The steps you take to create ­opportunities

05 May 2019 | Columns

Leandrea Louw



A matter close to my heart is that of talent development in our community.

Clarice Gille-Theys is a writer based in Swakopmund who has written and published three books over the past three years. She decided to follow her dreams by becoming a writer and now she's living her dream, and continuing to do so every day after years of slaving away in the corporate world.

While I was reviewing her latest book, we started chatting. She told me that she edits her own work and prints her books at her own expense. She had me like “wow, that's amazing”.

Through this conversation I realised that we need to create opportunities for ourselves.

I am specifically referring to the writers, dancers, musicians and artists who express themselves through any form of creative art.

Not everyone received the gift to sing, dance, or weave words together in a way that makes a person happy or sad.

As parents, we play such a crucial role in developing the talents and gifts of our children.

A common mentality in our community is that being an artist is not a normal paying job and this personally irks me. We admire the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Beyoncé and Denzel Washington, but as soon as our children come home saying 'mommy, I want to draw or sing', it's laughed off.

When I set my heart on becoming a writer, I was told that I should rather study to become a teacher or a lawyer and pursue my writing on the side. I felt disappointed and decided to work harder to show those around me what I am capable of.

I decided to pursue my passion and here I am today, still working on my dream.

I know of a very talented musician whose dream of pursuing his music is regarded as a joke by those around him. I've had numerous conversations with artists and musicians who usually tell me that Namibia doesn't provide the platform or opportunities like in the case of Hollywood, USA.

How about we stop looking at all the closed doors, and start opening them.

Why not become a trendsetter wherever you are and create opportunities to showcase your art to the rest of the country and the rest of the world?

We live in such a small country, but the amount of talent here is immense and we need to tap into that.

There's a quote by Robin Williams: “Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are all noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, music, art, romance and love, these are what we stay alive for.”

We should live out our professions as a means of living life, not just as a means of making a living. Your work will become a large part of your life. The only way to attain true satisfaction is to do what you believe is great work and the only way to do great work, is to love what you do.

If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. Like matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.

Through your talents you have the ability to heal and bend things most people see as a straight line.

Let's go out there and create new paths. Everything isn't always just black and white.