… Miss Namibia 2010 shares her experience
ODILE Muller (OM) is still one of the most recognisable former Miss Namibia winners, and continues to make a name for herself as a blossoming actress.
She was crowned Miss Namibia 2010 on 31 July 2010 and was chosen as one of the top 25 semi-finalists at Miss World 2010.
Confidente’s Jeoffrey Mukubi (JM) spoke to Muller shortly after Rehoboth’s Suné January was crowned as Miss Namibia 2017 recently, and Namibian beauty Andeline Wieland won the Miss Continents 2017 title in Las Vegas.
Muller was adamant that Namibian beauty queens have what it takes to conquer the world beauty stage, while also sharing her love for acting with Confidente.
JM: Do you have any advice for the new Miss Namibia, Suné January?
OM: Just be yourself, stay true to who you are and your country and enjoy this journey.
JM: You won Best Actress at the Namibia Film and Theatre Awards this year, for your role in the movie Katutura. How did you become interested in acting? What courses or other formalised training have you attended?
OM: I became interested in acting, after I acted in Gutter Culture, which was written and produced by Renier de Bruyn. After that I took every opportunity to get into acting, because with all my dancing experience, I always had an interest in acting, and I decided to go for it. I have no formalised training in acting, only in dancing.
JM: Tell us about your part in the current production you are working on, And the girls in their Sunday Dresses. How has the play challenged your acting abilities?
OM: The part I am playing is ‘The Lady, and the play was written by Zaks Mda and directed by Vickson Hangula. The Lady is a former sex worker, who meets The Woman in a government queue, and it is filled with dialogue immersed in politics, religion, sex and everything in between, it is quite funny and hilarious, and it is something that people should definitely not miss. In terms of it challenging my acting abilities, I have noticed that theatre is very different to film, so it is definitely stretching me as an actor, and pushing my capabilities or rather emotions. Since I am new to acting, I am still discovering the type of actor I am, so this is definitely helping.
JM: You made a huge impact when you were crowned Miss Namibia in 2010. Tell us what your experiences were like during your year-long reign. What did you take away from that experience and how did it shape your life?
OM: Miss Namibia was a wonderful experience it changed me in so many ways.
JM: In terms of this year’s Miss Namibia contestants, what was the quality of the field, in your opinion and do they have what it takes to compete on the global stage?
OM: Yes, we do have what it takes; unfortunately we are competing with other countries that train their girls on a yearly basis. You have some women that train for these competitions from the tender age of 13, so they are very competitive; it is a very tough competition and only one girl can win. Our ambassador competes against around about 80 to 120 contestants, so we have to make sure that she brings her best qualities forward and when we are looking for a Miss Namibia, we are looking for a well-rounded package. That’s why we have seven to nine judges on a panel. To say that we don’t succeed in international pageant is unfair, because our first princess in Miss Namibia last year (Andeline Wieland), recently won the Miss Continents title, which is also an international pageant. It is not as big as Miss Universe or Miss World, but that is a huge achievement in itself, so we definitely do have what it takes to a force to be reckoned with. I just sometimes feel that people tend to focus on how much we have not gained, compared to what we have gained, because we are competing with the rest of the world.
JM: In your year (2010), what kind of training and other assistance did you receive, in terms of preparing you for the pageant and to represent Namibia globally?
OM: The normal type of training, including ramp training, etiquette, public speaking, dance lessons and I also reached out to former Miss Namibia winners, for them to give me a firsthand point of view on what to expect; I also reached out to corporate and government officials, so that they can give me their point of view on how they want me to be an ambassador for Namibia and what their expectations were, and how I can meet them. Basically every kind of training that Miss Namibia goes through.
JM: What do pageant judges look at when they choose a winner?
OM: Each judge has their own point of view of what qualities a Miss Namibia should have. One judge may feel that mannerisms and knowledge of the country is more important than beauty, another judge may feel that physical attributes, such as height, physique and health may be a determining factor; so I can’t generally say what other judges look for, but if I am judge, I look for the full package, I look for women that embody grace, elegance, poise; a girl who is humble, but also knows her stuff, a wise girl; she has to be beautiful inside and out. That is basically what a Miss Namibia should be about. She should also have a big heart.
JM: Speaking of the global stage, what was your experience at the Miss World pageant? What reception did you get as Namibia’s ambassador? Did you forge any lasting friendships? And what did that experience teach you about yourself and the world?
OM: I received great reception, and it was a wonderful experience. We have a Facebook group that we chat on frequently. Since the Miss World pageant was held in China, I learned a lot about Asian culture, and I learned so much about other cultures, their points of view, in terms of religion, race, and love. I spent so much time with these women, and got to know some of them on a very personal level.
JM: You seem to be heavily invested in acting at this stage? Do you still dance and where, professionally?
OM: Yes, I still dance at the College of the Arts, not as a student, but I dance with Hamish Olivier, who is part of the First Rain Dance Academy.
JM: What else is keeping you busy on a professional level? Have you started any business ventures?
OM: I do freelance emcee work, acting, dancing, modelling and I am also part of Voigush Africa with Luis Munana, but with the play taking place, I have no time for anything else at the moment.
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