The enormous response the “Tura Tour Guide” received in just less than four weeks is testimony to Namibians wanting more Namibian stories on the big stage. The “Tura Tour Guide” is a dance theatre production that premiered on August 24 at the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN) and had its last showing the following day. The play is part of the NTN’s Theatre Zone Project.
The “Tura Tour Guide” after its showing, had people from the coast and the north requesting it in their areas. Theatre might relatively not have reached a national level yet in Namibia but it has the potential to. I always stress on this platform that Namibia is a very special country. And in order for an entertainer or an entertainment company to make the sales to sustain the brand, they will have to Namibianise their products/services.
I am not saying, not Namibianising your product would mean zero profits, no. What I am saying is you will appeal to the ordinary man on the street and stand a chance of making more money with guaranteed growth as opposed to eating off a niche. The NTN needs to champion more local stories for their stage. The cooperate world that is engaged in the concept of industrial theatre should tailor the scripts to Namibian conditions. Imagine performing an industrial play in Gobabis, but your play is talking about Madison Square with names such as Zakeesha and Simone…while in Gobabis we have cattle and people with common names such as Piet, Koosie, Keamogesti and Lemon.
They just won’t get your play. That is why productions such as “Captain Kolala” and Ndjeke ya Malimba” are famous to the bone and stand a greater chance of growing the numbers every bloody quarter. One magical thing that the “Tura Tour Guide” managed to achieve was getting an incredible number of theatre virgins to the NTN. These are people that have never attended a play of any sort before. And the majority of the theatre virgins loved the experience.
Meaning the potential for the art of theatre to grow into the hearts and lives of the local people is there. Many people in the township are fantastic story tellers. We all know that one Topie or Zalie at church, work and in the hood that always has a story or two to share. Ons ken tog net.
I’m not even sure they know that they could have a genuine career in theatrics and film. I believe that it is the responsibility of the NTN to seek out these local popular story tellers, and mainstream them.
That way we would create a livelihood for thousands and managed to bring pride in what is Namibian. My belief stays and it is that Namibians relate better to ANYTHING that is relevant to the Namibian environment.
Until the next Loop, we say #GMTM
Song of the week: Dj El-Nino: My life
Flop of the week: Alvin: Akuna
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