D-Naff on the small screen

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JEREMIA NDJOZE

Being an outspoken musician and motivational speaker, Namibian musician Naftali ‘D-Naff’ Amukwelele has on more than one occasion let the cat out of the bag regarding his artistic endeavours.

As if that is not enough, the award winning gospel star has also been vocal on his violent past as a former gang banger and nightmare to many in the 1990’s, when he terrorised the streets of Katutura with Shandumbala’s Red Eyes criminal ring.

It came to pass that he eventually transformed himself into a formidable musician with an array of hits that successfully weaves scripture into peaceful music for any age.

Today, nightmares seemingly disappear when his music is played and adults, teens and children alike experience relief from anxiety as an atmosphere of peace replaces turmoil and unrest. But little did we know that music was never his first artistic choice. Acting was.

And as the country prepares to catch a glimpse of Christopher, D-Naff’s character in the locally produced television series, The Third Will, the musician-actor spills the beans again.

“I was an actor way before I became D-Naff. I started acting while I was at Augustineum Secondary School under the watchful eye of veteran theatre actor David Ndjavera,” D-Naff reveals.

In fact his debut acting role, he says, was in a David Ndjavera written theatre play entitled ‘Yes, I’ll kill myself’ in which the lead character, Jimmy Blue, is caught up in a messy love triangle involving a mother and a daughter.

While his previous acting roles did very little to replicate his turbulent background, it is his new role as Christopher that sort of threatens to emulate his crooked past.

“Christopher is a government employee but who is associated to Beukes, a crooked businessman. Together they get entangled in hordes of illicit business deals built around bribes and tender bid rigging,” D-Naff, who in real life is an immigration officer at the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, says, stressing that this is just him being an artist and that his actual life as a law enforcement officer is different. He is also quick to indicate that he did not scoop the role solely as a result of being a public figure but needed to demonstrate some prowess in the acting department.

“I went through auditions like everyone else and eventually got the part,” D-Naff says, laughingly adding that “after shooting season two of the series it sort of brought out the actor in me. I think I’m sick and tired of singing.”

He maintains that the producers have already expressed their interest in maintaining his character for the third season of the series and that he will avail himself should he be called upon.

Bienvenu Lukoki, the series director, agrees. According to Lukoki, they failed to introduce Christopher’s character in the first season but now that they have managed, they are “going to develop it further”.

He maintains that the television series was well received by the masses and as a result the producers are planning to extend the production of the series to seasons 3, 4 and 5.

“It was obvious from its reception that the people were tired of seeing foreign produced series and were longing for Namibian stories that are told by Namibian people,” Lukoki adds revealing that rehearsals for season 3 are set to start sometime next week. He further revealed that negotiations are underway to get the series aired on the continental DStv platform. The Third Will airs on Wednesday evenings on NBC 1. – New Era Weekend

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