NSK: A master of his craft

• By Rosalia David

FOLLOWING the release of two short films in which he acted, the sky is the limit for actor, MC and radio disc jockey, Denzel Leroy //Naobeb better known as NSK, who is gearing up for the release of another film.

In a one-on-one interview with Confidente’s Rosalia David (RD), the artist (NSK) says he is currently waiting for another film titled ‘Snare’ in which he played a role, to premiere while wrapping his mind around the pros and cons of the entertainment industry.

RD: Kindly provide a brief background on who you are and where you are from?

NSK: NSK is an all-round entertainer and a thespian born and bred in Walvis Bay.  Proud ‘Baainaar’!

RD: You are an MC, radio personality and an actor, when exactly did the creative bug bite you?

NSK: I was always involved with arts from a very early age. I sang in the family church choir…St. Francis Choir with my mum. That was as early as grade 4. I did theatre plays in church anchored by our late Sunday School teacher Ousie Meriam.

And that was pretty much my life right throughout primary and high school. But professionally it hit off when I moved to Windhoek in 2008 when I joined my cousin Stanley Mareka’s dancing academy, the Equipped Dancing Academy. The rest is history as they say.

RD: You have recently acted in films such as Open Cage and Snare, how would you describe the experience? What was your role and how were the films received by the public?

NSK: I was actually involved in six productions last year. But you’ll soon get to enjoy them as every production has its marketing roll out plan.

Snare is a film directed by Leon Mubiana. It’s yet to be released so I’ll keep mum on that one for now. The trailer is out though.

What’s out now and about to be released is ‘Panga Man and Slaygirl’ brought to you by Eduventures Namibia, written and directed by Taap the Guy starring myself, Taap The Guy and Auguste Uutoni. I play Tate Evil.

To be honest…I am a theatre guy. I love theatre. However, as a brand one needs to grow and challenge yourself. And film was that challenge.

RD: Being versatile comes with a lot of challenges, how do you manage to balance being on radio, emceeing and acting?

NSK: Unfortunately, in Namibia one cannot afford to do just one thing. The market is simply too small for that hence the need to do more. Balance you ask? You just have to find a way.

The key thing here though is you have to manage your diary. Do not overbook. Yes, we have to do more but doing two or three gigs in one night can lead to overburn or can water down your brand or quality thereof. So I mutinously always manage my schedule to a point where every client gets the best and get their money’s worth.

It’s definitely not for the lazy. If “for the gram” is your aim of doing this…you will not last. It has to be sheer passion for the craft and people.

RD: With more than a decade of experience in the entertainment industry, how would you describe the industry now compared to back then?

NSK: The industry has definitely changed. Back then we used to value our own. And when I say we, I mean the audience. Now, no one cares really. Everyone wants to be South African or would love to be associated with South Africa.

For someone that has been doing this professionally for 13 years, it hurts. But what can you do? I am one man. I cannot and honestly have no interest in changing the world. I have my own dreams and aspirations. Hence why I constantly adapt and rebrand to stay relevant and continue to operate at an optimal level.

Unless the audience…Namibians themselves demand a Namibian identity, we will move with what the market demands of us. And right now, it’s everything but Namibian.

RD: What are some of the challenges you encountered so far and how did you overcome those challenges?

NSK: Definitely corporate Namibian, especially multinational companies who honestly could not care less about the Namibian creative. You walk into any of these clothing shops and you hear them play their own branded radio stations. You initiate brilliant concepts that need a bit of funding and none of these multinational companies would care less about sponsoring us or carving out a sustainable support plan for the Namibian creative.

But then again I don’t blame them. The companies are represented by advertising agencies in Namibia. What are these agencies doing? Again, maybe we cannot blame the advertising agencies. Maybe just maybe we need to blame ourselves as Namibians because we do not value our own.

RD: If there is anything you could change in the entertainment industry, what would it be and why?

NSK: Remuneration and the sense of entitlement.

Remuneration…we get paid peanuts. There’s only a handful of entertainers that get paid good money.

As for entitlement…the new generation refuses to start from the bottom. The new generation posts a few naked pictures on Instagram and all of the sudden they are ‘influencers and getting the gigs’. So the clout by some extension is also a problem.

But hey, do I care enough to stress about it and let it affect my bag and drive to one day win an Oscar, to one day host an international radio show and to one day host the Grammys? Nah.