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Youthful creative making waves internationally

2019-07-24  Staff Reporter

Youthful creative making waves internationally

Paheja Siririka

WINDHOEK – Earlier this month Namibian producer, actor, entrepreneur and director Abraham Pieters, currently based in Johannesburg, had an interview with BBC’s Focus on Africa on advocating for diversity in the entertainment industry. 

The 24-year-old College of The Arts graduate made headlines when he worked alongside the likes Lady Gaga from the USA and appeared on E! News as well as working with South Africa’s Bonang Matheba. 
With many accolades to his name, he has again been selected to represent Namibia in Los Angeles. “The purpose of the Los Angeles Networking Week is to further our education in our chosen fields – which is acting but also to get a global understanding of what the industry is really about,” said Pieters. 
He also informed Youth Corner that he was invited to the Young Leaders Conference 2019, taking place in Atlanta next month. 

He said it’s an intensive educational session that lasts a week with some of the most influential people in the TV and film industry in Hollywood. “My goal is to echo out to young people or anyone trying to pursue this industry that anything is possible. I want to continually change the perception of what is possible, not only for me but for anyone,” highlighted Pieters. He is constantly stretching himself beyond his self-imposed limits and standards not only as an artist but as a human being.

This is not the first time Pieters will be representing Namibia in Los Angeles. “I applied the first time but for the second I didn’t apply at all, I just got selected. I received an invite from the organisers stating that they would be thrilled and honoured to have me back and I think it was because of the impact I made the first time I attended the networking week,” said the joyful Pieters. He urges fellow industry experts and especially the youth to never give up on their crafts. “A lot of the actors that get chosen for this networking week lose hope in the long run because it’s more than just having talent. It’s about discipline, patience, and consistency in this industry. People want instant success and they don’t want to commit to the process,” observed Pieters. His goal is to expand his knowledge, skills, and network and create a community with other creatives.

Another success story that Pieters revealed is being accepted at the University of South Carolina to study a Masters of Fine Arts in Film and Television Production. “I know there are Namibians that have studied abroad at Oxford University or Harvard but to be accepted at USC was more than just a dream – I got rejected twice but told myself come hell or high water I will manage somehow,” said Pieters. 

He is currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa and contracted with two companies as a production manager – freelance work. “We are shooting three feature films. I’m also working on my TV show that’s currently in production – ‘Afro Space’ – that used to play on One Africa but due to my sudden move to South Africa I ended the show during the filming of season two,” said Pieters. He has decided to rebrand the show and he is looking at potential networks like BET and Vuzu to air it on.

From personal observation, Pieters said the Namibian entertainment industry has a long way to go. “Namibia has some talented people – the only problem with Namibian artists is that they don’t have discipline when it comes to their craft and also understanding the industry as a business, and not just as a money-making way,” said Pieters.

He said the only way the Namibian art industry can grow is if artists become job creators and not job seekers. “Yes, we need more platforms and opportunities but for artists or rather creatives to come up with these platforms and opportunities for one another, they need support, financial support,” stated Pieters.
Pieters says the only form of art that’s currently blossoming is the Namibian Annual Music Awards. “What about the film and theatre awards? The film and theatre awards are being held after every second year – this makes no sense at all,” he added. 

2019-07-24  Staff Reporter

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