Flair of a rebel unleashed

NELSON Mandela Bay actress and singer Niqui Cloete-Barrass has featured in some of the Bay’s best cabarets and has recently opened up her own business doing what she loves best – inspiring through performing arts.

She grew up on a farm where she spoke fluent Xhosa with the farmworkers’ children. She has since forgotten how to speak the language but she still lists the traditional Xhosa dish of Umphokoqo as one of her favourite dishes.

Her love for the performing arts has inspired her to start her own production company Boost Creative Solutions which she runs from her home, which also allows her to spend more time with her “busy” son.

She lunched with La Femme at Mugg & Bean at Walmer Park Shopping Centre, choosing it because of its convenience and central location, and she only had a smoothie.

I love my career because . . . it puts me in touch with fascinating, creative people, gives me the opportunity to explore different elements of my own creativity, and allows me to fulfil my personal and professional vision: to enrich, uplift and inspire through music, laughter and affirmation.

I have a soft spot for . . . animals both wild and domestic, as well as anyone who is being treated unjustly – I flare up in the face of corporate bullying, social injustice and any form of discrimination.

I should have studied . . . law. I received a full bursary for a law degree at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. I was doing well until I had to choose between drama and legal theory, as these subjects clashed in my second year. Against all advice and amid much scorn, I chose to complete an honours degree in performing arts. Do I regret the decision? Let me think. . . . hell no!

I’d love to party with . . . Terry Pratchett, Jack Nicholson and Tori Amos.

I’m listening to . . . a lot of retro ‘80s stuff at the moment – Big Country, Talking Heads, Siouxie and the Banshees.

When I was 16, I wish I knew . . . myself better. I was a clichéd “rebel without a cause” and had no idea who I was, or who I wanted to be.

I’ll know I’ve made it when . . . I get to open some wildly important sports event by singing the national anthem in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. I’ve even started learning the words and everything, but I promise to stick to tradition and screw them up. . . . just a little bit.

The person who has taught me the most is . . . my husband, Deon. He has taught me how to just be. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, he tamed the restless beast inside me.

My music weakness is . . . soppy country ballads – Patsy Cline, You Kill Me Every Time. Look out for our country music show coming to a stage near you very soon.

Nothing makes me happier than . . . my golden-haired, funny, sweet, unique and altogether wonderful little boy, Daniel.

I absolutely hate . . . sharing a room with someone other than my husband, queues, waiting to go on stage, the last sip of wine, uncomfortable shoes, bullies, Barbie dolls, and clothes that shrink in your cupboard.

I am saving to buy . . . saving? What is this saving you speak of? Although a mirror ball would look good above my bed.

I share my life with . . . Deon, Daniel, and my two dogs Mojo and Smeegle. My mom, Lindsay, is also a big part of my life and I could never do what I do without her daily help and support.

I can’t go a day without . . . time alone. People are often surprised to find out I am a total loser. . . . loner! I mean loner. I like my own company.

In 10 years I see myself . . . grey-haired. I also hope to be in a position to train and employ younger performers though my business, Boost Creative Solutions.

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