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Tuli Shityuwete on The Importance of Passion

Tuli Shityuwete shares more on her passions and dreams in this throwback series of the MYD Africa Show. 

A professional dancer, singer and actress, Tuli has graced many international stages. She has even danced for the Queen of England. 

While she’s not dancing, she is involved in human rights and development work. She talks about how her intense love of dancing came about and how she fought even at a young age to pursue this passion. 

MYD: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got to where you are today – being one of the greatest contemporary dancers in Namibia and starting a dance studio in Windhoek?

TULI: My name is Tulimelila Shityuwete, born and bred in Namibia, well born in exile technically, bred in Namibia. I have been dancing since I was four years old. I actually started a year too young. You are only supposed to start when you are five, even at that age I knew that I really wanted to do it, so I just begged and begged and begged my parents, and they spoke to my ballet teacher, and she eventually relented and agreed that I could start attending ballet lessons, and you know we’ve gone on to have a 25 year relationship.

MYD: And then the progression to starting a studio?

TULI: It’s a weird one. I think that Haymich and I felt that we’d gotten to a certain level, but that we didn’t have enough rehearsal time and practice time in order to really move the company to where we envisioned it, because you know a couple of hours here and there from rented spaces, it becomes very difficult, so you know we started the company in order to create opportunities for Namibian dancers. I think opening a studio has been an interesting experience, it’s been a very steep learning curve. It hasn’t all been positive, it’s been incredibly trying, it’s been a tough year, we work seven days a week, sometimes fourteen, fifteen, sixteen hours a day.

So it’s definitely taken it’s toll, but it’s been such an incredible learning experience. We’ve learnt how to be people that are not only artists, but in a creative enterprise.

MYD: How important do you think passion is in our lives?

TULI: If you’d asked me this question a year ago I would have said it is paramount. It is the ultimate thing, but I think you know getting a little bit older and some of my perspectives changing and some of my priorities changing as well,  you do start to question. Should I have gone into something more stable, should I have gone into something, I don’t know, something a little bit different, but at the end of the day I did it. 

Watch the MYD Africa Show on One Africa TV every Tuesday at 20h00 with repeats on Thursdays at 06h30 and Sundays at 19h30.