Veteran actor, producer David Ndjavera affectionately known as uncle D proves that where there is a will, there is a way.
He has been in the game over 30 years, won awards and acted locally and internationally. However, there was still one thing he had to do which was to get his master’s degree. unwrap.online caught up with him on why he pursued the goal and why it was important for him to go through with it.
Titled a camel thorn and a rhino horn: a laboratory theatre experiment of crafting and staging a dramatic event in Namibia, uncle D’s masters topic was to satisfy the quest of uplifting the practical skills and the theoretical background of Namibian untrained actors. The research was structured to address both practical and theoretical components of the theatre process using laboratory theatre principles. According to him, the approach, the pursuit of quality theatre, resulted in the production of a play A Camel thorn and a Rhino horn.
“The challenge of the research was highlighting the need of the Namibian practicing performing artists who had a backlog in systematic training/education in performance studies, which contributes to their limitations when performing as actors,” he said.
After completing his honors degree in performing arts, uncle D said the sudden need to obtain his masters was real as prospects of becoming a lecturer at universities arose.
“I decided to answer to the requirement in order to qualify for the position of lecturer. Also, I needed to challenge myself to obtain what I had regarded as the impossible knowing where I came from. I felt a need to be a role model and an inspiration to my own daughters for them to realize that one is never too old to study, with the hope that they will follow suit,” he said.
The findings of uncle D’s study validated the laboratory theatre strategies developed before and during the exploration process. As an ongoing process, it introduces the artist to new and systematic approaches to theatre-making. Actors experienced and gained insight and knowledge and the envisaged objectives were obtained.
“The masters could have been completed in two years but I had a setback. It took me another year to pick up the pieces and finish what I started. I would strongly recommend anyone to finish their Masters as it not only puts you in a position to become self-reliant but it adds to the knowledge in our subject matter. Having that ensures a brighter future for Namibia and the arts in particular,” he said.
Uncle D says he will give the Ph.D. degree ago as he has a great support system who pledged to assist in his endeavors.
As the saying goes one step at a time now that I have reached this far, why not attempt and fail to obtain a doctorate rather than regretting to not have tried when I was able to. Our biggest regrets are the chances we never took,” he concluded.