“While the annual Mwenyopaleka Road Show is aimed at investing in the growth of Ohlthaver & List (O&L) employees across the country, it at the same time is a platform to promote Namibian talent and skills in line with the Group’s purpose of ‘Creating a future, Enhancing life’. As a result, every single individual that forms part of this road show is Namibian,” said O&L Group Manager: Employee Engagement, Sonja Thieme.
Namibian artist Big Ben is no stranger to the local music scene, and was just crowned Best Male Artist of the Year at the 2016 Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs). He is also the main entertainer on the 2016 ‘Mwenyopaleka Road Show’. This multi-award winning artist is considered as one of the pioneers of modern/contemporary Namibian music and has consistently released and performed original music with a strong blend of traditional sounds, and in local languages. His footprints stretch across Namibia and Europe. He also composed and produced the O&L City Anthem, and performs it on the road show.
Actors that bring to life the values of the O&L Group through drama on the road show are led by Namibian veteran Laurinda Olivier-Sampson – Senior Lecturer in Drama, and Head of Department: Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Namibia (UNAM).
Olivier-Sampson says: “Actors on this year’s road show, as well as previous years are local drama students and actors. Some are UNAM students, others alumni and the rest from the community at large, but the entire cast is Namibian. Mwenyopaleka industrial theatre has always aimed to include performers from the community to work with UNAM students – this is a learning experience for both groups.”
The production crew include dB Audio Namibia which has been involved with Mwenyopaleka for most of the project’s 12 years of existence. Initially it was only with technical support – sound, lights, stage, screens, etc. – but since 2013 dB Audio has also been involved in the concept development, event direction and backstage management.
DB Audio Partner, Ernst Steynberg says: “Our own people are so influenced by the O&L culture and values that they have started living these sentiments within the dB Audio environment.” The video production crew of this year’s road show is under the leadership of Lila Swanepoel Productions. Lila Swanepoel has been producing video content for Mwenyopaleka since 2013. Born in Namibia she obtained her national diploma in film and video technology from the Cinema and Television School, Tshwane University of Technology in South Africa. Her work on the international front include on films Mad Max Fury Road (2012) where she was part of the 2016 Oscar winning production design team; Lord of War (2005) and The Fall (2004).
Says Swanepoel: “I am very proud and honoured to be associated with the Mwenyopaleka Road Show. O&L’s purpose of ‘Creating a Future, Enhancing Life’ ties in perfectly with my vision of growing the Namibian TV and film industry through empowering young and upcoming talent.” Swanepoel’s team that joins her are Thomas Paayetu Nuukushu from the Oshana Region, who completed his media studies in 2010 as a top performer at the College of the Arts (COTA) specializing in camera and sound. Neal Phoré – a lover of film and television production – is currently employed by NBC as a transmission officer.
Willem Vrey, the official photographer of the 2016 ‘Mwenyopaleka Road Show’ is known as one of the best in the country. He operates a commercial and fine-art photo studio and has been practising photography for about seven years to date, while the Master of Ceremonies (MC), Risto Nghambe popularly known as Rizzy has been in the Namibian arts industry for well over a decade as a studio recording artist, song writer, actor and facilitator. He eventually ventured into theatre and film acting and has been actively involved in many local productions.
“I could not be more proud to be associated with this team. These Namibians are so talented, and so passionate about what they do, and deliver outstanding quality of work. Through our commitment of growing and developing Namibians, the annual O&L Mwenyopaleka Road Show will always be dedicated to using Namibians on this platform,” Thieme concluded.