Talent knows no borders

Believing in the timeless art of acting and telling a story with this talent, Adriano Visagie was recently awarded the Sotigui Award for Best Actor Southern Africa for his role in the Namibian film ‘Salute’.

06 December 2019 | Cultural

Ester Kamati



Still digesting the news after receiving his award on 30 November in Burkina Faso, Visagie is passionate about ensuring that the arts are uplifted and appreciated as the goldmine they are.

He added that he is honoured to have received his first international award, which “represents a path of endless hard work”. He added that having been up against good actors from South Africa and Zimbabwe, it was a proud moment for him to scoop this award.

“A win for one is a win for all of us,” said Visagie as he received his award, thanking the cast and crew that put in the work to make ‘Salute’ a reality.

Visagie played the character of Carlito, the leading actor in the film, which was written and directed by Philippe Talavera. The story was written and filmed with inmates from the Windhoek Correctional Facility and depicts the life of Carlito, sentenced to five years for fraud. The film touches on issues such as same-sex relationships, prison gangs, power and violence. Having been nominated last year for best film Southern Africa at the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards (AMVCA), it continues to make an impact. Talavera said that locally, ‘Salute’ remains one of the most talked-about films since its release in 2017.

With about 50 nominees from across the African continent present, the Sotigui Awards continued to promote cinema in Africa. The awards, hosted in partnership with Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), are aimed at celebrating the work of actors from all over the African continent.

“The message is so much stronger,” said Visagie about the film which was released in 2017, adding that until today the rewards of the film are still being reaped. Visagie has plans to release his second feature film next year, based on an unconventional local love story, and will be having an art talk over the weekend.

In his seven years as an actor, Visagie has been keen to ensure that Namibia unpacks the different forms of art ranging from film to theatre and recognise the arts as a “type of culture”.

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