• November 27th, 2020

“There is a concerted effort to ignore us”, says Philander

 Paheja Siririka

WINDHOEK- Namibian literature heavy-weight Fredrick Philander says there is a concerted effort in the theatre and film industry to ignore the older actors by the media that have shaped the industry the way it is right now.

Philander stated that although there is funding from the business community, they are still selective on who to fund. “We thought it would change over the years but it hasn’t, it’s still the use and case of who you know, who you connected to and so forth,” mentioned Philander. 

Today some of the early youth theatre activists such as David Ndjavera, Norman Job, Lucky Pieters and Felicity Celento have become leaders and an integral part of the theatre, radio and film fraternity in the country he said.

Philander feels that there is a concerted effort that those who pioneered theatre in Namibia are supposed to be ignored which is the set-up today.

He also said it is difficult to afford the National Theatre of Namibia because of the commercial aspect. “There is no encouragement to promote real theatre because exorbitant amounts are charged and nobody can afford that,” he said.

He said, along with his fellows’ theatre actors, they were the first black to have broken the pillars of apartheid. “I started the youth theatre movement which broke down the apartheid cultural system in South Africa. It was in 1985 that I started the youth theatre festival in Namibia which grew with leaps and bounds for the next 24 years,” highlighted Philander.

He stated that theatre has been low on the cultural ladder on the conscience of the nation and they are still trying to keep it alive. “I am still doing theatre in rural areas. Earlier this year we were in Hardap, Karas, Otjozondjupa and Erongo Regions now next year we have applied from the National Arts Council to perform my 14 plays in the remaining 10 other regions of the country,” informed Philander.

He additionally said they have had the opportunity of using Eldorado Secondary School in Khomasdal. With support from the American Cultural Centre over the years.

Philander said all is not lost because of the closure of the Warehouse Theatre. “The young ones who are in the craft should continue pushing their crafts and use church halls, school halls within the community. The closure of the Warehouse Theatre doesn’t mean is the end of theatre,” said Philander.


Staff Reporter
2019-10-18 09:49:37 | 1 years ago

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