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MEDIA STATEMENT: KNOCKING OUT GBV WITH A PIROUETTE

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 huge: yesterday...
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764 Hits

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 decided...
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466 Hits

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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479 Hits

Creating demand for HIV related services in the Erongo Region at the beginning of the festive season

In December 2019 the OYO dance troupe had a chance to perform in the Erongo region. OYO has developed a unique approach to community mobilization. In this case, while OYO was attracting and educating people, partner service providers were offering at least HIV testing. OYO took this chance to distribute a simple questionnaire to 113 people. As often with HIV related work, more women than men agreed to answer the questionnaire. 70% of our respondents are female. Results have been summarised in the one-pager attached to this news bulletin
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419 Hits

ADRIANO VISAGIE WINS THE SOTIGUI AWARD FOR BEST ACTOR SOUTHERN AFRICA IN BURKINA FASO FOR ‘SALUTE!’

Adriano Visagie stepped on the stage on Saturday 30 November 2019 at Canal Olympia Ouaga 2000, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, to collect the Sotigui Award for Best Actor Southern Africa for his world-class interpretation of Carlito in Philippe Talavera’s film ‘Salute!’. He was in competition with Kandyse Mc Clure, South Africa-born, Canadian-based, for her performance in ‘Sew the winter to my skin’ (it was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and selected as the South African entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards) and Emmanuel Mbirimi from Zimbabwe for ‘the letter’. He joins Munya Chidzonga from Zimbabwe (winner 2018) and Fulu Mugovhani from Africa (winner 2017). In his acceptance speech, Visagie thanked the Sotigui Academy and congratulated Burkina Faso for looking beyond its border. He was impressed they could recognise talents as far away as Namibia and appreciate...
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442 Hits

OTJITUUO PRIMARY SCHOOL WINS THE BEST SAN FRIENDLY-SCHOOL COMPETITION 2019

The San population is spread across many regions, including Otjozondjupa, Omaheke, Ohangwena, Kavango East and Zambesi. According to the OSISA Group report “Rethinking Indigenous Education,”-        only 67 % of San children in the country enroll in school.-        only 1% of those children complete secondary school.Many causes have been identified to explain why many San children find it difficult to complete education. One of the causes is cultural discrimination. In schools where San children are a minority other learners, at times teachers, can mock them. The school is then not perceived as being San-friendly and doesn’t feel a safe environment to San children. In an effort to address the issue of cultural bullying in the Otjizondjupa region, with support from the Embassy of Germany, the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO) embarked in the ‘San Matter project’. Many activities took place in 2019, including a presentation by the OYO dance troupe, a school exchange visit...
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448 Hits

OYO DANCE TROUPE PREMIERES ‘ILITHYIA GONE MAD’ WITH INTERNATIONAL GUEST EVELINE CASTELEIN

The 10-members dance troupe of the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO) on Thursday 22 August 2019 premiered ‘Ilithyia gone mad’ with international guests Eveline Castelein from the Netherlands. The premiere took place at the Warehouse. The warehouse was packed to capacity. Recognised around the world, OYO uses an art form not so common on the local scene to inform, educate and raise awareness of Namibia’s social problems when communicating to a diverse audience at once. “OYO uses physical theatre, which is the telling of a story through movement and without words. Contemporary dance is often perceived as abstract. Physical theatre is not abstract. It really builds from story telling,” said Founder and Director of OYO, Philippe Talavera.Eveline Castelein, is pursuing a Master in Educational Sciences at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. She explains that ‘After High School I studied Educational Sciences and I specialized in the theory of education. I can spend...
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415 Hits

MEDIA STATEMENT

WHEN INMATES LEAD THE PATH20/07/2019 For several years now the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO) has been working with offenders in various correctional facilities in the country. Dr Philippe Talavera, OYO’s director, explained ‘the aim of the ‘in and out’ project is to address issues around HIV with offenders. It is actually a difficult topic. Since sodomy is still classified as a crime in Namibia, we don’t have condoms in correctional facilities. Yet we have many young men imprisoned for several years. Most are at an age when they are sexually active. How can we deal with needs and wants in this case? How can we make sure people make informed choices? How can we ultimately promote the rights to sexual and reproductive health to all Namibians, including those behind bars? Those are some of the questions behind this project.’As part of the project, OYO organizes regularly one-week Arts workshops with offenders. ‘At...
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1291 Hits

OYO becomes a Recognized Partner of GlobalGiving

Ombetja Yehinga Organisation announced today that they have graduated from the GlobalGiving Accelerator program, gaining entry into the GlobalGiving marketplace and becoming a recognized partner of GlobalGiving. As part of the Accelerator, Ombetja Yehinga Organisation successfully raised $7,624 from 57 unique individual donors to support their project, "Educate 5,000 Namibian teenagers on HIV using Arts." "We're thrilled to have Ombetja Yehinga Organisation as part of our community. Ombetja Yehinga Organisation has met our rigorous vetting standards for trust and community support, and we're committed to providing tools, training, and support as they learn, grow and become more effective," said Alix Guerrier, CEO of GlobalGiving. "GlobalGiving donors value the opportunity to support nonprofits like Ombetja Yehinga Organisation, knowing that they'll get regular updates about how their donations are put to work." "Namibia is one of the countries most affected by the HIV pandemic. We have put massive efforts to curb the impact....
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1105 Hits

The OYO dance troupe tour Otjozondjupa region

As part of our ‘San Matter’ project, funded by the Embassy of Germany, the OYO dance troupe had the opportunity to visit 12 schools in the Otjozondjupa region, performing to 5,206 people (of which 2,649 were San learners).The troupe performed three pieces:‘Bin Boy’, created in 2017, looking at cultural discrimination‘I am hungry’, created in 2018, looking at how the lack of food in some San homesteads impact choices young teenagers make when in school‘I have a choice’, also created in 2018, looks at how child marriage and pressure put on San girls to start child bearing soon after they start menstruate impacts on their educationAll pieces were well received and allowed the schools to start discussion around those topics. Most San children enroll in schools but don’t remain in school. In this particular region, many San children think that they only need to get to grade 8. Most San learners who...
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1022 Hits

OYO is crowdfunding

We all know the situation in Namibia is getting harder. On the one hand Namibia has been classified as upper-middle income country, which means that much less donor funding if coming to the country. On the other hand Namibia is in fully recession, which means that local funding is not available either. Fundraising, in particular for NGOs, is therefore extremely difficult.In an effort to diversify its source of funding, OYO is trying crowdfunding. It has registered with GlobalGiving, a reputable crowdfunding platform. It took upon the challenge to try and fundraise US$5000 between 10 and 28 June: this is actually a criteria from GlobalGiving to become permanent member. Of course it will be very difficult to achieve, but OYO has faith its support system will step in. We therefore call on all OYO supporters and friends to help either by making a donation or by putting in a good word for...
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1020 Hits

Karasburg Youth Group goes on tour

The Karasburg Youth Group has been trained thanks to support from the Horizon Trust. Fifteen young people just toured the Karas region to give a strong message to learners in the region. Their show focuses on the importance of education. They performed to eleven schools and for two communities, including their own. They reached 3,847 people of which 3,606 are learners. In Karasburg, the group also had the chance to interact with the local police station. Together with police officers, they took part in an evening patrol to check that local bars were not selling alcohol to under-aged children. During the community show, parents took the opportunity to thank OYO for coming to their far away and often neglected village and teach valuable lessons to their youth. Schools found that the information shared by the youth was most relevant. The lifeskills teacher from Karasburg Combined School, Mrs Shikongo, reported that ‘all...
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1096 Hits

‘Well Wish Ya’ Trailer

On 27 March 2019, the OYO Dance Troupe premiered ‘Well Wish Ya’ at the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN), featuring the work of Internationally Acclaimed visual artist Kevork Mourad. Elliott Augustine, UK-based dancer, together with Nikhita Winkler, West Uarije, Daniel Kuhlmann and LeClue Job, joined the OYO Dance Troupe. Thirteen students of the Nikhita Winkler Dance Theatre project complete the cast.
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1044 Hits

Learning from inmates

In April 2019 the OYO dance troupe had a chance to perform to inmates in six correctional facilities (Windhoek, Luderitz, Hardap, Walvis Bay, Oluno and E. Shikongo) as part of its ‘In and Out’ project, funded by OSISA. OYO took this chance to ask 122 male inmates for their opinion/ experience when it comes to HIV. A questionnaire was distributed after the performance of the dance troupe to inmates in the presence of and under the supervision of the various facilities’ officers.The survey shows that The Ministry of Safety and Security is clearly doing very well in areas such as testing and counselling as reported by inmates themselves. However more work still needs to be done to ensure inmates living with HIV can keep their status confidential and choose when and to whom to disclose their status. Finally more work can be done to ensure our correctional facilities are safe spaces...
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938 Hits

Small successes that Matter

The ‘San Matter’ is a project of the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO Trust). The objective of the project is to encourage San children who enroll in schools to remain in school. There’s little data to go by as baseline surveys. The OSISA Group report “Rethinking Indigenous Education,” may be a bit outdated, but stated that ‘only 67 percent of San children in the country enroll in school. And only 1 percent of those children complete secondary school.’ The ‘San Matter’ project ran in two regions (Ohangwena and Omaheke) from 2016 to 2018 thanks to support from the Embassy of Finland. Twelve schools per region were invited to take part in a series of comprehensive interventions. We found that 93,5% of the San girls part of the project in the Omaheke region and 88,1% in the Ohangwena region re-enrolled in school in 2019. Furthermore 86,2% of the San girls part of the...
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880 Hits

‘Well Wish Ya’ premieres at the National Theatre of Namibia

The 10-member dance troupe of the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO) premiered on 27 March 2019 ‘Well Wish Ya’ at the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN). In 2008 OYO had its first dance project at the NTN, titled ‘the Namibia Odysseus’. Following the success of that production, OYO got an opportunity to establish the OYO dance troupe in 2009. For ten years now OYO has trained and nurtured young dancers. OYO is the first, and currently only, troupe in Namibia with dancers on its payroll. To celebrate its tenth anniversary, OYO decided to come back to the NTN, where everything had started. ‘Well Wish Ya’ features the work of Internationally Acclaimed visual artist Kevork Mourad. Kevork is a visual artist of Syrian/Armenian heritage currently living in the States. He has exhibited in the US, Canada, Syria, Japan, France, Qatar, Dubai and Germany. He is currently discussing opportunities to exhibit his work at...
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1216 Hits

Young people and social media

OYO took the chance of its tour of the dance troupe to the Karas region, as part of its ‘growing strong in the Karas region’ program, to find out more about social media and young people. A one-pager was subsequently prepared, featuring some interesting data.
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724 Hits

OYO dance troupe presents its program at the Warehouse Theatre

The 12-member dance troupe of the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO) premiered on Wednesday 13 February 2019 ‘A different me’ at the warehouse theatre. It was a chance for the dance troupe to also present its 2019 program. Dr Philippe Talavera, OYO director and choreographer, explained ‘the dance troupe is turning 10 years old this year. For ten years, we have been able to sustain having dancers on our payroll. To celebrate, we will have an exciting international collaboration at the National Theatre of Namibia in March. We will work alongside renown Syrian visual artist Kevork Mourad and invite guest dancers such as Nikhita Winkler and West Uarije.’ The OYO dance troupe is well-known for the work it does in schools to create social awareness. This year, the troupe was asked to address the issue of social media dating ‘more and more young people have access to social media’, explains Talavera ‘but...
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737 Hits

Salute is touring the South

OYO’s DVD ’Salute’ will be touring the South of the country. Based on those testimonies from inmates, and written in collaboration with inmates at the Windhoek Correctional Facility, OYO produced ‘Salute’. The film was premiered last year in Windhoek and got many people talking. Carlito (Adriano Visagie, winner best male actor in a Theatre Play, NTFA[1] 2017) is a young Namibian man who is sentenced to five years imprisonment because of fraud. Nothing can prepare him for his new life in custody. Naïve, he gets lured in the group of the General (Monray Garoeb), a dangerous criminal who rules over his cell. The gang culture in jail was born in South Africa. It reached Namibia as far back as in the 1980s. While some elements are common between Namibia and South Africa, this film is a Namibian story, written with Namibians for Namibians.This year the DVD will be presented during community...
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4040 Hits

OYO celebrates UHC Day

Each year the Universal Health Coverage Day is celebrated on 12 December. This year, OYO celebrated in Windhoek Informal Settlement with a performance from the OYO dance troupe, a speech by the WHO acting representative and various activities. The Walvis Bay Corridor Group was present to offer free HIV testing. Interviews were conducted with audiences to understand what they think about our health services in Namibia.   Download PDF File Here
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755 Hits

OYO celebrates World AIDS Day

Thanks to support from UNAIDS, UNICEF and UNESCO, OYO could undertake various activities around the 2018 World AIDS Day. In the Khomas region, it had campaigns in Windhoek Informal Settlements. Both the OYO dance troupe and the Windhoek youth group performed, NAPPA clinic was present to offer free HIV testing, various activities were organised. In the Kunene region, a tour was organised and OYO celebrated the 01st of December in Opuwo, during a ceremony with Dr Thomas Shapumba, Chief Medical Officer, Ms Tapuwa Mutseyekwa, UNICEF and His Workship the Mayor of Opuwo, Mr Albert Tjiuma.  
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762 Hits

Child Marriage in Namibia: A case study of the Kavango East and Zambesi regions

How can we stop child marriage in Namibia? Get involved in the discussion with OYO. Let us know in particular what you think about the fact that 12% of the boys interviewed in the Kavango East and Zambesi regions believe it is right for parents to force their daughters (in other words their sisters) to marry? What can we do to change that? Thank you to CFLI for supporting this project.      Download PDF File Here
  978 Hits
978 Hits

OYO Dance Troupe community outreach

After successful performances in the Netherlands, the OYO dance troupe is now back to Namibia. It is time for the troupe to give back to the community. The troupe will therefore embark on a series of performances in November and December in both Windhoek and the Kunene Region.  ‘In Windhoek, we will bring performances to the informal settlements’, explains Dr Philippe Talavera, OYO’s director. ‘Not everybody can come to town to the national theatre for instance. Yet, performances should be for all. It is important for us to go to people. We will perform three of our repertoire pieces, ‘Thiasus’, ‘to take or not to take’ and ‘Betrayed’ in Havana, in front of U-Save, on 05 November, in Hakahana next to the open market on 06 November, in Havana at the soccer field on 07 November, at Otjomuise 8 de Laan (08 November) and Otjomuise 7 de Laan (09 November) and at...
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738 Hits

OYO in Nigeria - Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA)

 There was only 140 nominees in 27 categories out of over 3000 submissions at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) 2018 in Nigeria. ‘Salute’ was one of the nominees, as best movie Southern Africa. While it didn’t win (the prize went to Shemu Joyah from Malawi for his film ‘the road to sunshine’), it was an amazing opportunity as it was Namibian’s first and only nomination. Thanks to Multi-Choice for inviting OYO’s director Philippe Talavera to attend, thanks to Air Namibia for flying Philippe and actor Adriano Visagie in business class and thanks to the Namibia Film Commission for sponsoring the presence of actor Dawie Engelbrecht. The awards were an opportunity to share and network.
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1334 Hits

'Oxósiss Betrayed' Premiere

On Thursday, 23 August the OYO Dance Troupe premiered their latest dance piece, 'Oxósiss Betrayed' to a highly appreciative and awe struck audience at the Goethe institute at the Goethe Institute in Windhoek. The issues concerning poaching, especially Rhino, have long been a contentious issue in namibia and the region. The dance piece fuses many issues in to a recital that evokes strong emotions about poverty, relationships and conservation.
  759 Hits
759 Hits

Intern Program Alive and Well

A huge thanks to our intern Louisa who raised Euro 1,000.00 for OYO! Louisa is currently in the north with our project 'in and out'. She will then spend three weeks in the South with our project 'growing strong in the Karas region' before to join the dance troupe internship summer program. Prior to her trip, Louisa organised a big party and online donations for OYO. We are most grateful for her hard work and wonderful contribution.
  766 Hits
766 Hits

Salute nominated for Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards

We are extremely proud to announce that ‘Salute received a nomination at the 6th annual Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA). The announcement for the 2018 edition was made on Saturday by Nigerian comedian, Bovi, and Ghanaian actor, Joselyn Dumas, on Africa Magic channels on DStv and GOtv respectively. ‘Salute’ has been selected under the category Best Movie Southern Africa alongside ‘Descent’ by Awal Abdulfatai, ‘The Road to Sunrise’ by Shemu Joyah, ‘Jomako Black Democracy’ by Abraham Kabwe and ‘Nyasaland’ by Joyce Mhango Chavula. This year’s nominees list is a very competitive one. The award has been scheduled for September 1, 2018
  1040 Hits
1040 Hits

OYO Dance Troupe at the Goethe Institute

Extracts from our new piece 'I am hungry' performed at the Goethe Institute on 19 June 2018 to an enthusiastic crowd and members of the media. 
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882 Hits

San Matter Project

OYO hosted an event at the Goethe Institute with the Embassy of Finland on 19, June 2018. We presented our San Matter program. In attendance was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture Madam Sanet Steenkamp, who gave the keynote speech. The OYO dance troupe performed two pieces: 'Maria' and, for the first time to the public, 'I am hungry'. Special thanks to to the Embassy of Finland, in Windhoek and H.E. Pirkko-Liisa Kyostila, Ambassador, Embassy of Finland for unwavering support.
  1092 Hits
1092 Hits

Kukuri premiere

We we're honored to have Namibian's from all walks of life at the Kukuri premeire. We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you at our next event.
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654 Hits

OYO Dance troupe at British High Commission

Great pics from Terrence taken during our performance at the Queen's Birthday party last week. With OYO dancers Kassi, Butterfly, Joe, Mary Jane and Osyrin and OYO trainees Jeffrey, Cyan and Pana. Thanks to all involved and thanks to the British High Commission for the invitation.
  898 Hits
898 Hits

Drimiopsis San youth group tour start

The Drimiopsis San youth group has started its tour! This is exciting! Great participation from audiences. The show has mainly songs and dancers, with two narrators ensuring the storyline is clear. Stay tuned for more information and, if you are in the Omaheke region, make sure not to miss the show! San Matter is a project funded by the Embassy of Finland.
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818 Hits

Ohangwena San youth group

The Ohangwena San youth group with their beloved trainer Nyandee. It is a fantastic group full of energy with a great performance. Well done to the group! San Matter is a project funded by the Embassy of Finland.
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842 Hits

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