Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

20 December 2012

Namibia: I Want to Bring Home an Oscar

Armas Shivute Armas is an actor best known for his roles as a Kapana vendor in Tirza, a poacher in Camel thorns and most recently for the role of Bra Ompie in Try which got him the award for the Best Male Actor Theatre at this year's Namibia Film and Theatre awards.

Born 38 years ago in Katutura State Hospital, he grew up with his grandparents in the village of Omuthitu-Gwalwani in Omusati region where he looked after cattle, milked cows and cultivated mahangu. Armas only started acting in 1992 when a teacher in his primary school dramatised his favorite book and made him play the funny character. He then later got exposed to TV and other things such as American stars magazines, where he saw and read about stars such as Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Steve Urkel (of Family Matters). His love for acting grew bigger when he saw other Namibian actors such as Norman Job, David Ndjavera acting out plays and got his breakthrough when he got help from a woman by the name of Tulimeyo Kaapanda who found him selling his mother's Kapana and later made it possible for him to join Bricks Community Project where he met the likes of Joseph Molapong, Christ Warner and Boli Motseng.

When asked about how he feels about winning the coveted award he said, "I am still in my sleep and dreaming, somebody gotta wake me up. I took a couple of bucks and put an outfit together to go and enjoy with other winners, because for me all nominees were winners. That's what I told myself. I was getting nervous as other people went up stage to collect their winnings. When our category came, I was sitting next to some of the guys I was nominated against and I said to myself Armas if you did not win, it is not because you are bad, it's simply because the winner did better than you and you need to work harder to deserve an award. Then my name was mentioned, I remember going on stage and trying to put a few words together for my acceptance speech. It's an amazing feeling, the field was tough, I mean who are you to beat David Ndjavera at his game?"

Armas is not just an actor but a director and writer as well, he is currently writing a play and hopes to win even more awards in the near future. The sky is the limit for the fun loving and humble actor, who has dreams of bringing an Oscar home.

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