Nam Acting, an organisation dedicated to equipping passionate individuals with acting talents and connecting them to the industry, recently joined forces with the National Arts Council of Namibia (NACN) to host a captivating monologue competition on 1 September.
Founded in 2014 by Abraham Pieters and Selima Henock, the organisation aims to empower and equip actors in Namibia. It hosts three annual events that provide valuable opportunities for actors to enhance their skills, network and gain exposure to industry professionals.
The first of these events is the Entry Workshop, which is conducted by an industry expert. Here, actors are taken through intense workshops to learn about the ins and outs of the acting industry, and information and techniques are shared in the theatre and film industry.
The Monologue Competition is another event that Nam Acting offers to actors to allow them to exercise their talent, network and be scouted by industry players while competing for cash prizes.
“Over the years, we have seen actors thrive on stage through this platform,” said Henock.
The third event, Actors Mingle, creates a space for actors to hone their skills, connect with peers and learn more about the art of acting.
To participate in the monologue competition, actors were asked to submit a 30-second monologue of their own. From a pool of 15 applicants, only nine participants were selected.
This competition had Elzaan de Wee, a theatre practitioner, art teacher and a graduate of the College of the Arts, alongside, Leon Mubiana, a filmmaker, majoring in script writing and directing, as judges.
Elsenè Janse emerged as the first prize winner, taking home N$3 000, followed by Jonas Angondji (second prize) with N$2 000, and Naemi Kapendje (third prize) received N$1 500. Janse, who applied at the last minute after encouragement from her mother, expressed her excitement and gratitude for winning.
She told VIBEZ! the win was unexpected, as there were many talented individuals.
“It was so lovely to meet people in the same career path because in Namibia, it’s so hard to find actors too,” said Janse.
Having performed monologues for one minute before, she described the two-minute monologue for the competition as ‘easy’.
Her monologue was about a young woman, who was fighting to regain her power. The woman was contemplating her relationship and wondering if she should continue with the choices she made. Every choice she made revolved around a relationship and not merely for herself.
The competition was part of the first-ever Namibia National Literature Festival by NACN on 1 and 2 September at the National Library and Archives.
Henock is an actress, director, scriptwriter, producer and currently a reporter for NBC. She graduated from the College of the Arts and has been in the industry for more than a decade. She has written and directed short films and documentaries. Pieters, on the other hand, has been employing his creativity as the executive producer at Guez TV Studios in Midrand Johannesburg, dedicating a significant span of over eight years to the media and broadcasting industry. He honed his skills and enriched his knowledge at Brumilda’s Acting Academy in Johannesburg.
Their journey began during their college years when they sought a platform that catered specifically to actors.
Unable to find one, they decided to create their own platform, resulting in Nam Acting.
Pieters shared, “The concept of Nam Acting was born out of our shared passion for the art of storytelling. As the founders of the idea, we had a mutual desire to delve into a diverse range of mediums: film, television and theatre. It was primarily this shared ambition and our inability to find existing acting institutions that catered to these mediums, which spurred the germination of Nam Acting”.
Next on their calendar is the Entry Workshop, slated for next February, said Henock. In the meantime, they will be sending actors for auditions for different productions.