Salute's Visagie wins big
After scooping the best actor for Southern Africa gong at the Sotigui Awards in Burkina Faso, the world is Adriano Visagie's oyster.
06 December 2019 | Art and Entertainment
He was up against, among others, Kandyse McClure, a South Africa-born Canadian-based actress, for her performance in Sew the Winter to My Skin.
This movie was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and was selected as the South African entry for the best foreign language film at the 91st Academy Awards.
Visagie also competed with Emmanuel Mbirimi from Zimbabwe who starred The Letter.
He joins Munya Chidzonga from Zimbabwe (2018) and Fulu Mugovhani from South Africa (2017) as winners of the coveted award.
In his acceptance speech, Visagie thanked the Sotigui Academy and congratulated Burkina Faso for looking beyond its borders.
He was impressed that they could recognise talent from as far away as Namibia and that African artists are appreciated from across the continent. “This is how we will build a United States of Africa. In Namibia, as black children, we are often told that we cannot make a career in acting, but in the rest of Africa you have made it possible, paving the way for us,” said Visagie.
He further thanked Talavera and the cast and crew of Salute.
“A win for one is a win for all of us.” Salute, written with inmates from the Windhoek Correctional Facility, follows the story of Carlito, who was sentenced to five years for fraud. Talavera said: “It is a difficult film for Namibia. A first-of-its-kind done with inmates, workshopped with ex-inmates, shot at the facility with a mix of civilians and inmates as extras.”
The film touches on issues around same-sex relationships, power, gangs and violence.
It found its niche internationally first with its nomination as best film Southern Africa at the Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards (AMVCA) 2018, and its selection at AIDS 2018 in Amsterdam, and now with Visagie's well-deserved win in Burkina Faso.
“Locally, it remains one of the most talked about movies since its release in 2017. The cast and crew are all incredibly proud of Adriano's win.
“It is a win for him, it is a win for Salute and it is most definitively a win for Namibia,” said Talavera.
The Sotigui Awards are organised by the Sotigui Academy to promote African and diaspora cinema, in partnership with the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO).
It aims at valorising the work of actors from Africa and those in the diaspora. Fifty nominees from all over the continent and African diaspora were present.