Mexican actresses in Zambia, Namibia

The two star in a popular soap opera aired on both the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation and the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation called “When You Are Mine”. More than 500 Namibians flocked to the Zoo Park in the capital to see “Paloma” and “Barbara”, who jetted in the country from Seychelles and Zambia last week. Some even travelled more than 300 kilometres to see the stars. Security was tight around the Central Americans, as their motorcade passed Independence Avenue. The fans clapped and ululated. It was like the grand entrance of a queen into a kingdom, with some fans rushing for autographs, and others just wanting to catch a glimpse of the two. Not only was an exquisite dinner organised for the actresses but also a concert in Katutura. A gala dinner was hosted by Information Minister Netumbo Nandi Ndaitwah. It turned out to be more of a photo session than a dinner as everyone with a digital camera and cell phone camera sought their own moment with the stars. In Zambia the stars called for heavy investment in the arts to gird economic growth. Paloma said three-quarters of foreign exchange in most developed nations was earned through entertainment. “There is very little foreign investment that goes to the arts,” Navarro said. “England, for example, sends a lot of foreign aid to Zambia and there is also a lot of know-how that they can bring to Zambia in terms of arts.” She urged the Zambian government to realise that arts were an integral part in the growth of the economy. “Here in Zambia, you have a lot of people who are talented and there should be a push from the government so that these people are supported and are paid,” Navarro said. “We should work together to push the government and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) to provide more support to the arts.” Navarro said it would be great if local and Mexican artistes came up with a cultural exchange programme to see how best to improve the quality of film production in Zambia. “There is need to have an inter-change between countries in terms of arts,” Navarro said. “When the governments see that this inter-change is very powerful, they will get involved.” She said culture and education were some of the most important aspects that government should address. “The government must be pushed by the people,” Navarro said. “Foreign aid must go to the most important areas and it will be very sad if it is diverted to other areas by government officials.” And Anette Michel (Barbara in the tele-novela) said it would not take a day to have African film productions get to the international markets, as was the case in countries like Mexico and Brazil. “Soap operas have such a big effect on people,” Michel said. “The bridge to have Mexican actors to other countries started generations ago. It is not an easy road, there is need to take some very important steps.” Michel advised local actors and actresses to immerse themselves in their work and adapt to all kinds of situations for them to reach the top in the industry. Speaking through an interpreter, “Paloma” said she is currently busy doing a cartoon film in Peru while “Barbara” is directing movies in Mexico and other parts of that country. (Additional by The Post, Zambia)

May 2006
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