Hairareb, a Namibian treasure

By Rosalia David

THE Namibian narrative film titled ‘Hairareb’ which was recently nominated in the Durban International Film Festival represents a unique and beautiful portrayal of a truly Namibian story along with an intimate depiction of its culture.

Hairareb is a film about two strangers who reluctantly get into an arranged marriage for mutual benefits starring Claudine De Groot and the legendary David Ndjavera who passed on recently.

Following the nomination, although the film did not scoop an award at the festival, producer of the project Ellen Ernst expressed gratitude towards the support saying that being selected has been an amazing feeling.

“The support for our film from audiences who have now had a chance to watch Hairareb, outside Namibia, has been overwhelming. We would also like to express our appreciation to the organisers of the festival, who were extremely helpful and supportive in promoting Hairareb on multiple platforms associated with the festival,” he said.

Ernst added that they were also able to connect and engage with other filmmakers and industry experts on areas of shared interest, through the various online events forming part of the festival.

Meanwhile, Dantagos Jimmy-Melani, executive producer of Hairareb said being selected proves that the industry is capable of making it big on the international dais.

Apart from that, he said, the production company is also celebrating the life of one of Namibia’s most prolific actors, local arts and culture by showcasing Namibia’s Best Narrative Film to an international audience for the first time.

Hairareb is based on a book by August C. Bikeur which was developed into a script by local writer Aina Ligola Kwedhi.

Hairareb was directed by award winner, Oshoveli Shipoh.

“Hairareb is the first in a series of cultural feature films to be produced by the company for its Namib Cultural Film Project. This project will be shot all over Namibia by local storytellers, to cover a critical mass of our precious local stories, and to share them with equally diverse audiences across the nation and around the world,” Jimmy-Melani further highlighted.

He said the mission is the first of its kind, and a key component to add to Namibia’s cultural archives for future generations to access a piece of its history and heritage.

Hairareb premiered for the first time at the Durban International Film Festival which is one of five festivals presented by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal fulfilling a facilitative function as a promoter of the film industry, creating networking and cultural exchange.

The programme is a global showcase that centres on films from the continent, and those made by Africans in the diaspora and of African descent.

The Namibian cinematic gem screened alongside an array of other official selections spanning feature films, short films and documentaries from around the world.

Founded in 2011, Ndapunikwa Investments is a multidisciplinary boutique consulting firm, which focuses on technological advancement, film and media production. The company has specialised in public interest focused media campaigns, nation building, and socially responsible content, since 2011, facilitating media material for cinema, radio, television, streaming, and print platforms.