Passion brings cash and fulfilment.
Art and culture are widely celebrated in Namibia and receive considerable support from every strata in the Land of the Brave.
Evidence to this is that local artists; be they musicians, visual artists, dancers, etc, enjoy huge followings locally while they are recognised at the international level with various awards.
Platforms like the /Ae//Gams Festival, Bank Windhoek Arts and Culture Festival and Windhoek Jazz Festival, were all created to allow local artists to express themselves and to showcase their talents.
This has enabled them to share stages with well acclaimed artists like the Jimmy Dludlus, the Diana Simphiwes, the Liras and many others.
It is for this reason that the likes of Lukas Amakali; a born and bred Windhoeker, Donkerhoek in Katutura and many others in the artistic sphere, have, over the years embarked upon a journey to change the status quo. Today, they ride on the success of their hard work.
Amakali has been a Dept Collector for more than seven years with one of the top three commercial banks in the country; the Standard Bank of Namibia.
Asked how he manages the two widely diverse disciplines, Lukas says “Passion for photography and my professional approach to my work as a banker makes things much easier than others think.”
Art runs deep in Lukas’ artistic family. According to the artist, his family contributed significantly to the cause of the Nations independence, as his father was a well-known political and social photographer during the liberation era. His sister, Bertha Amakali, also, is a journalist and a media lecturer at the Polytechnic of Namibia.
“I recall when my sister, Bertha, bought a camera back in the days and that tingled my interest in photography. I started taking pictures in 1996 at every event I attended and ever since, I never looked back. That brought me to this stage as a well-known photographer, poet and writer.”
The ardent artist then nurtured his passion that has brought him admiration and respect among his peers and colleagues not only in Namibia but also in Angola. In fact, he was invited to Luanda, Angola for a week-long visit to represent Namibia at the “Trienal de Luanda” held in that capital.
His Angolan experience changed the way he perceived arts in general, “Arts in Angola are huge in many respects and this is due to many factors such as exposure and funding in the industry coupled with the size of the market.” Amakali explains that artistic work created by Angolans are characterised by diversity, compared to our local artistic creation, “For this reason, the Angolan galleries are big – which does justice to their artistic creations.”
He says his work completely took a new dimension only recently; as he matures as an artist, so does his work. Now he’s able to instill suspense in his work every time.
This unpredictability of the final product has resulted in some of his interesting and unique combinations, which have become popular with the patrons.
“Now because of the two technique of making double exposure prints of two negatives at the same time, this techniques ensures that no two prints are ever the same because he varies the combination of negatives with every print I make, adding that the uniqueness of this prints was hidden in the fact that even he, as a photographer, in most cases did not know what to expect from the final print.
He is now busy writing a book entitled “Double Exposure”. This book is about how his creative works have opened new avenues and concepts for him as a photographer.
“In this book, I want to teach people how to take good and quality photos, without manipulating them, as in the digital photography; like where you duplicate a picture on another to form one image. People in the olden days took this as a mistake, but now, this technique enables you to form abstract photography.” Amakali said.
He adds, “The concept of this book is not new. I started writing it in 2009, just after launching my highly successful booklet named “Lukas’ Vision”. The booklet was sold out.”
The book (Lukas’ Vision), he beams, landed him many awards, including the winner of the first prize in the Shell Environment Art Competition and the overall winner of the UNICEF poster completion. His last exhibition was called, “Watch the Space” and that referred to his upcoming book.
“The book (Double Exposure) is a way for me to kind of giving back to the community and to share my knowledge and experience in photography, as I want to teach the people how to take good quality pictures without manipulating as in digital photography,” he quips.
People have always regarded photographs as the ‘what-you-see-is-what-you-you-get’ images, but Lukas tries to bring another fusion into his photography to show that people should live by faith and not by sight. “With this biblical verse, I base all my pictures,” he says.
Amakali has won various national and international awards. His abilities were recognised while still in Grade 10 at the DHP School in Windhoek when he became the overall winner in the Shell Art Competition which he won again the following year.
In Grade 12, he became the overall winner in the Poster Competition organised by the American Cultural Centre. This enabled him to pass the Art and Design subject in high school with a distinction. PF