Let’s Talk: Keeping the word art alive

Windhoek – Namibians get the opportunity to showcase their talent through the word festival, /Khi da !Khoa.

/Khi da !hoa – kom ons praat is the title of this year’s Namibian Word Festival to be held in Namibia’s capital Windhoek from September 2 to 7.

The festival is a word event, be it spoken, written or sung, hence the title /Khi da !Hoa ‑ a Khoekhoegowab word meaning “let us talk”.     

The idea of the festival started as a diminutive conversation between two friends, Ronelle Rademeyer, News Editor of the Republikein and Chrisna Beuke-Muir, Afrikaans lecturer at the University of Namibia who wanted to have a humble Book Week, however, it turned into something bigger.

“After that conversation things started happening faster than we thought.  It turned into a project of half-a-million Namibian dollars.  Namibians have so much talent and the /Khi da !Khoa Word Festival is an opportunity where this talent can be recognized,” says Beuke-Muir.

Among the theatre productions which will be presented is a musical about the Namibian legend Jakob Marengo ‑ a Behrens production that features the Kalahari Ensemble.  Additionally, Koos Kombuis alongside Stef Bos would be seen and heard in Niemandsland ‑ a show that was very popular in South Africa.

Kombuis and Bos will be hosting lunch hour shows featuring Namibian artistes.  Kombuis will feature Wambuseun in the show titled Wambukombuis.  While Bos will perform with Jan-Willem Beuke, the two will be singing Afrikaans and Dutch songs.

  The venue for the lunch hour events will be the Boiler Room next to the Warehouse Theatre.

Other productions include the cabaret titled Sjorde, where songs and poems tell about the sweet, sour and naughty in life.  Those with a keen sense of humour, should look out for Frank Opperman’s “Rooi Kaart” in the Warehouse Theatre.  As far as classical theatre is concerned, Sandy Rudd will present “The Lesson” by the famous dramatist Eugene Lonesco.

The youth and children’s choir of Fanie Dorfling will grace the audience with beautiful songs, while Afrikaans dances (not volkspele) will be demonstrated at the Village Courtyard on a stage specially built for the /Khi da !Hoa.

“I believe the famous saying: Art keeps us from dying of life, and that is what I want /Khi da !Hoa to be,” said Beuke-Muir.

On a daily basis, newspapers hold up a mirror reflecting the society in which they are operating; writers and musicians also portray their society through their literature and lyrics.  Newspapers and artistes prompt society to say “Let us talk”, more so, they stimulate debate about what is happening around the globe.

“I, therefore, have no doubt that the Word Festival will create a lively platform for Namibians to engage in a bigger and very necessary dialogue as well as to celebrate being Namibian and to celebrate literature and language,” says Rademeyer.

The main venue is the Village Courtyard, in Liliencron Street where most productions will take place, except for the theatre productions. Further information can be obtained from the Word Festival website: www.namibiesewoordfees.weebly.com

August 2013
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