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‘KAPANA’ WON BEST FEATURE FILM AT THE AFRICAN DIASPORA CINEMA FESTIVAL IN ITALY AND BEST DIRECTOR AT THE NORTH EAST INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL IN THE UK ‘Kapana’, one of the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO)’s films, has just won Best Feature Film at the African Diaspora Cinema Festival in Florence (Italy) and Best Director at the North East International Film Festival in Newcastle (UK). The African Diaspora Cinema Festival’s vision is to raise awareness about Africa Cinema, its vast potential and the socio-economic impact it has not only on African economies but gradually expanding to other parts of the world’s economy as well. Its aim is to use cinema to create a revolution that will change the social and economical horizon of Africa, by creating the way for the countless number of films produced in Africa and by the African diaspora filmmakers. The North East International Film Festival is an IMDB qualifying...

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‘VOYAGE VOYAGE – An exploration of our relation to movement with French Dancer Krees’


The OYO dance troupe's last public performance was in March 2020, just before the COVID19 pandemic outbreak. For the OYO dancers, like for many other people, the COVID19 has meant a restriction in movement – both physically (touching or not touching the other) and emotionally (what is a performer without an audience?) With the arrival of vaccines and the lifting of some restrictions, people can start travelling again. But while some jumped on the opportunity and took the first available flight, others are procrastinating and scared of leaving home, in case they get stuck on the other side of the earth. So, what does travelling means nowadays?   During an 8-days workshop with French Dancer Krees, OYO dancers shared their experience, their vision of travelling, of expatriation, of lockdown. They explore a new dance vocabulary (traditionally the OYO dance troupe uses physical theatre) and open doors for audiences to reflect on...

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||Kharas Youth Arts Performing Festival


After two years and four postponed dates, the first-ever ||Kharas Youth Arts Performing Festival could take place in Keetmanshoop. Over the years, with support from Stichting Horizon, OYO has worked with four talented youth groups in the region: the Dream Team in Keetmanshoop, DAKAZA in Karasburg and the groups in Noordoewer and Koes. The festival was an opportunity to bring all groups together as well as the OYO dance troupe. Over 60 people gathered at the Multi-Purpose Youth Centre in Keetmanshoop for four exciting days. The OYO dance troupe and director arrived on Sunday 26 September, the Dream Team (Keetmanshoop), Dakaza (Karasburg) and Noordoewer youth groups were all present on Monday by 11h00. The Koes Youth Group was delayed but arrived at 13h00. Jan and Rena from Horizon joined at 13h30.   Monday morning the groups present go to meet each other during games. In the afternoon each group go the...

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‘Ania’ – a tale about teenage pregnancy and illegal abortion


In Namibia, abortion is illegal except under very specific circumstances such as rape. When a girl falls pregnant, it is all too common for men to run away and deny the pregnancy. The girl is then left to leave with the consequences. ‘Ania’ follows the story of six young people who attend a party. Three of the girl fall pregnant but only one of the boys accept to take responsibility. ‘Ania’ is a repertoire piece. Thanks to funding from the Prince Claus COVID19 grant, the piece was adapted as a clip. Lots can be suggested on stage but scenes that work in a theatre setting don’t always work on screen. With ‘Ania’ while the opening scene works very well on stage, it had to be rethought entirely for the screen. The OYO dance troupe and guests worked very hard to produce the clip that is now available on OYO’s facebook.  

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Training Noordoewer Youth Group


OYO has resumed its training of youth groups and started with the Noordoewer Youth group in the south of Namibia (||Karas region). The youth group received a three weeks training from 01 to 19 February, before going on tour and visiting schools in the region. The youth group was very active and prepared a performance on COVID19 to encourage learners to take prevention measures seriously. It also looked at the issue of teenage pregnancy and discrimination against what is getting known as ‘lockdown pregnancy girls’. It was the first workshop and OYO tour since the beginning of the COVID19 crisis. A lot has been learnt, in terms of prevention. While it has not been easy and less schools than usual were visited (OYO didn’t go all the way to Luderitz or Oranjemund this time), OYO could spend time with learners again. Learners were very eager to see OYO back and enjoyed...

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‘Kapana’, one of the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO)’s films, has just been selected to be part of the prestigious Pan African Film Festival 2021 in Los Angeles. From 100 million dollar blockbuster premieres to newly emerging Hollywood talent, the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) showcases a broad array of Black creative works from the world over, highlighting those that reinforce positive images and help to destroy negative stereotypes. On Monday, January 18th, a day observed as Martin Luther King day, PAFF announced its selection to its 29th annual festival. This year 45 countries representing 43 languages are represented. The festival will feature 39 documentaries and 168 narratives (26 features, 118 shorts and 18 mini-shorts). And ‘Kapana’, a proudly Namibian film, is one of the official selection. Due to COVID19, the festival has moved online this year, under the theme EVOLVE. It was Martin Luther King who said, “Man must EVOLVE for all human conflict...

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The Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO) is a Namibian Trust aiming at creating social awareness using the Arts. OYO’S latest offering ‘Kapana’ successfully premiered at Ster Kinekor, Groove Mall, on Thursday 6 August at 6.30 pm. Sadly COVID19 regulations at the time prevented the movie to be screened any further. It is therefore with excitement that OYO just announced six screenings around World AIDS Day: three at Maerua Mall (26 and 27 November and 02 December) and three at Grove Mall (04, 05 and 08 December). All screenings start at 6 pm – rules and regulations pertaining to COVID19 regulations (one seat out of two, mask compulsory, etc.) apply. Those screenings coincide with exciting news ‘the film has started to tour festivals’ Explains Talavera ‘and so far it has been extremely well received. All festivals are online, sadly, due to the COVID19 pandemic. But still, they are an exciting opportunity to showcase...

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The Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO), a Namibian Trust aiming at creating social awareness using the Arts. Gender-Based Violence has made the headlines lately, with the #shutitalldown movement. People from all walks of lives are protesting against the fact none of us feels safe anymore. Since the beginning of the COVID19 crisis, OYO has warned that lockdown, job losses and frustration will lead to increased violence. It is time to reverse the trend. It is time to stand up and work together towards creating a better Namibia for all. OYO, therefore, launched on its social media platforms its new clip ‘the Moirai’ on Wednesday 28 October. This was made possible thanks to financial support from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to Namibia. Dr Talavera, who directed and choreographed the piece, explained ‘the Moirai is a piece we created years ago. Sadly, years later, it is still relevant. For this...

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While preparing the premiere of its latest film, ‘Kapana’, the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO) - a Namibian Trust aiming at creating social awareness using the Arts – just received the news that ‘Kukuri’ has been selected as part of the Garden Route International Film Festival 2020 (GRIFF) in South Africa. ‘Kukuri’ had previously been nominated as best film Southern Africa at the Africa Magic Viewer Choice Award 2020. GRIFF is an independent International Film Festival offering quality films across a number of genres and offering pure entertainment for filmgoers. It is a permanent feature on the Knysna events calendar for visiting professionals, amateurs, local, national and international film enthusiasts and makers. Due to the Covid19 Situation, the festival converted to a two-part festival: Virtual Online Festival 21st September 2020 to 11th October 2020 and physical screenings in towns in the Garden Route as Drive-In Cinemas to adhere to social distancing measures....

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The Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO) is a Namibian Trust aiming at creating social awareness using the Arts. Over the years it has developed award-winning movies such as ‘Salute!’ (winner Sotigui Award Best Actor Southern Africa, Adriano Visagie, Burkina Faso) and ‘Kukuri’ (nominated best film Southern Africa, AMVCA 2020). OYO will premiere its latest offering ‘Kapana’ during a red carpet event at Ster Kinekor, Groove Mall, on Thursday 6 August at 6.30 pm. The cast and crew will be in attendance and masks will be compulsory to enter the mall, there will be a spot for photos of all the dashing costumes that will be safe and where guests will be able to remove their masks. For ‘Kapana’, film director Philippe Talavera resumes his collaboration with Adriano Visagie, winner Best Actor Southern Africa at the Sotigui Awards 2019, who is performing the leading role of George. Written by award-winner Senga Brockenhoff and...

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OYO has been selected as an essential service provider


OYO just received its certificate as an essential service provider. We will therefore resume work with half the team, producing easy to understand short clips on COVID19. However, as we are learning from lockdowns in other countries, we will also look at the potential danger it represents for young people. We will therefore also develop a series on ‘COVID19 is no excuse for GBV’ and ‘Don’t fall pregnant during COVID19’

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The Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO), a Namibian Trust aiming at creating social awareness using the Arts, launched its new platform ‘An evening with YOU’ on Wednesday 11 March 2020 at the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre. Dr Philippe Talavera, OYO’s director, explains ‘too often audiences in Windhoek don’t have a chance to reflect on plays or performances presented to them. They sit in the audience, watch, clap hand in the end and go back home. But some of our performances aim at creating a discussion. We feel watching is not enough. People have to become more engaged with the various issues we talk about. It is a way for us to encourage people to become active citizens.’ The first event addressed the issue of Gender-Based Violence. It was presented at Hakahana Community Hall (10/03) and then FNCC (11/03). To attract the audience the OYO dance troupe premiered its piece ‘Concrete Angels’, led by...

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The Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO), a Namibian Trust aiming at creating social awareness using the Arts, is currently in Oranjemund, ||Kharas region. MTC knock-out project started with a boxing competition that saw celebrities taking the ring to raise funds. One of the beneficiaries of the funds raised is OYO, well-known for its dance troupe. ‘Whether you use sports such as boxing or Arts such as dance, the most important is to keep addressing Gender-Based Violence’, says Dr. Philippe Talavera, director of OYO. The OYO dance troupe is performing in schools and communities in the ||Kharas region this week. ‘The ||Kharas region has been selected because we have many reported cases – and probably even more non-reported cases – of violence in this region’ Says Talavera. ‘It is a region where unemployment is high, where there’s little to no recreational activities for young people and where most programs don’t operate. Distances are...

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OYO’s DVD ‘Kukuri’ nominated as Best Film Southern Africa at the AMVCA awards 2020


The AMVCA – Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards – are spearheaded by MultiChoice to celebrate the best of films in Africa. There are different categories and ‘Kukuri’ is one of the four films nominated as Best Movie Southern Africa (the other three are from Zambia and Malawi). The ceremony will take place in Nigeria on 14 March 2020. The film was written based on the testimony of girls who were forced to marry as part of their tradition. It was workshopped with community members from Omega in the Kavango East region of Namibia where child marriage still happens. While we were working on the script, the headman (local chief) from a community called Omega in Kavango East approached us. He was concerned by the issue of child marriage in his community and asked if we could involve his community in the project. With his blessing, we came to Omega. We then...

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Child marriage in Kunene north


As part of our ‘New narrative/ new beginnings’ project the OYO dance troupe visited the Kunene north sub-region and performed its repertoire on child marriage. It took this chance to distribute a simple questionnaire to students in schools. We had 230 respondents aged 11 to 20. 38% of the respondents were male and 62% female. 56% of the respondents identified as Ovahimba, 4% as Ovathwa, 24% as Ovazemba, 5% as Ovatjimba and 23% as others. They were from twelve schools. While the cohorts of Ovathwa and Ovatjimba was too small to be statistically representative of the whole group, they were still included as too little data is available on those groups.  

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