Our film ‘Kapana’, the first Namibian gay love story in a country where sodomy is still a crime, was selected in over 50 festivals and has garnered many international awards, including:
- Winner ‘Free to be me’ Award, Roze Filmdagen Film Festival (Netherlands),
- Winner Best Feature Film at the African Diaspora Cinema Festival (Italy),
- Winner Best Feature Film at the DC Black Film Festival (USA),
- Winner Best Feature Film at the Black Star International Film Festival (Ghana),
- Winner Best Feature Film PRIDE Queer Film Festival (Australia),
- Winner Kim renders Memorial Award Outstanding Performance (Adriano Visagie) Reelout queer film festival (Canada);
- Winner Best Actors (Adriano Visagie and Simon Hanga) at the Indepentarn Film Festival (France),
- Winner Best Director at the North East International Film Festival (UK),
- Winner Award Audience Best Feature Film at the Black Film Summit (USA),
- Runner up – best international film, audience award, Out on Film Atlanta LGBTQ film festival (USA)
Our OYO dance troupe has been recognised both nationally and internationally culminating in 2008 in a performance at the renowned Peacock Theatre in London, UK and in 2014 by the selection of the OYO dance troupe to the Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival (only youth dance troupe from Africa to have been selected to the festival). As a result, the OYO Dance Troupe embarked on a UK tour in July 2014, performing in Leeds (Yorkshire Dance), Edinburgh (Dance Base), Glasgow (Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival –Tramway Theatre) and London (Unicorn). Other international tours of the dance troupe include the Netherlands (2018), Botswana (2018 and 2016), South African (2011), the UK (2009) and Germany (2009).
Our film ‘Salute!’, written with offenders and depicting life in correctional facilities, has also garnered lots of international attention. It was the first Namibian film nominated as Best Film Southern Africa at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards in Nigeria in 2018, it was selected at the International AIDS conference 2018 in Amsterdam and won Best Actor Southern Africa (Adriano Visagie) at the Sotigui Awards in Burkina Fasso in 2019.
Other awards include the Special Youth Prize at the Lola Screen Festival, 2011, for OYO’s films ‘Make a move’ (2010), ‘Sex and chocolate’ (2011), and ‘Teddy bear love’ (2011), the award for Second-Best Youth Film at the Lola Screen Festival 2010, for OYO’s film ‘We were young’ (produced in late 2009 and released early in 2010), the award for Best Male Actor in a Film (Dawie Engelbrecht, ‘Now that I can talk about it’) and Best Female Actor in a Film (Anna Louw, ‘Stinky Boy’) at the 2014 Namibian Theatre and Film Awards.
Finally, the 2009 AfriComNet Chairman’s Award was given to OYO’s founder and Director for ’his outstanding contribution in HIV and AIDS prevention and impact mitigation through communication’.
“OYO’s application of the performing and visual arts in a highly participatory and learner centred pedagogy represents a model of excellence and best practice.”
Hon. Nangola Mbumba MP, Minister for Education, September 2009