Kunene appeals for support towards Namibian film industry

7 April 2017


WINDHOEK – South African veteran actor, Vusi Kunene – famous for playing Jack Mabaso in popular soap opera ‘Generations: The Legacy’ – has called on the Namibian corporate sector to help the film industry.

Kunene was the guest speaker at the 2017 Namibian Theatre and Film Awards (NTFA) held on Saturday, March 25, at the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN) in Windhoek.

Kunene said the government ought not to be the main sponsor of the theatre and film industry, but the corporate sector should assist as these awards honour artists who put Namibia on the map.

Instead, the government needed to work on policies that will make parents “who have children that want to become actors to tell their children not to worry”, said Kunene.

According to Kunene, who was born in the north of Soweto in Johannesburg, as a young actor he was inspired by the Namibian actor the late N!xau ≠Toma, who starred in the 1980 South African comedy movie “The Gods Must Be Crazy”.

The 50-year-old actor initially wanted to be a musician at a time when no one was encouraged to take up a career in arts but persistence paved the way for the illustrious career he built for the years.

Kunene is one of South Africa’s legendary actors who became famous in the 1990s with films like ‘Running Wild’, ‘Friends’ and the popular movie ‘Cry, the Beloved Country’.

Among many other accolades, his recent wins include a Golden Horn for Best Actor in a Lead Role (TV Soap) at the 2016 South African Film and Television Awards.

He recently also returned to ‘Generations: The Legacy’, as the infamous Jack Mabaso, after a starring role on another popular South African TV Soapie, Isibaya.

‘Katutura’, the movie was the biggest winner at the NTFAs scooping seven awards on the night. These were for Best Film Script (Obed Emvula and Florian Schott), Best Sound and Music (Wojtek and Sonja Majewski), Best Female Actor (Odile Muller), Best Male Actor (Chops Tshoopara), Best Director (Florian Shott), Best Narrative Film and the Audience’s Choice Award.

In the theatre categoriees, it was a direct duel between theatre veteran David Ndjavera and Nelago Shilongoh.

David Ndjavera won Set, Props and Wardrobe award for the play ‘Nothing but the Truth’, Best Supporting Actor for ‘District Six’ and Best Theatre Dircetor for ‘Nothing but the Truth’. Nelago Shilongoh scooped the theatre awards for Best Newcomer Director and Best Play both for her play ‘Dutchman’.

This year’s awards were hosted by the National Theatre of Namibia in collaboration with the Namibia Film Commission under the theme ‘Creating Tomorrow Today’. The awards are held every two years to recognise the crème de la crème of local film and theatre industry.

This year’s awards had 23 categories with winners receiving a trophy and prize money ranging from R8,000 to R20,000. –          
Source: The Southern Times 31 March 2017