As part of the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) Windhoek’s on-going #WednesdayCelebrateWomenCampaign, UNIC Windhoek celebrates women making a positive impact in Namibia. As a way to get to know our features better, UNIC highlights one inspiring women per month.
For this month’s #WCW #WednesdayCelebrateWomen, UNIC Windhoek celebrates Nesindano Namises writer, poet, singer and mother. Nesindano describes herself as “A bi-sexual activist, I am however not afraid to admit that I love making my art. Writing, singing, poetry. It’s all put me exactly where I need to be so that I finally understand where I need to go. I think my career achievements are soon to peak, I’m not there yet, but I know that my work as a mother has proven more successful than my work as an artist.”
Read below to learn more about the multi-talented Nesindano, also known as “Nunu” who despite her busy schedule is able to find a balance between work and her role as a mother.
Tell us about your favourite performance?
Sometime in July 2015, FLON hosted a dinner with Mrs Matilda Amissah-Arthur (known as Ghana’s second lady), having been invited to recite some of my poetry, I remember feeling so relieved and excited that one of our leaders had actually shown such a keen interest in poetry in this country. Then she (the phenomenal FLON) quoted something she heard me say on a local TV show. I died. She is so lit. I appreciate that. We all do.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
To get my work published and read on a broader platform, work on a (second, third?) album as Blend, a duo I am part of. I wish to travel with my work. I would love to share as much of what I do as possible with as many different people in the world, but because five year plans can change, I am mostly hoping that I am healed and that my work will be able to have a positive impact on the lives and movements that it’s inspired and surrounded by.
We know that your mother is also a poet, is that what inspired you to go into poetry. If not what inspired you?
Mom is actually not a poet. However, much of her work as an activist has inspired me, as I am sure it has many others. Or perhaps it’s just all I have ever known.
What are your thoughts on women’s empowerment and gender equality?
The empowerment of women is very close to my heart. Getting it right with children, I think, plays a big role in how far we succeed with empowerment and equality, but I think it is also very important to allow our girls and boys to be free to express who they are without putting the pressure of being a boy or girl on them. It’s tricky, because we also only learned from our elders, but there is just as much, if not more, that we could learn from children.
How hard was it to break into the industry?
Well, I’m still breaking in. I wouldn’t say it’s hard, it is a challenge. In Namibia, I think it is an important one, because it’s beautiful to be able to tell stories to people who are from where you are, internationally, well, there are different levels, the challenge is determined by which one you want to break into and how well people are connecting with what you do.
What would you like you like to see happen in the Namibian entertainment industry?
I’m excited about unusual collaborations and live entertainment on breakthrough levels. We are story tellers. We should own live performances.
How can poetry be used as a tool/vehicle to empower women or girls in Namibia?
Poetry, like most art forms has the ability to heal through self-expression. Within environments that discourage girls to express themselves through other ways, writing can perhaps provide the escape that might give her or another girl/woman power. It is important to understand that art heals by taking us from a state of fear to a state of inspiration and creativity. We need inspired girls.
If you had to inspire young women in Namibia with just one word, what would it be?
Yes…or more accurately, yaaaaahs. (Say that to anyone you think deserves it without them expecting it. It gives life.)
In terms of women’s empowerment, what would you like to see happen in the next generation?
Ownership. If we continue to teach our girls and boys to own their bodies, own their possibilities own their futures and respect the ownership of others’, then we have a chance.
What is your advice to girls following their dreams?
Get it! Don’t forget that you really are enough and that only you can own what’s yours. If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, ask them to kindly exit stage left.