Namibian actress, film producer and screenwriter Charlene Girley Jazama says for any person to be an actor, they ought to be acting and taking any role they get seriously because that allows them to build a résumé as well as helps hone their skills.
“There is no such thing as a small role. Every role allows you to perfect your craft and I think playing Sylvia allowed me to be a part of telling a part of our history. I think playing Sylvia has taught me that as an actor you can learn to speak a language for a role,” she shared with Entertainment Now!
Jazama just returned from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso where she scooped two awards – for Best Actor in Southern Africa and the Sotigui D’or award at this year’s Sotigui Awards for her role as Sylvia in the locally produced movie The White Line.
“I still can’t believe I won the awards. I am so honoured because all the nominees are brilliant actors from Africa. I pinch myself now and then just to make sure I’m not dreaming. This just means I am being recognised by my peers in Africa. It means they see my talent and they are giving me accolades for it. I’m ecstatic,” she exclaimed.
She said being a part of The White Line has been amazing and it is a beautiful story, and she is over the moon that her director Desiree Kahikopo asked her to join the production.
Jazama said: “I think the spotlight is now on us as a country and the talent we have. We are a small country in comparison to the rest of the African countries. So for someone from Namibia to win these prestigious awards is a big deal and this will hopefully open doors for us to collaborate and showcase our talent in the rest of Africa.”
She said one has to start somewhere. “Please also be sure to ask yourself why you want to be an actor. Some people might think it is a glamorous job, but it is hard work – physically and emotionally. So be clear about why you want to act,” Jazama advised.
Fellow producer of The White Line, Micheal Pulse, said the award signifies that with the right planning and gathering of the right team to work on a project like The White Line, their actors and actresses can win awards at a global platform.
“All we have to do is create producers that can align the vision of the director and share it with the team,” he urged.
He added: “Collaborations are important for our work to reach across borders – we need to be able to share our experience and stories with others and sometimes when we collaborate, our experiences shared can be told from different vantage points. We should be on the lookout for call outs for the content beyond our borders, as this will help get our work recognized in other countries.”
Pulse further said funding has been an issue. “Funding – one of the key things producers have to do is raise capital for the film to be made. Namibia is a small country so funding for film by private investors is hard. It’s hard because we don’t have tangible data that can show an investor how Namibian films do at the cinemas locally. We have to then sell the story for it to capture the investor,” he enlightened.