizee, for respectively putting themselves out there and for moulding their sound authentically.

Song Night is one of the very few well-curated music platforms Namibia has to offer and the show has been consistent if not, in a sense, transcendent, how do you do it? What is the recipe?

The recipe is passion, truth and rehearsal. I communicate with each singer, explaining the process and expectations. We talk about the importance of working on your craft and believing in yourself. Song Night has never promised fame. It promises experience on stage with the support of professionals. And this is why it works. We focus on the work, not the shine. But of course, now with the support of a vocal trainer namely Emily Dangwa from ED Music Academy & Stylist Martina Pieper from Styled by Martina, Makeup by Miss Jey Arts, Wardrobe by House of Poulton and Nails by Fantastic Sam – the shine is also part of it! We also thank our MC Adriano Visagie who took over the ropes from our previous hosts Mercedez Von Cloete and Tulimelila Shityuwete. Without HEC supporting with rehearsal space and equipment we would not be where we are. We are very grateful for our team.

Was there ever a moment where you felt the road for Song Night should come to an end, if there was, what has kept you motivated to continue?

There have been many moments when I wanted to give up. But then I just changed the formula; instead of ending it, I made it more plausible. It is a lot of hard work. It is a lot of financial and time investment. But when someone hits the right notes, when someones feel like themselves for the first time on stage – it is the best thing to witness and experience.  My passion is to see people make it in life. I cannot explain it. But it gives me incredible joy, peace and excitement. That is why I keep doing it. With the support of my amazing family and team, we will keep Song Night alive and kicking till we shapeshift it into a festival that is supported by tourists who want to come and experience Namibia in the form of a proudly Namibian music festival.

Song Night has concluded for 2019, can you reflect on the highs and lows for the show throughout the year?

The highs include having hit after hit shows at our mother venue Warehouse Theatre Windhoek. The lowest low was the Warehouse Theatre closing down, and we had to move. But we found our new home at FNCC. Other highs include Song Nighters releasing hit singles like our 2019 Ambassador Treza, who is in the top 50 singles on DONLU with Dejavu. The music is always a highlight, giving us new hope in our everyday lives. Song Night sees Alvara launching her debut self-penned album, FIN, at the May Identity Concert as one of the top highlights of 2019! We have had to push through very personal painful realities and the show still went on, so we see Song Night as a highlight in itself.

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Alvara at the May Identity show.

Song Night has recently been renamed as RMB Song Night. What lies ahead for the show in 2020?

Our main sponsor is Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), without their support, Song Night would not be able to afford a professional band, professional host, venue and photographer. We owe our success story to RMB and therefore we renamed Song Night to RMB Song Night for as long as they are our main sponsor. We look forward to their continued support and we thank RMB profusely. Our other loyal support includes 99FM who just joined hands with Energy 100 FM – to spread the word of RMB Song Night even further. This is a highly anticipated media partner collaboration. With our new venue FNCC, we hope to pull an audience of culture seekers from across Windhoek. We salute our team and will be challenging singers to create more original songs for the show.

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Song Nighters at the Warehouse Theatre.

Before we go, as an artist and mentor, have there been any difficult lessons learned in 2019?

Never Give Up! It might seem difficult and painful to be on an endless path of personal investment not only into our own journeys but the journeys of others but creating positive legacies is what we must stay focused on.  Let’s continue to build and mould and mentor the next person. Namibia is in a breakthrough time and we must be the examples.

Dice on Michael, ‘The 3rd Will’ and Soupe à l’oignon

Musician and Actor, Dice sat down with Namib Insider to shed some light on the soft spoken and driven lady’s man, ‘Michael Kamati’, who he plays in ‘The 3rd Will’ series on Zambezi Magic. Dice has launched his acting career playing the second-born child of the late ‘Henry Kamati’ and has been part of the cast since the first season of the drama series which is in the production of it’s fourth season. Michael, being in his early 30’s is one of the Kamati siblings causing epic drama in the series revolving around inheritance, betrayal and family feuds.

The Kamati’s

Here’s the Interview:

Would you be friends with Michael Kamati in real life?
Yes. I suppose so, he seems like a chilled dude. He should just leave his drama at the door. Good vibes only.

What is the one thing he does, you wish he would stop doing?
He is too trusting at times and very gullible. Wish he could get friends that can put him in check.

How has your journey with ‘The 3rd Will’ been?
Educational for lack of better words. I learned so much over the past four seasons, especially for me not having any acting experience prior to this. The cast is great and we have a brilliant director and plus I have a new crew I call family. I am truly blessed.

What’s your take on the acting business?
I still consider myself a student of the art. Looking at other colleagues of the industry at work gave me great confidence and good tips which helped me when I struggled. Acting takes a lot of mental focus with a fair amount of passion. I wish we had more platforms like ‘The 3rd Will’ in Namibia, because Namibia has got so much talent. Many passionate students from colleges write to me or approach me with their passion. This made me realise that we have very little platforms to showcase. We have qualified and competent individuals who are sitting at home without jobs. Funding is critical and a huge cash injection is needed in order to boost our film industry otherwise it could die a fast natural death.

You also do music; if you had to choose acting or music, which would it be?
I eat, sleep, drink and breath music.


Who would be your dream crew?
At the level where our film industry is I would say that it would be premature to answer that. There’s so much talent but, I feel like so many of them lack the exposure that comes with working on a big budget feature. Its mostly the theatre actors who are doing well because most theatre projects get funding. Filming is a whole different ball game. So, to answer that will be like shooting in the dark.

Do you think actors can really make a successful living in Namibia?
Until our corporates decide to start giving back to the stage and screen community and invest in the local market then no, you will just be another famous actor by day and a bartender at night chasing the dream but nothing to show for.

What would you like Namibian theatre and film industry to be like?
Competitive and self sustainable. It hurts to hear people say that they want to join ‘The 3rd Will’ only to get experience so that they can go work in the South African film industry. If we don’t bring social changes in our society now, our generation will have nothing.

What makes a good actor in your eyes?
A natural. Somebody who is so in tuned with the character you can’t differentiate what’s real and what’s not; its like the actor was born for a specific role. A perfect example would be Denzel Washington.

What social stigma does society need to get over?
Racism/Tribalism

What food have you never eaten but would really like to try?
Soupe à l’oignon (French onion soup)

What are you currently worried about?
The transfer that was apparently done two days ago but has not reflected yet.. Eish, should I be worried?

What’s your “Back in my day, we…”
…used a pantyhose around a wire and used it as a pop shield?

What brand are you most loyal to?
The ‘Dice’ brand. Everything I have today is thanks to that name.

What was one of the most interesting concerts you’ve been to?
An Oviritje concert.

What did you Google last?
‘The Best Hip Hop African videos 2018’

What’s the funniest pick-up line you’ve heard?
“Do you know what my shirt is made of? Boyfriend material…”

The third season of the drama series which revolves around an inherited family feud is on at Zambezi Magic (Dstv channel 160) on Wednesdays at 21h30. The show is also available on DStv Catch Up.

(Images: Provided)