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ǂAoni //Aes” delves into the rich heritage and contemporary challenges of the Topnaar people of Namibia. This powerful production is brought to life by a talented and dedicated creative team, each contributing their unique skills and perspectives to tell this important story.


The story is set within a family context, where audiences follow a mother, father, and daughter, Khoendikhoes, as they travel through time to present the heritage and history of the ǂAonin people. The parents depict the beautiful landscape and rich history of the ǂAonin, until Khoendikhoes, eager to learn more about her people and sensitive by nature, is troubled by nightmares of the atrocities the ǂAonin witnessed during colonial occupation. She eventually wakes up from her visions and nightmares to confront the realities of the current government. The family then raises issues that the ǂAonin are currently facing and explores the collaborative way forward between the community and leadership.

Nelago Shilongoh – Writer and Director

Nelago Shilongoh, the Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN), leads the creative team as the writer and director of “ǂAonin //Aes.” Shilongoh’s vision and leadership are integral to the production, bringing her deep understanding of Namibian culture and her passion for storytelling to the forefront. Her transdisciplinary approach combines rigorous research with artistic expression, ensuring the play is both informative and emotionally resonant.

Chantell /Uiras (Diolini) – Actor

Chantell /Uiras, known by her stage name Diolini, is a passionate actress from Namibia’s coast. Her intimate connection with the ocean influences her performances, infusing them with a profound sense of place and purpose. Since her debut in 2016 with “The First Year,” Diolini has captivated audiences with her emotive portrayals. Diolini looks forward to highlighting stories of injustice and hope within the Topnaar community.

Hazel Hinda – Actor

Hazel Hinda is a versatile, award-winning creative with a Diploma in Drama from the Tshwane University of Technology and a Bachelor’s in Communications from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). Since beginning her professional career in 2006, Hinda has worked extensively in theatre, television, film, TV commercials, and voice-overs. She has also served as a board member and consultant in various arts and culture institutions and platforms.

Dawie Engelbrecht – Actor

Dawie Engelbrecht, an award-winning actor, has a career spanning over two decades. He began as a stage performer in the late 1990s and transitioned to film, radio drama, and TV adverts in 2006. Engelbrecht has performed in more than 20 theatrical productions and local films. His expertise also extends to script translations into Khoekhoegowab, enhancing the authenticity and accessibility of the narratives he helps bring to life.

Victoria Sanyime – Stage Manager

Victoria Sanyime pursued Performing Arts at the University of Namibia, majoring in Drama and Music. She has written numerous stage plays and made her directorial debut in 2014 with There’s Just No Pleasing Bob Daniels, funded by the National Theatre of Namibia’s Theatre Zone program, now known as the New Makers’ program. Her work earned nominations for Best Script and Best Upcoming Director at the Namibia Theatre and Film Awards. As the stage manager for “ǂAoni //Aes,” Sanyime ensures the smooth execution of the production, drawing on her extensive experience and attention to detail.

Together, this dynamic team brings “ǂAoni //Aes” to the stage, offering audiences an immersive and enlightening experience that honors the Topnaar people’s history and ongoing struggles.

Photos by Opas Ochuneyo.

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