On 30 November, Adriano Visagie won the Sotigui Award for Best Actor: Southern Africa for his stellar deliverance of ‘Carlito’ in Philippe Talavera’s Salute!
Visagie was nominated alongside South Africa-born, Canadian-based actress Kandyse McClure, for her performance in Sew The Winter To My Skin and Emmanuel Mbirimi from Zimbabwe for The letter.
A first for Namibia, Visagie shares the title with Munya Chidzonga from Zimbabwe (winner 2018) and Fulu Mugovhani from South Africa (winner 2017). Visagie shares the cinema is huge in West Africa, adding he felt like he belonged to a greater part of African cinema.
“The people there believe that they are responsible for creating their own industry and I feel like that is such an important narrative Namibian and the rest of SADC needs to incorporate in order for us to effectively share our collective skills in a collaborative manner. This is what West Africa is doing and that’s why their film industry is booming,” Visagie said.
Feeling honoured for scooping his first international award, Visagie urged fellow actors to look into collaboration and always work hard to fine-tune their craft. Visagie further said based on the attention to detail the organisers put into the award show, they are striving at building a strong film academy.
While accepting the award, the actor exposed Namibia’s growing film industry by talking up recent films such as The White Line, Baxu and the Giants, and #LANDoftheBRAVE who have been making waves locally and internationally.
“Namibia and the rest of Africa should invest in the arts as it does not only create jobs but also exposes African culture to the world. Personally, as an actor, this award means a lot to me, it is a true honour,” Visagie said.
The Sotigui Awards are organised by the Sotigui Academy to promote cinema from Africa and the Diaspora, in partnership with the FESPACO. The award aim at celebrating the work of actors from Africa and the Diaspora.
PICTURES: See Adriano at the 2019 Sotigui Awards held at Canal Olympia Ouaga 2000, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. (Images: Experienced_Portraits)