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No glitz and glamour in Namibian showbiz

2021-10-15  Paheja Siririka

No glitz and glamour in Namibian showbiz
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Paheja Siririka

Girley Jazama warns aspiring actors that the glitz and glamour of Hollywood is a distant dream in Namibia and that development and honing your skills is a never-ending pursuit. The actor and writer is a Hollywood immersive alumna who has been acting in film and theatre productions in Namibia for more than 15 years. Jazama is also the recipient of the 2020 Sotigui best actor in Southern Africa Award as well as the Sotigui D’Or award for her role as Sylvia Kamutjemo in ‘The White Line’.

“The industry is seasonal. Our films do not have Hollywood blockbuster budgets. We have, let’s say, one feature film produced in Namibia every year, which means the chance of you being cast is pretty slim and dependent on so many factors, such as do you fit the brief of the character from the perspective of look and your audition,” she shared.

Jazama added: “This means the industry doesn’t cater for actors to work consistently. Sustaining a livelihood as an actor is tough in Namibia. Trust me, you will have seasons when you are broke.” Having quit her day job to pursue her passion for acting, Jazama seems to have fallen in love with acting and 15 years later, is still telling the tale of that regrettable decision.

Jazama admitted: “I was well aware of the fact that no one is going to make it happen for me. If you don’t put yourself out there, no one is going to do that for you. You have to find and create these opportunities for yourself.”

She said having an understanding of the theatre, film and television space in Namibia and the challenges in the industry is what made her decide to net out internationally.

“Despite your challenges, continue to persevere. No one is going to invest in you if you don’t. I truly believe in continuous development and honing my skills as an actor. As an actor, it is important to stay ready so you don’t have to get ready,” added Jazama.

She said those in the industry must have professional headshots, a bio, a resume, a showreel and an IMDB Pro account.

“You have to start treating acting like a business because as an actor, that is your business. You are the business,” said Jazama.

-psiririka@nepc.com.na


2021-10-15  Paheja Siririka

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