Perspectives on Perception with Adriano Visagie
This MYD Africa series takes a look at perspective and perceptions with Adriano Visagie, who is not only well known as an award-winning actor in Namibian theatre, but excels in his other roles of radio host, banker and MC to mention a few.
MYD: Tell us a bit about yourself and what it is that you do.
I grew up in Katutura. I was born there, grew up there, and part of my journey started in Katutura. I was born from parents who are not from Namibia but they became Namibian residents. My Mom is from South Africa and my Dad is from Angola and there’s always been the whole growing up from the upper East of town and then from the other side of town. That journey for me has transformed me into who I am today.
MYD: You have such a dynamic career, so vast, from theatre to banking, completely different worlds. How do you manage these completely different worlds?
I tend to always think that if you’ve got a passion for something just go out and do it. I love my 8 to 5 because it exposes me to people and I think fundamentally I am a people’s person. I tend to then cultivate what I am still passionate about and that is theatre, the arts and just doing art that’s different and doing art that breaks barriers.
MYD: What keeps you going, Is it the passion?
It’s definitely the passion, but most importantly also purpose, because we need to understand what is our purpose in life. Growing up I always wanted to be the child that’s involved in Teenagers Against Drugs and Alcohol (TADA) or in the debating society, but the older I became, I realized that those things played a role in who I am.
MYD: You’ve done some challenging roles in theatre you’re not afraid to put yourself into positions that speak to important topics in society. Why is that you chose to use theatre as a way to start conversations?
Conversations are difficult to have in society today. It’s difficult, but you need to challenge yourself as well. Nothing happens in the comfort zone, so I definitely do my art to just get out there and say I have challenged myself in this role.
MYD: What would you say have been your greatest challenges and how did you overcome them?
The greatest challenge has always been seeing my Mom going through a dip and not being able to help.
MYD: Let’s talk about perspective and perceptions. Understanding where our perspective comes from and understanding that sometimes our perspective is not right because it’s been influenced by people around us who may also have the wrong information.
You know perspective and I believe that growing up, that you always need to compete. I’ve always had this struggle because I grew up with my Mom during the week, and my Dad on weekends. And with my father it’s always been about competing. That you need to compete with the next person to be the next best thing. That was my father’s motto, in whatever you do you cannot be mediocre. I’m not highlighting my Dad in any negative way, it’s just he always taught me that competition is good.
With my Mom it’s always been about being humble.
I could understand where my Mom came from and I could understand where my Dad came from, because they didn’t have it easy in life, but it’s knowing where I came from that sort of shaped me into what I want to become.
I also always understand that the perception of where you come from does not have to define who you are.
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