Namibian actor Nadula Meekulu Hainane, who plays the role of a caring and hardworking mother in the just launched first series of ‘The 3rd Will’ says she found the role not too challenging, because the persona required for the character is close to who she really is.
This made her realise that often she is cast in roles in which the character has personality traits similar to her own.
Meekulu hopes though that one day she will be cast in an antagonistic role in which she is expected to portray a bad person; a characters that compels the audience to either like or hate them.
“In this film Hileni is a caring mother of one daughter, who constantly keeps coming home in tears trying to make sure that her daughter gets it right. I am not doing much acting here, because comforting and being caring and hardworking is who I really am in person,” says Meekulu.
The ‘3rd Will’ television series premiered last week on Channel 1 of the national broadcaster NBC. In the series Meekulu plays the part of Hileni, a caring and hardworking woman, who is at the same time concerned about her crybaby daughter, who is confused about two men who are trying to come into her life.
Meekulu entered the acting world when some years back she auditioned for the Namibia College of Open Learning (Namcol)’s educational TV series. The rest, as they say, is history.
Even though she started her acting career as an actor in educational or edutainment short films produced by Namcol and other non-governmental organisations.
“I was cast as a nurse and my other role was as a most successful married woman who another lady wishes to be,” says Meekulu of her role in one of Namcol edutainment films.
Apart from that, Meekulu was also cast in an edutainment film, called ‘Alina’, which was made by NBC and the women’s organisation, Women Action for Development.
For Meekulu the stage has always been her first love. She recalls that at the age of eight years she would sing and act out Bible dramas at Sunday school.
“I knew from a very age that I wanted to be on stage, or behind the camera and I do love writing. I have written some of my own television films too,” she says.
Her first television appearance was in 2004 in the NBC television series titled, ‘The Big City’, directed by Boli Mootseng and written by Joseph Molapong. The Big City was a series with 26 episodes.
“I loved my first television character, because it comprised both a weird persona and bad persona, something totally different to who I really am,” she says. She described the series as one of the most successful productions she has worked on.
“We enjoyed it so much, the rehearsals, the food and recording were awesome. They would pick us up and drop us at home. Such treatment, I felt like a real star that time and we were even paid so well,” she says.
So far she has obtained some ten certificates in the film and theatre industry. “My best one I got was from American
Cultural Centre in 2006, for developing oneself as a filmmaker, [presented by] the American film director, Charles Burnett,” she says.
She also has a certificate for consolidating regional networks for the Industrialisation of Theatre in Southern Africa by the Southern African Theatre Initiative, with Dr Robert McLaren from Johannesburg. Another is for National Theatre Administration and Financial Management, which she gained in 2006.
The absolute highlight of her career to date, she says, was when she had to lead the Namibian Emergency Fund project to help vulnerable people, traveling around world and exploring its beauty, amazing people and its diverse cultures.
“I love using my imagination to create and communicate anything out of something. I wish to go international someday and make my beautiful country proud of me and much further than the sky can throw me,” she says.
Personally Meekulu loves spending her free time with children.
“I just love the innocence of the children, in their presence I feel free and kids love me back more, they are forever following me around and I love that. We adults complain too much and are greedy about everything.
“We can look at the lives of children and see the smallest things that make them happy, and then perhaps we’ll be able to appreciate life even more,” she says.
For now, though, she is “taking things step by step, following my heart to see what future I will see when I get there.” She adds: “I want to be involved in something productive that can change the world for the better. I hope God would continue giving me the courage, wisdom and faith to do that.”