• July 5th, 2020

Is acting a good career option in Namibia?

 Paheja Siririka

WINDHOEK - Entertainment Now! has been dissecting different entertainment industries to find out why Namibians are in them while it seems there is no growth or pasture. This time around, we look at acting and ask industry experts if it is a good career option in Namibia. Can acting put food on the table; can one grow and make ends meet?
Name: Sunet van Wyk
Number of years acting: 12 years
Current occupation: Radio Personality at Radiowave 97.6 FM
Starred in: Tura Tour Guide, Resentment, The White Line and others

You deciding to do acting depends on your reason for taking up acting in the first place. If you want to do it because of the glitz, the glam and the fame then no, sorry, I would say don’t bother. 
Firstly, because for an actor in Namibia there is no glitz, glam or fame and although you do get paid for serious gigs, you’re not exactly breaking the bank. Secondly, you won’t last in the industry with this mindset anyway. If, however, you have a passion for storytelling and a passion for the craft then, yes, especially since if you truly have a passion for something then the lack of glitz, glam, fame or money shouldn’t put you off of it. Just be realistic and remind yourself that you won’t be able to support yourself financially with acting alone and you’re not going to get a lot of recognition for what you do – not in Namibia currently, at least. I always say you need to do what you love, otherwise you’ll be miserable. And, if you love acting then, yes, go for it! It can be a fulfilling career if you do it for the right reasons.

Name: Denzel //Naobeb aka NSK
Number of years acting: More than 12 years
Current occupation: Radio Personality at Fresh FM Namibia
Starred in: Tura Tour Guide, Three Women and Madam President and others

I love the power that comes with acting. The power is incredible such that one is in a position to bring a story to life. There are rewards to this like being crowned Favourite Actor for 2018 Simply You Magazine Lifestyle and Fashion Awards.
As far as the industry goes right now, there’s little or no money in the trade. One can’t keep doing it just for the “love” of it. “Love of it” does not pay rent. The journey in the industry can be tough.
So, to anyone who wants to join, be extra careful and come with the right mindset because as far as we know, those that have powers that be have no interest in developing the industry. If you so badly want to do it. Do it. Start with grassroots here in Namibia and go fish for bigger opportunities in South Africa.

Name: David Ndjavera
Number of years acting: 33 years
Current occupation: Lecturer: Arts Education, College of the Arts (COTA).
Starred in: King of the Dumb, My Children-My Africa, Hamlet and Alice in Welwitschia Land and many more

I have acted in more than 100 plays. Theatre is my first love and film supplements the acting experience. Hence, I got conferred with a Masters in Arts Degree specialising in Theatre.
My journey has been a trying one. Full of challenges of life. Obstacles of part pressure and the school of hard knocks. Perseverance was my driving force and consistency pushed me over the wall to reach my goal.
My advice is nothing is impossible. Dreams and realities are synonymous. If you start it, perfect it every day; it will pay back in the long run.
Acting is a career, yes, but on its own, you will starve in Namibia. Be a jack of all trades. Act, direct, produce and be a scriptwriter. And for added advantage do dance songs and recite poetry while you are at it. Only then do you stand a chance to a comfortable life.
The education system needs to include performing arts as a compulsory subject in schools up to Grade 12 to ensure the production of an arts educated audience who will accelerate the development of arts as a formidable career. The day will come when the artist will be able to pay bills through acting but it needs doing and we are the ones to make it happen.

Name: Adriano Visagie
Number of years acting: 7 years.
Current occupation: Full-time Banker and Radio Personality at Radio Energy 
Starred in: A Report for an Academy, The Nut House, Salute and many more

We need to collaborate as young creatives. Collaborative projects among creatives can allow for more opportunities. Opportunities do not only allow for an incentive to provide for a meal but to network. I would like corporates to get creative
Any entity needs to evaluate how lucrative they want to be. You can’t just be an actor on stage and expect to make ends meet. You need to be versatile, venture into dancing or being a voice-over artist. Namibian artists and creatives don’t have it easy and yet some compromise, not only price but simply change career due to having to provide for their family and themselves.
Last year, I was exposed to Nollywood and the type of productions they create but moreover the affiliates and corporate interest in supporting local film. When we create local short films and partake in creating more films supported by Namibians, it grows our industry. It creates jobs. It sets the bar for Namibians.
In the a theatrical aspect, the National Theatre of Namibia supports creatives and has staged world-class productions and also offers different opportunities such as theatre zone, theatre day, productions that allow a larger scale of actors and directors expertise to be utilised.

Name: Whilz ahn Gelderbloem, aka Dubz
Numbersof years acting: 7 years
Current occupation: Radio Personality at Fresh FM.
Starred in: Katutura (2015), The Hidden Sky (2016)

The reason why I love acting is I was born a character. The industry isn’t big enough to accommodate all the talented actors and actresses we have to offer and unfortunately, if you don’t belong to a clique, your chances of being cast are slim because, as in all our different industries, the infectious epidemic of clout chasing and favouritism does exit in the acting world as well. Also, there’s no regulator when it comes to actors’ payment, therefore, casting agents to take advantage and don’t pay actors fairly.
The industry needs to start being regulated so that actors can be paid fairly, so that all actors can have a fair chance and eliminate the elitism syndrome Namibia has. Acting doesn’t pay your bills full time, you need to still have a job. It’s a hustle just to get gigs.
Corporates and producers need to respect paying actors on time, as most of the time they [actors] need to run after their hard-earned money. 

Staff Reporter
2019-10-04 08:39:37 | 9 months ago

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