Drag Night ends with a roaring renaissance

Miss Mavis Dash, Avel Le’More, Atlantis, Gigi Has Arrived. Photo: Martha Mukaiwa

The mics were on and the energy was electric at Drag Night Namibia’s final show for the year on Friday.

Capping a season during which Namibia’s Supreme Court ruled to recognise same-sex marriages legally concluded abroad, Drag Night staged a roaring renaissance at the Goethe-Institut despite months of escalating anti- lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and other (LGBTQI+) sentiments in the wake of the ruling.

“Regardless of what they try to do, our voices matter,” said Drag Night Namibia founder and the evening’s consummate host, Miss Mavis Dash.

“Our voices will not be silenced, because our voices are loud and proud. Omashenge Ovanhu.”

A reunion and a rebirth after waves of hate speech and threats of violence necessitated the cancellation and scaling down of the monthly platform, Drag Night featured a splash of all stars, as well as an exciting new crop of vocal and drag talent as part of Namibia Pride.

To begin, Gigi Has Arrived performed in, creative directed and hosted a taste of ‘Drag Night: Unplugged’, a live singing spin-off previously presented at Anna’s Kloovenburg.

With singers such as the soulful Noah, who made a superb singing debut and the catchy stylings of Sun Rae performing original music, ‘Drag Night: Unplugged’ was a treat of originality and remarkable raw talent.

The segment additionally featured a performance by the incandescent Lize Ehlers, who also held the musical forte as DJ Rise Elders.

In-between the singers and the drag queens, ‘Drag Night: Homecoming Renaissance’ took a moment to cleanse the space with an evocative dance interlude by Luscious Lillith, before Cleopatra upped the energy with her exuberant take on Brenda Fassie’s ‘Weekend Special’.

Including all stars and dazzling debuts, the show featured the lovely Rose Petal lip-synching Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’, Le Clue killing a remix of Beyoncé’s ‘Energy’, Four looking fringed and fantastic during a Beyoncé mash-up that had the crowd in awe, as well as the gorgeous Star Arrival, crowd-pleasing with Tyla’s ‘Water’.

Jam-packed and utterly jumping, the show went on with the sultry Avel Le’More doing it for the avant-garde queens, Sodomitra Gamorrah and the Pearly Gurlies bringing the seventies realness, Atlantis modishly channelling ‘Reputation’ era Taylor Swift, and Dame Mercury debuting as the edgy queen with the cheekbones that never quit.

Clocking in at 43 shows since its inception in 2020 and including presentations at Swakopmund, Cape Town and Berlin, Drag Night Namibia took a moment to thank sponsors such as Positive Vibes, the Snow White Project and Lefa, as well as the show’s supporters.

“It’s really through the support from the public sector that we’re able to create the art we create. So please never stop showing up for artists, never stop sharing posts, never stop telling other people to come to the show even if you can’t, because you are helping an economy that is suffering in this country right now,” said Miss Mavis.

“I want to say thank you for coming out every single time.”

Still a total party, one of the hottest tickets in the city and simply teeming with tremendous vocal, drag, dance and performance talent, Drag Night came to a bittersweet close in irrepressible rainbow and silver style.

– martha@namibian.com.na; Martha Mukaiwa on Twitter and Instagram; marthamukaiwa.com

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