WINDHOEK – Young and multi talented Elrico van Rooi is on a mission to make sure his fellow young citizens are kept of the streets.
Van Rooi, norn in Windhoek, started off as a back up dancer. He decided to take on the role of a producer through which he managed to start his very own label in Windhoek, Now or Never Entertainment, which has branches in Swakopmund, Otjiwarongo and Walvis Bay. “ I feel I am doing my part to empower the youth and we can do it through music. My doors are open to any young people who want to work with me and have the opportunity to make sound good music,” he says.
Van Rooi adds that the company was started earlier this year, and he plans to branch out to other parts of the country to reach more young people. He recently added to his list of expertise, a movie which was shot on location in Kalkrand and Mariental. The movie, Battle Zone Season 1, is centered on the art of dance. “It’s the first ever dance movie in the country, and the reason we are doing it in seasons is so that we can make use of various youths across the country in the production. This is so that we can keep them off the streets and teach them to abstain from the likes of alcohol and drug abuse and criminal activities,” he says.
He adds that the movie will have ten seasons, which he plans to shoot on location in all 13 regions.“We are targeting the young people already from the age of six to ten because, at that age they are interested in things such as dancing and might want to take part. We also make use of role play in the movie, which is to teach the young ones on the dangers of, e.g. HIV/AIDS,” he says.
Van Rooi this is a way of ensuring that once the targeted group grows up, they will be more aware of the dos and don’ts in their day to day societies, as well as keep themselves from getting into any forms of trouble. He adds that there was a need for this project to help address the issue of unemployment amongst the youth, which is still rife.
“ From going around, we realised that there are a lot of unemployed youths that are hanging around not doing much at all, and since they have this much time, they often end up getting in trouble. We went around hosting shows and invited them to come on set and use their time productively,’ he says. He adds that the first season of the movie was made possible by a sponsorship, which, he emphasises, it is still in need off to make the rest of the seasons possible. Plans to shoot yet another movie will take place next year.