Tell us something we do not know about your roots.
My roots lie in Ghana. I just love Ghana for the rich history it has and the passion the people have for each other. Back in the 70’s/80’s, Ghana had its dark period which scarred Ghana till date. Due to political downfalls there were three coups attempts to rule Ghana the last one organized by Rawlings.
A lot of people were killed because of the sake of ‘Making a better Ghana’ . It was a horrible time in Ghana, a lot of Ghanaians fled to other countries including my parents. But the thing with Ghana is that after those years the Nation still forgave Rawlings after his horrible mistake. They still see him as on of their own. They never banned him for life. And that’s the thing with Ghanaians, I find them very forgiving people, with passion for one another. Even though we have a rough history, it is always from passion for our brothers and sisters. Sometimes it clashes.
“It is said that the tribe where my dad comes from were seen as very strong people”
Ghana has many royalties , one of them are the Ashanti’s, do you belong to one of these royal kingdoms as well?
Unfortunately, I do not belong to the royalties of the Ashanti. My dad is from Akim Oda and my mom from Ekuapim. It is said that the tribe where my dad comes from were seen as very strong people. They fought the Ashanti’s back in the day. The Akims are very proud people and will do anything to protect each other. I am glad that thought has now spread out throughout Ghana. Protecting each other has become the norm now.
“I saw a representation of me and it did me good”
Did you always wanted to be an actor?
First I thought I was going to be a drummer because I like to play the drums a lot, and I still do in church. But there was something about movies. I liked movies a lot. I went to the theater and saw young black people on the stage. Seeing them on stage made me feel as if I could be there up too! I saw a representation of me and it gave me a good feeling.
So from there on, I signed up for a youth theater group called JongRAST. I had to do some auditions which was a lot of fun but nerve-wracking at the same time. I made it in and from there on my passion for acting became bigger and bigger, and now I don’t want to do anything else.
“They didn’t see any possibilities for me”
Do you get the support you need from your surroundings?
I surely get the support of friends, family and my agent. At first my family was not pleased by the idea that I wanted to become an actor. They did not see any possibilities for me in it. It can be hard for any African parent who gave everything up in their home country for their child to hear that he wants to become an actor. They even tried to stop me from acting and to get a normal job.
But I could not do it. I had to work hard for their approval but now they understand that acting is my great passion and there is no way of stopping me.
You have performed in the confronting realistic series called “Achter gesloten deuren” in the Netherlands. What was this episode about and how was shooting this series?
This was one of my first acting jobs in 2012. Back then it felt very weird and nice at the same time. It was a big deal for me to be shown on television, net5 for that matter! The shoot was not like your regular movie-shoot. It was like shooting a documentary. Everything had to look as realistic as possible. I remember I went to the barber to look as fresh as possible for the shoot *laughs*. It was very nice to have an encounter with the camera and a small crew, for the feeling of it.
Achter gesloten deuren – The story was about 2 young lovebirds who wanted to go a step further in their relationship. The problem was that the girl’s father didn’t trust black people, because of the black people that were always hanging around his lunchroom. He felt intimidated by the boys while they were just hanging there and doing nothing. I was one of those guys, but the father didn’t know I was dating his daughter. Later the father’s lunchroom had been robbed and of course he thought the black people were the ones who did it. All of these problems made it hard for the girl to tell her parents that she was dating a black boy and that I’m the guy who loves to hang out near her father’s lunchroom. So the episode was about how to deal with prejudices and love And also about what the stereotypes has done to the minds of people and who the real victims of that particular stereotype.
“It felt like a door opening into the film world”
There was a movie you did about being a refugee Exit and even had a real chipped tooth to play this role. What did you think of changing your physique for this role?
That thing about my tooth was a very funny but painful moment. We were shooting a fighting scene and I was pushed against the cell door with my face hitting the door hard, whereby I broke my teeth.
The director thought my new look for the role looked fantastic *laughs*. He thought it gave me a raw edge. We shot the movie in 18-20 days, but my shooting days were 14.
Exit even had a grand premiere in the Netherlands, how was this and what do we not know about being on the red carpet.
The premier of Exit was very intimate, the director wanted it that way. He wanted it to be special for the people who came. That made the experience of the movie way more intense. The attention you get on the premiere is crazy. Everybody wants to talk to you and they are giving many compliments, I felt very shy. It can be very overwhelming.
When we heard that the EXIT was nominated for an award for the ‘The best Television Drama‘, that was when things started to get crazy. We went to the Gouden Kalveren (Dutch Oscars) and the red carpet was huge. The press were there, flashing lights everywhere. It was literally what you see in the movies. Lots of interviewers, everybody has their best smoking’s and dresses. And there I was among those people together with my mom *laughs*. It was a major experience we’ll never forget. The movie won the price in the end.
What is the main difference between theater acting and acting on screen for you?
The main difference between theater and film for me is that with theater, you have an audience to connect with. Your energy can’t just stay on the stage with your fellow actor(s). You must fill the whole theater with (stage)presence. Your energy and surroundings must touch everyone to join you with the journey you are going on. Therefor, technique is essential for theater. How you speak, the volume and the volume of your body language should be able to fill a Hall.
With film you do not need to fill a space. But you do have to know where the camera is. You do have to know what kind of shot you are taking. Is it a closeup , A medium or full body shot? That determines how much movement you can permit yourself. You have to know clearly what stage of the script you are in, because unlike with theater, you don’t get to act the story from A to Z.
Most of the time you won’t shoot a movie in a chronologicalway. You might shoot your death scene on your first day or your break-up scene. It is up to you as an actor to get your whole emotional being to that state in a very short time. Therefore, a great research and homework skill is needed.
I love acting as a whole, the thrill of a live audience and to play non-stop. I love to be on a set with a whole crew to make one item to afterward watch it on the big screen. Not only that it is also documented for life!
Check out the trailer of EXIT
On the sixth of May, 2019 something horrifying happened. The Dutch lifestyle and fashion TV show allowed one of the cast members to make racist comments about Afro and kinky curly hair.
This exploded in a negative in all the news platforms and many if not all black and brown men and women were grossly offended. Robin Ramos (20) and Kymani Ceder (19) wrote a poem as a response. They used the poem as a positive representation by, from and for the Afro-Dutch community. The goal is to use the movie “The Crown” (De kroon) created by Robin and Kymani to create awareness and free the Black community from the chains of stereotyping of Afro hair.
Using ‘Black hairstyles’ as a point gave them the inspiration to show different historical and tribal connotations involving Afro hair. In many cultures, it is still a way to be in contact with the ancestors. Besides braiding, is doing hair an activity done throughout time and has it has been a signature activity in black families.
The short film portrays a paradox time-machine with precolonial impressions. It takes you on a journey back to the age of where the traditional braids were used to connect the past with the present.
The movie is a re-enactment of history acted out by present-day Dutch Africans. How do Dutch Africans experience their African identity after the physical alienation that has taken place after slavery? How do they feel about their hair now? How do we feel during and after watching the short film?
Around 80 people were involved by the making of the short film: De Kroon. Some well-known artists and actors from the Dutch entertainment such as Sylvana Simons, Veronica van Hoogdalem, Digitzz, Clarice Gargard and Guillermo Babel.
“De Kroon” is a poetic storyline about the relationship Afro Dutch citizens have with their natural hair and hairstyles. The Natural Hair movement is becoming more and more visible in the world. And we are loving it.
For all readers from the Netherlands: Want to read more about the backstory and behind the scenes, straight from the creator/inspirator of this video? click here.
Introducing graphic art by Daniel Nizzy! CRAZY TALENTED!
‘The beginning is always tough, but always have in mind what you can achieve when you get there” – Daniel Nizzy
The artist himself
My name is Nwabueze Chukwunonso Daniel, I am from Anambra state(Nigeria), the 2nd child of my family. We are a family of 4 actually, 3 boys and a girl.
I attended air force secondary and graduated in 2015. Now, I am a student of the University of Agriculture Makurdi.
I just had a love for cartoons and artwork, I had a passion for it. I went into graphics right after my graduation from secondary school. I focused on cartoon graphics mostly. And as of 2016, I looked more into it. Although I wasn’t that good at it…
When did you discover you had a talent for Graphic Design?
Well, I can’t actually say. I just had a love for cartoons and artwork back then. I was an artist and I loved drawing and sketching as well!
“The talent was already there, I just had to improve on it.” – Daniel Nizzy
Who inspired you to start graphic designing?
I had so many inspirations. People online were the most inspiring though like Kingston, Madskill Jeremy and so many others. During that time my designs were not as good as theirs. So I put more work into it because theirs were already awesome.
Did you study to become a graphic designer or is it a natural talent of yours?
Study? Kind of! I guess online videos and YouTube videos were one of the things that guided me. The talent was already there, I just had to improve on it.
What are your goals with graphic designing?
I would like to work for well-structured companies. A nice pay would be very nice too. I would like to take graphic designing to a whole new level because it has helped me a lot in my life.
How many hours does it take to make 1 logo or 1 portrait?
It depends on what the customer wants. Because being a graphic designer, creativity is needed and much thinking too. I can’t really say any design has a specific timing. But as for portrait, an hour or more is okay, without any distractions or interruptions.
How can fans contact you?
They can reach me through my personal mobile (08160309746) (Nigerian Line) or they can hit my inbox through my Instagram handle @daniel_nizzy, Or they can reach me through my place of work which is at ‘Meeting Point Photography‘ based in Nigeria.
Any advice for others who want to become a graphic designer?
The beginning is always tough. But always have in mind what you can achieve when you get there. Just keep pushing. If you need any assistance, you can always send me a Direct Messgage.
Find him on Facebook to enjoy his art: OG NIZZY JFK
Michael Cary aka MiJaCa the Talented DancingExtraOrdinair
Who is Mijaca?
My name is Michael Cary also known as Mijaca in the dancescène.
I’m a person who really tries to put my whole heart and soul into dance. I do that because it is one of my biggest passions. ( also known as my life ?). My other passion are spending time with family, Friends, life partners a.k.a my squad. We all have our own individual passions and the same passion which is dance. We also share many same goals. If you look at my life partners in my crew it will really reflect who I am as a person.
My sister and I were raised by my grandmother(she is American btw). Also do I have 3 brothers. I am 21 years old by the way.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Zwijndrecht which is close to Rotterdam city in the Netherlands. I lived there till the 3rd grade in elementary school. After that I moved to Vleuten and finished elementary school there.
Not too long after that I relocated back to Zwijndrecht and finished highschool in Dordrecht. Also did I graduate from the dance school in Utrecht Overvecht called “Creative college” it is an street style school where you learn a lot of stuff about the whole hiphop dance-scene.
So your greatest passion is dance?
That is correct and my fam “the squad” as well ofcourse.
Because i do literally everything with dance. I think in dance; I move with dance and I cannot imagine that i will ever completely stop dancing.
This also goes for the fam. I can’t imagine the fam stopping any time soon.
Dancing is also a way of dealing with my personal stuff. It brings me joy and I love being joyful with other people. I travel more due to dance as well. My whole life is influenced by music and dance.
What other passions do you have?
I love doing so much stuff it is hard to name them all. I am interested in a lot of things. Doing photo-shoots is one of these things.
I really like doing them and it would be so funny to see these pictures when I am older and look back at them.