When it comes to alter egos, few local artists have quite as many as the multitalented Lize Ehlers.
An award-winning singer-songwriter, an esteemed theatre actress, a budding disc jockey in DJ Rise Elders, the founder of Song Night Namibia, co-chief executive officer (CEO) of Drag Night Namibia, as well as a vocal and theatre coach, Ehlers is an artist unafraid to explore every facet of her creative being when not dreaming up and directing developmental platforms to uplift her creative colleagues.
In 2024, the consummate slashie plans to be hard at work while still making room for some personal growth, especially with regard to her education.
“I was very excited to start my master’s in art and culture management at Rome Business School from April onwards, but my bursary application was rejected, so I will navigate that personally over the next few years,” says Ehlers.
As a passionate mother to two very creative teens and a wife celebrating 16 years with her husband Hendrik, Ehlers expounds on her performance personas as an eclectic list of incoming events and appearances.
“I’m working on a single with my new producer, Devitchi. A very topical, tongue-in-cheek dance song called ‘Hidde’,” says Ehlers.
“I have been wanting to collaborate with him since I heard his epic collab with Diolini and other Namibian gems.”
Ehlers is also gearing up for an Edith Piaf tribute directed by Senga Brockerhoff and her debut of ‘Mama Africa’ featuring guitarist Sam Batola and directed by Sandy Rudd, both are incoming in May.
Donning her theatremaker and debut filmmaker hat, Ehlers is looking forward to premiering ‘Don’t Mess with the Ekongoro’, a film by her husband Hendrik which she directed, as well as staging a deconstructed theatre version of ‘Boet & Sus’ in Namibia and South Africa.
The actress will also be starring in a film that deals with mental health and eye disease by Esther Veii Beukes.
“My first project for 2024 will be the launch of NBC’s Molelo Radio Drama Project,” says Ehlers.
“I directed the German radio play ‘Zwei Welten, Ein Mikro’ for Funkhaus, as written by Karl Ehlers and Ozan Gürcay. I am very excited to have proudly Namibian stories on the airwaves.”
Dressed as Drag Night co-CEO, Ehlers assures fans that the popular monthly platform will be making its return with ‘Unplugged’ at Anna’s Kloovenburg on 25 February, and the main drag show is set for 2 March.
Ehlers also teases a series of Drag Night workshops, public engagements, a coastal roadshow and more international events.
Zooming in on DJ Rise Elders who is steadily making a name for herself through Drag Night and Ladies Night at Avani, alongside a slew of upscale weddings, celebrations and fashion events, the DJ’s newest venture is on its way.
“I cannot wait to share my newly curated interactive-safe-space-DJ-show, which you can catch at the Village Sunday Thrift Market on 4 February between 09h00 and 14h00,” says DJ Rise Elders, who is also working on new music with Devitchi and Morenga.
“Sonically, the original music will be like a baby between Kanye West’s ‘Mercy’, November Ultra’s ‘The End’ plus some Snoh Aalegra’s ‘Do 4 Love’,” DJ Rise Elders says.
No doubt a year set to sizzle, Ehlers closes her creative forecast with what she would like the arts and entertainment industry to leave in 2023.
“Gatekeeping and corruption. There are so many opportunities to be shared and improved on,” says Ehlers. “I think funding institutions should invest in players who give back to the community and more businesses should hire inclusive performers like drag queens.”
On the question of her mood for 2024, Ehlers is intentional and seeking.
“My mood is boundaries, discipline, self-love and rest,” says Ehlers. “I have to work on these first before I can find out who Lize Ehlers is, especially who I am in 2024.”
– email@example.com; Martha Mukaiwa on Twitter on Instagram; marthamukaiwa.com
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