Nicola Jackman, A 'joy Catalyst' Of Note

11 Jun 2015 10:40am
WINDHOEK, 11 JUN (NAMPA) - Interviewing people is part and parcel of a journalist’s daily routine, but not everyone they interview comes from a country that is not found on an atlas, and speaks a language that is unique to one person.
Nicola Jackman, who is no stranger to the camera, newspapers or stage, is one such person.
Nicola, or Nikky as she is known by friends, still has roots here in Namibia, as her parents stay in Windhoek.
Normally visiting her parents, she also uses the time to do what she loves most - perform on stage and motivate other people to see life with a different pair of spectacles. Her love for the stage made her creating her own unique language and character.
When walking on stage welcoming her audience in her language of 'Minxa-dish' (Min-ka-dish) from her imaginary land called 'MinXa' (Min-Kah), one can identify two words that is part of our daily lives, 'HaXaku’ and ‘Milo' meaning love and heart, respectively.
Regardless of where you come from, what language you speak or your background, the word and idea of love shares a common denomination across all borders.
During the interview and drinking coffee on her parents’ sunny porch on the outskirts of Windhoek, overlooking the Auas Mountains, Nikki's bubbly personality and positive outlook was so contagious that the wild birds became part of the exclusive conversation with this 'Joy Catalyst', as she calls herself, by sitting in the nearby trees - chirping here and there, and applauding profound statements.
Now, what is this land called MinXa and who is this Nikki who binds her audience through the joy of her character, ‘MAfrika’?
She recently performed in Windhoek at the Windhoek High School hall, and wrote the story herself.
“MinXa is this kind of tree-land in my imagination. It is a beautiful land where everything is perfect, sparkling, green and full of nature; in essence without any damage from any human mess-ups,” Nikky described the land of her story with a smile on her face.
In the story, Nikki plays MAfrika, whom she said came from MinXa to Africa, as she was told that the people of Africa have so much love in their hearts.
MAfrika is a vibrant character that makes use of the stage to help people face and overcome their fears, as fear is one of many things that affect most of the human race.
It was clear during the interview that Nikki thrives on the positive vibe that life offers, and in her kind of work, there is no place for the opposite of positive, knowingly the word fear.
“I want to believe that fear is taught to humans, I want to believe that we are all born without fear,” she joyfully told this reporter.
She added that whenever she works with children in hospitals across South Africa and Namibia, she always sees innocence, purity and love.
“We are born with love and we are love, but our social system teaches us fear and we have perpetuated it for a long time,” she said.
It is exactly the word, idea and feeling of fear that Nikki wants to erase through her plays, dramas and motivational talks.
According to Nikki, fear is a choice; an idea complimentary to the positive approach to life through ‘positive thinking’, which is the latest trend that has the whole world looking past the unhappy moments and focusing of the wholesome goodness of life.
So, who is this woman called Nicola Jackman or MAfrika, who inspires her and where does she get the energy from to motivate others?
Without digging too deep for an answer, she spontaneously answered that children, with whom she has been working with for over 12 years, are her inspiration and her teacher.
“I see within children that negativity is something we create by what we are think and secondly by what we are speak of, and our actions seem to imitate the system the way it is,” she said.
Also being a talented voice artist, Nikki uses fictional characters in her drama, each with their own voice performed by herself, to have children address the issue of fear and get rid of the thinking patterns that result in fear.
Her idea to get rid of fear by figuratively putting it in a bag, closing it tight and disposing it, is what her story is all about on stage.
When appearing on stage with a green dress, a tree as a hat and a butterfly representing her life companion swinging from her headgear, Nikki’s one woman shows are indeed an inspiration, as she represents several characters on stage, each with it's own voice and physicality.
Her love for stage and drama reminds a spectator so much of the fairytales told by grand parents. Sadly, with modern technology like television, Internet, cell phones and the social media, the togetherness of enjoying a fairytale is slowly becoming extinct.
Nikki however, does not see technology and social media as a threat to her creativity and mission. She identifies such mediums as much more of a tool to reach her target audience.
“I am taking on the system (technology) to reach my audience. If the masses use television then I will use that medium to reach my market.” she said.
That said, Nikki and her crew are working on one or a series of animations of her stories, incorporating the various characters she represent on stage.
As the interview progressed on a sunny Monday morning, Nikki appeared to be immune to her surroundings and kept the creative juices flowing by inventing new words like 'WOW-ders'.
A 'WOW-der' is a personification of the word 'wow', meaning an ordinary person who stands out in a crowd and radiates the confidence required to stand alone.
One such 'WOW-der' Nikky said, was a girl-child of around 14 years of age who she met during her recent visit to Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi Region.
This little 'wow-der', who grows up in a house where her mother is absent and soldier father is hardly at home due to his national duties, appears to not be robbed of being a child whose heart and mind is open, Nikki said.
“Her heart is so open that she just wants people to be able to receive the message that Namibia is a land where we all share everything,” Nikky said.
The approach to life, the world around you and interacting with other people is what Nikki wants to instill in the minds of the people of Namibia, who should be living a life submerged in love and joy.
“Only when I walk down a street or in a supermarket and see that people notice each other, and greet each other, then I know my work is complete,” she said.
Nikki ended the interview by saying the perfect world in her eyes is one where human beings are aware of each other and part of humankind – an important combination of 'human' and 'kind'; being human and kind towards each other.
One cannot but wonder at the end of the two-hour interview, in which many views and intense moments of laughter were exchanged, why the world cannot have more Nicola Jackmans or MAfrikas, as she calls herself.