An Exclusive Interview with Beaulah Boois-Beukesthe

Beaulah Boois-Beukes is the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) Public Relations Manager and Voice Over Artist who holds a Master of Arts in Media Studies from the University of Namibia where she is also a part-time lecturer. Additionally, she is an external moderator at the Namibia University of Science and Technology.

Beaulah, can you tell us about your background. Where were you born?

My name is Beaulah Boois-Beukes, second born of 4 daughters. I was born and raised in Windhoek, Namibia. I’m 34 years old, I went to Emma Hoogenhout Primary school where my two 9 year olds currently attend! Thereafter I spent two years at Windhoek High School and then completed Grade 12 at Delta Secondary School Windhoek (DSSW). I studied Dental Technology at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in Cape Town for 3 years but decided to follow my passion and switched to media studies.

How about your family?

My father is the late Seth Mataba Boois and mother Yvonne Boois.

Fun fact: My sisters and I were all given names by our father that start with B’s to stand for Black, Bright, Beautiful and Blessed. They are Beatrix Bianca Auala, lawyer and founder of BB Boois Attorneys, myself – Beaulah Bernice, Banshee Beauty Boois, psychological counselor and author of /Namgu who is currently based in Cambodia and last born, Byonce Beyoncee Boois who is a certified TEFL English teacher who just returned from teaching in Cambodia.

I got married in 2021 to Ennis Beukes and we have 3 children together and they are Unotjari Beukes (9), Clarissa-Yvonne Boois-Beukes (9) and Daisy Tjari Matwa-Kai Beukes (1).

What role did your upbringing play in your current outlook in life?

My parents placed so much importance on education and travel! My father always used to say “make the world your playground” and I live by that saying to this very day and love to travel and explore. In terms of outlook, I am a very positive and optimistic person because I was raised to believe that I can do everything and anything. My grandfather named me “Hotani” which means “whatever I want I will get it” in Khoekhoekowab – there is nothing that I cannot do. I put my best efforts in everything – even in failure – the important thing is that I tried. If something does not work out, I take it as a lesson learned and move on.

You are a mother of three. Can you tell us about the importance of family to you?

Family is extremely important to me, because I come from such a close-knit unit. My father showed us everyday how much he loved my mother until his dying day – that taught my sisters and I what it means to be truly loved and what it means to come from love. I try by all means to emulate my upbringing in my home so that my children can carry it on to their children and their children’s children and so on.

You’ve also lived outside Namibia, can you tell us about your experience?

My first time living outside of Namibia I was about age 9, my father flew his entire family to London where I went to school for a year at Micheal Faraday Primary School and that experience opened my eyes to the world of travel.

I also lived in Cambodia for 6 months during Covid and even though I was away from my children and family, the experience showed me how resourceful I am and can be. I met my public relations counterpart of the Cambodian National Broadcaster who took me on a tour of the corporation during my stay there and I met the Director General who also gifted me with their national clothing and the exposure to see how broadcasting works on their end was very educational and impressive. For one, news presenters have an entire closet to choose clothes from and after presenting they get to keep the items they selected for that day.

Amongst my travels, I’ve been to Germany, Paris, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Thailand, South Africa and wish to add on to my list and tick more countries off my travel list!

You studied media. Has that always been your first choice of study?

Whilst I was studying Dental Technology, I realized that that was not the right fit for me. I was to return to South Africa in 2010 but decided to register for media studies while I waited to renew my study visa. I thought to myself that this would make more sense as it matches my personality. The very first media lecture I walked into I knew I could not turn back and return to complete the diploma in dental technology.

I completed my Bachelor of Arts in media studies and thereafter went straight into my masters by thesis as follows: Best practices in social media use in Namibia. A case study of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology and Communication Technology and MTC. To answer the question, it was not my first choice but the best choice and decision I ever could have made.

How are you able to apply your field of study in your current occupation?

I specialized in Public Relations and apply it in practice every single day as I manage the PR department of the national broadcaster and also teach Introduction to Advertising and Introduction to Public Relations at the University of Namibia. I also supervise interns at NBC in communications so skills and knowledge transfer is a part of my everyday life in my current occupation.

Media is fast developing as an industry, can you tell us what some of these remarkable changes are for you?

The advent of social media and now closely following is the use of AI within the workplace. Keeping up with technological advancements form part of the remarkable changes currently happening in the media industry. These include streaming dominance, the rise of podcasts/bloggers/influencers and general user-generated content, virtual reality/AI, 5g technology which all reflect on digital transformation the industry cant avoid.

How are you coping with these changes?

For one I embrace technology, adapt to trends and try to keep myself informed, educated and trained as to what’s new and view the changes also from an audience-centric approach as my job requires me to manage relationships especially in the form of stakeholders. I believe that coping with these changes requires a forward-thinking and open approach.

You are also a well known voice-over artist with a unique and recognizable voice, when did you discover that that’s what you wanted to do?

When I first started at the national broadcaster, I was introduced to the late Johann Smit, more affectionately known to us at the broadcaster as “Smitty” who said he loved the youthful sound of my voice and he offered to voice train me. I started off voicing all NBC TV licence promos and before I knew it, clients started requesting for me to voice their adverts. It came naturally to me as an avid reader, I would voice in one take and it automatically formed part of my job to voice all corporate promos.

You recently started dabbling in filmmaking. Can you tell us more about that?

There was an open call for scripts from the NBC and No Plot Productions Drama Training Program – I had a story to tell and decided to enter. My script was selected and I underwent the training and thereafter we started shooting! The title of my short film is “Bleeding Love” which tells the story of a school girl in an abusive relationship who also has to deal with teenage pregnancy.

With the rise of GBV in the country, I wanted my story to tell young women that they can get out and set themselves free before it’s too late.

Is that something you would pursue aggressively?

Should the opportunity present itself again, yes! I learned so much during the training and worked with people who taught me a little bit about everything on set, it was an amazing experience seeing words on paper turn into visual art on screen.

Can you tell us about your involvement in a clothing bank?

When we lived in London, there was a concept of a clothing bank (a store) where people could drop off old (which we prefer to call pre-loved) clothes and the less fortunate could walk in and select items. With the assistance of my mother, we decided to bring that concept here and usually during winter, we collect and then choose a children’s home or old age home to donate the items to.

Where can people donate clothes?

Those who wish to donate can call Yvonne Boois on 0813300674, we take in all items from clothes ranging from kids to adults as well as childrens toys as the festive season is fast approaching to put smiles on the faces of children!

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