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Quanita Adams Quanita Adams

Talking to Quanita Adams

Oct 26, 2016

From dressing up as a marshmallow at a mall to being the director of local Artscape theatre production ‘Syria?’, Quanita Adams says her years in the film industry have taught her to value all paying jobs.

“My brand is pay your bills. A job is a job. I once went 10 months without a job and this taught me to value even the smaller jobs,” she says.

Thanks to her determination and years of experience challenging stereotypes, Adams was offered the role of director of ‘Syria?’, a play which deals with Islamophobia. ‘Syria?’ is about a young muslim boy who moves to Cape Town from Pakistan and is labelled a terrorist.

“Throughout my career I’ve been involved in roles that challenge stereotypes – being black, African or a woman.”

In 2004 she starred in At Her Feet, which tells the story of a muslim woman’s challenges in Cape Town. Years later, she’s glad to see that the industry is still challenging stereotypes. Referring to Stellenbosch graduate Faith Kinniar, who wrote the play and also stars in it, she says that it is “wonderful to see women writing boldly about important issues like this.”

The play has been well received, and Adams encourages people to make an effort to see it. “We received a full standing ovation on opening night. People laughed at the right time and were moved in the right places. The response is very warming. People even stayed to chat to the actors after the play.”

Her advice to young people is to network to get to know the industry and the people. She accepts all paying jobs that do not clash with her morals as this helps to meet new people.

“In short – raak wys and dala what you must.” Adams, who grew up in Cape Town, attributes her love for the industry to having her creativity nurtured and supported by her parents who invested in drama school and extra-mural art lessons.

“I started off studying art at Michaelis and was terrible but I pushed through. I then studied drama at UCT and went overseas for a year after graduating. My first opportunity to perform on stage came in 2002 and from theatre I went on to do film and then television, but stage will always be my first love. I’ve been quite blessed.”

‘Syria?’ is on at the Artscape until 29 October 2016. Tickets cost between R50 and R80. 

Last modified on Wednesday, 26 October 2016 10:07
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CityLife is the newspaper for people who live, work and play in the Cape Town central city area – and our many visitors. It’s a blend of news and information about people and places in one of the most exciting cities in the world.

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