Time for filmmakers to tell stories in their languages: Tjiueza

• By Martha Nangombe

FILMMAKER and veteran journalist, Lesley Tjiueza made a ground-breaking impact after the debut of Tjipangandjara, a short Otjiherero film that attempts to resuscitate, appreciate, and celebrate the Otjiherero language and culture.

Tjipangandjara, which premiered on June 21 at Windhoek’s Ster-Kinekor Maerua Mall cinema, drew a sold-out crowd of both young and old who came out to support and admire Tjiueza’s offering.

Conveying the story of this slain warrior, Tjipangandjara’s focal point adds the richness of the Otjiherero language in the film.

This film is a wonderful time capsule where Hizembi, a Namibian hunter, goes missing under unexplained circumstances after receiving a warning at a water point, eventually leading to his death.

After that, Kazondungua ua Zombandua appears as a party searching for Hizembi.

Tjiueza says the film is based on quotes from Tjipangandjara ua Kehendjira, an Otjiherero poet nearly on par with William Shakespeare.

“This film is based on some of his famous quotes and, simultaneously, is a work of fiction based on true events.

Tjipangandjara is my first film, and the reason for making it is to tell the story of Tjipangandjara, a real person and a living Herero poet.

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