Tuesday, March 2, 2021

A Chinese designer with a different tinge

While jazz musician Nnunu may have given a stirring performance at a jazz festival held at Duma FM grounds, it was perhaps her eccentric wardrobe that set her apart from the rest of the artists performing on the night.

Sunday Standard Lifestyle got in touch with the man behind Nnunu’s look and it turns out being a personal stylist is just one of his talents. Self taught designer and make-up artist Andy Lin is a 23-year-old Chinese national.

If he is not painting people’s faces or designing outfits he performs and sings opera. Lin cannot speak English so he has to travel with a Chinese interpreter.

“I do traditional Chinese opera which involves cross-dressing, and playing different male and female characters,” Lin says.

He says he first met Nnunu at the annual Chinese Spring Festival. “She was impressed by what she saw and asked me to work on her.”

He has performed at other Chinese events including the Chinese New Year held at the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC).

Lin first came to Botswana at the invitation of his mother after he broke his leg during a performance in China.

“My mother lives here in Botswana and asked me to come over following the accident in order to take better care of me,” he says.

After staying here for a couple of days, he fell in love with the place and the people. He says he has no plans to leave Botswana anytime soon.

Lin says opera, a comprehensive art of theatre incorporating music, drama, dance and other styles, is his main field of expertise but he wishes to incorporate Setswana traditional music into his performances.

“I want to help with the cultural exchange programmes because we can all learn from each other.”
Lin is organising, with the support of Office of The president, ‘Andy Lin’s Cultural Charity Solo Concert’, scheduled for April at the BDF auditorium.

He says apart from raising money for charity the concert aims to promote friendly cultural exchange between Botswana and China.

He will be performing with a Chinese singing group called Cloud Nine Cultural Art Song and Dance Opera Troupe.
“There will be other local performers includ
ing Nnunu with whom we will also get to do collaboration,” Lin says.

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