On the Couch with Ameera Conrad

Ameera Conrad - photo by Oscar O'Ryan AAR OTCWho is Ameera Conrad?
A loudmouth Muslim theatre-maker with too much time to tweet, and not enough time to sleep.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I always thought I’d make a good cow-person. Not half-cow-half-person, but like a Wild Wild West type of gun slingin’, horse ridin’, spittin’, rootin’, tootin’ cow person. I like horses, I like denim, I like hats, what else would I need?

Who inspires you and why?
Not one single person, but as an entity, Black Twitter inspires me. I love that Black folk from around the world have this incredible sense of humour, of pride, of community. Even in the darkest of moments, Black Twitter will find a way to come up with a hashtag that not only makes you laugh until you cry, but you also end up learning so much!

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
In a dream world I’d have the technological savvy to hack into the student financial records and give everyone free education. But as I can’t even remember facebook passwords, I suppose I should come up with a more attainable goal. My big thing right now is being willing to talk, lots of people find it difficult to talk about the issues that face our society, and if we’re not willing to talk about it, we’ll never get through it with proper equity, you know? So I always try to speak up about injustice.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I haven’t been on a lot of holidays outside of South Africa, and when I am at home my family like to go on holidays which involves outdoor camping. I don’t do camping, you have to understand that – it’s just simply not who I am as a person. I guess my favourite city in the world is New York, but I’m on my way to London for some vacation time so maybe it’ll knock NYC out of first place.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
There’s a spot in Cape Town just as you’re driving up towards Signal Hill; it’s a secluded parking lot where I guess teenagers in American movies would go to – uh – study. At night you can see the entire city with all of the lights reaching far past the CBD towards the Cape Flats and even across the ocean to Blouberg Strand up the West coast – it’s the most amazing view.

What are you currently reading?
I keep re-reading this one book called Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni-Eddo Lodge. It’s absolutely incredible, and I would highly recommend it to everyone. It lays things out so clearly and the only reason I keep reading it is because it’s sensational. The next book that’s on my list is Born A Crime by Trevor Noah, that’s of course, if my mother ever finishes it.

What are you currently listening to?
Oh this one is so easy. Beyonce and her husband released an album called Everything is Love and it is the only thing I am listening to right now.

Happiness is?
Chocolate chip cookies.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m super excited about our tour of The Fall – I love working on this show and seeing the world while performing it – which I consider to be a bonus! I’m hoping to make some more contacts to take some of my other projects internationally, like my play Reparation, while simultaneously preparing for some really life changing projects that are still TBA. If people want to find out what I’m up to or whatever, I’m super accessible on social media; @ameeraconrad on IG and twitter.

Ameera can be seen in the Australian debut of The Fall – presented by the Baxter Theatre Centre at University of Cape Town in the Fairfax Studio – Arts Centre Melbourne: 28 August – 2 September 2018. For more information, visit: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au for details.

Image: Ameera Conrad – photo by Oscar O’Ryan