Meet Konatham Sasha. He is a writer, a director, a playwright, a journalist, a photographer, a comedian and an activist.
He has staged a play called ‘Die Stoep’ at the National Theatre of Namibia and splits his time between being on stage and making us all laugh, and working with the Positive Vibes NGO to change societies and people’s lives for the better.
I recently caught up with him at a comedy show he performed in at Brewers Market and got to ask him a few things that might help us get to know him a little bit better.
He is passionate about being hands-on in the LGBTI space and being able to contribute in meaningful ways.
It’s important to us to highlight those in our communities who are change makers, so it was an absolute pleasure for us (YO) to sit down with and talk to him (JS).
YO: Tell me about the work you do with Positive Vibes?
JS: I was recently appointed as the design, monitoring and evaluation learning officer for FreeTo Be Me, a new programme Positive Vibes is hosting in the country. I’ve worked with the organisation for a while doing consultancy work around advocacy, report writing and content creation around a variety of projects.
YO: How important is your work to you?
JS: Greatly important. I not only grow as a professional, but to get to know people from all aspects of life and impact their lives with my little contributions as an activist.
YO: And why do you feel those contributions are important for the world?
JS: It is important to create visibility for LGBTI persons and destigmatize these identities and orientations to impact legal and policy reform to ensure that all Namibians are treated equally by society and by the state.
YO: What have you learnt from this work?
JS: That we’ve come far as an LGBTI movement, but there is still a lot of work to be done. We are changing hearts one at a time.
YO: What impact do you hope to have on the world?
JS: I want to leave a legacy behind, not only in arts and entertainment, but also in the activism work that I do. People should feel the impact of my work long after I’ve left this earth.
YO: You recently joined the comedy scene in Windhoek, what has that been like? What has people’s reception of your jokes been like?
JS: People generally enjoy my sets. I think I catch people off guard sometimes, and they get a little self-conscious about their own sense of humour. But generally, very great feedback.
YO: Yes, I’ve noticed you are a bit risqué. What are your thoughts on political correctness?
JS: I think it’s a good thing in terms of protecting minorities from abuse and stigma in social and political settings. But I also think in comedy, it can sometimes stifle a joke, but only if the joke was intended to aim harm and abuse at a certain collective.
YO: What have been some of your favourite types of jokes to make?
JS: I like to talk about things I’ve experienced in real life and sometimes it could be a traumatic experience. But that’s how I learn to cope with it. I’m also still busy finding my voice. I think I’m growing pretty steadily at this point.