By Staff Reporter
OSHI-Deutsch, the film production that narrates the story of Namibian children who were raised in German Democratic Republic (GDR) after the Cassinga massacre will be screened on September 7 and 10 in Windhoek.
The project is a joint venture proposed by Project Leader, Anja Deu of the Osnabruck Theatre in Germany in 2012.
He met with acclaimed playwright and director Sandy Rudd and proposed the idea of a joint production with the College of the Arts (COTA) and Osnabruck theatre to present the story of the ‘GDR children’. The production was directed by Rudd and Gernot Grünewald.
It was funded by the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation supported by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Goethe Institute.
During the liberation struggle, SWAPO solicited humanitarian assistance from around the globe, which they got in the form of education, health, arms and funds.
Between 1960 and 1980, over 2 000 young Namibians were offered tuition and a safety in one of SWAPO allied countries.
After the Cassinga massacre (May 1978) SWAPO organised for children to be removed from the SWAPO-Refugee camps to go and live in GDR for safety. On September 12 1979, Jagdschloss Bellin, a hunting castle in Bellin, a village 10 kilometres south of Güstrow (today in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) was identified to be a safety home for the children.
The GDR saw the education of these children as one of their contributions to world revolution. They went to school, learned German like their mother tongue, and grew up in a German life of style. German and Namibian teachers tried their level best to sustain the Namibian culture with the teaching of traditional dances, Oshiwambo songs, and traditional food recipes. Few months after the fall of the Berlin wall in November 1989, Namibia attained its independence. The event culminated in the repatriation of Namibian children and teachers from GDR to Namibia.
“In February 2015 at COTA Theatre School, the two directors met up with over 15 GDR kids, interviewed them and came up with a concept for the production. The main thrust of the production would be focused on life in the castle and the Namibian story would focus on the stories of the youngsters coming home. The process was extremely difficult and painful at times as the story is ongoing,” a statement from Rudd explained.
The statement noted that some stories are heart-breaking, while some are triumphant over adversity and most were a sad reflection of those times. “Racism, intolerance and narrow-mindedness were the order of the day. In the end, the story is told the story in a disciplined docu-drama style. The story is an important and extremely interesting part of Namibian History,” the statement said.
The show will be held at 11h00 and 19h00 on September 2 and at 14h00 on September 3 at the Oshakati Multi- Purpose Youth Centre. These shows will be free of charge. Then the show will be screened at 19h00 at the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN) on September 7 and 10, with tickets selling at N$50. The show for schools will be held on September 8 and 9 at 10h00.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015