ON Saturday, 4 March, Drag Night Namibia celebrated their birthday while launching their third cycle with ‘Fifty Shades of Vegas’.
It has been two years since Drag Night Namibia made its debut at Café Prestige, and the event has been growing stronger with a diverse cast of queens and extravagant choreography ever since.
With the last few days being something of a roller coaster for Namibia’s LGBTQIA+ community, featuring monumental court case hearings, the glamorous night with Namibia’s finest drag queens was definitely an essential refresher.
Launched at their new home, Pharoahs Loft, Queens Miss Mavis Dash, Gigi Has Arrived, Selena Dash, Miss Shy Dash and Coco Critique put on a first-class performance individually and as a collective.
Co-owner of Drag Night Namibia Lize Ehlers AKA DJ Rise Elders spun the decks with a vibrant mix of old school jams taking us back to the early 2000s, and she didn’t just stop there, serenading the crowd with a powerful rendition of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Have Nothing’.
Ehler’s partner in song, Sven Eric, also had his moment on stage with Elvis Presley’s ‘Suspicious Minds’.
Making their drag debut, Omar van Reenen of the Namibia Equal Rights Movement also graced the staged after a powerful visual demonstration by the organisation on the big screen.
“Equality will prevail because of you,” Van Reenen told the crowd.
“My only message for you tonight is to continue to stand up for one another.”
“With Cycle 3 volume, we set the tone for what our audience can expect from us this year, which is a fully immersive Coachella type of show,” Rodelio Lewis, who performs as Miss Mavis Dash, said.
“We not only want to challenge our queens to up their game as performers and entertainers, but we also want to challenge them to really think outside the box and use the resources available to us and take what we are doing to the next level,” Lewis said.
Lewis noted that drag is a political statement and a political movement that challenges the heteronormative gender constructs of society and steps in to question why these rules and ideologies are there in the first place, regulating how people express themselves.
This year, Drag Night Namibia will also be opening up its platform to audiences across the nation, Lewis said, mentioning that shows at the coast and Mariental are already in the pipeline.
‘Fifty Shades of Vegas’ ended on an extremely high note with the queens coming together for one last showcase, leaving the crowd filled with joy and hope for a brighter day, and with the presence of Vice World News, queer Namibians also had the opportunity to share their stories with the rest of the world.