Creating awareness through art
The Ombetja Yehinga Organisation, a Namibian trust aimed at creating social awareness using the arts, is currently in Oranjemund.
21 February 2020 | Art and Entertainment
The OYO dance troupe have been performing in schools and communities in the //Kharas region this week. Talavera shared that they selected the region because of the many reported – and probably even more unreported – cases of violence.
It is a region where unemployment is high and where there are little to no recreational activities for young people. “Distances are huge! Recently we travelled from Luderitz to Oranjemund, stopping at Rosh Pinah to perform at the school. We couldn't take shortcuts, we had to travel all those kilometres. We had to reach people.”
The main objective is however not to do business as usual, and this trip is part of a bigger OYO initiative. Everyone has spoken about GBV, from the Office of the First Lady to many non-governmental organisations, yet little is changing, OYO said.
“Clearly we have to change the approach. What we want to do is create a dialogue with young people and communities, so that they can tell us what to do and, more importantly, they can implement the change themselves,” Talavera said.
“With MTC's Knockout project in the //Karas Region, learners participate in discussions with the dance troupe.
“Thanks to Debmarine/Namdeb Foundation, boys and girls will also be invited to attend camps.
“Back at their schools, they will prepare their own messages and we will organise community dialogues between the youth and adults. Similarly in Windhoek, thanks to FNB Foundation, we will have community dialogues around performances of the dance troupe on 10 and 11 March. OYO wants communities to become proactive citizens and be the change they want to see,” he added.
The OYO dance troupe is touring three pieces: The Moirai, a repertoire piece following a young woman in an abusive situation who decides to take her life back into her own hands; Concrete Angels, a piece that has been revamped that looks at a young boy living in a house where violence is the norm, and Let Me Be, a brand new piece focused on sexual exploitation of children due to poverty.
“We are lucky to have renowned performer Monray Garoeb back with the dance troupe,” said Talavera. “Garoeb is well-known for his part in the movie Salute! and people in the //Karas region love him and listen to him. The various pieces are led by Desmond Kamerika, Mary Jane Andreas, Garoeb, El Junita Philander, Jeffrey Ndjahera and Frieda Hausiku, with Osyrin Puteho, Sophie Janser and trainees Rick Gawanab and Jordan Thomas in supporting roles,” he added.
All the pieces were choreographed by Talavera, while a youth counsellor will be on hand to attend to cases.