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Simonne Oosthuizen's amazing Academy in Windhoek

25 January

Simonne Oosthuizen is one of our newest franchisees of the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy in Windhoek, Namibia. She has been running the Academy for under a year but had already has over 200 children in her Academy. She follows the franchise model to the letter but also breathes great inspiration into everything she does. She is just an amazing example of what can be done very quickly in a very small city with a population of just over 300,000 people. Here is a short interview with Simonne. 

What did you do before you became a Principal of the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy?

Communications and PR

How did you hear about the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy?

I heard about the Academy through word of mouth and Mrs Sandy Rudd, who is the doyen of drama education in Namibia. She suggested that I become a franchisee of this international drama school.

What made you decide to become a franchisee?

I visited the Cape Town Academy and joined them for their New Year Training Seminar in January 2017. I knew right then and there, that this; was not “just” a Drama Programme! It impacts people’s lives positively! What an honor to be a part of this incredible Franchise!

What aspects of the Principal training were especially beneficial to you?

It was all beneficial! The understanding of how deeply the curriculum works in the background; whilst the students are having enormous amounts of fun!

When did you start your Academy?

29th May 2017

What obstacles have you overcome to start a Helen O'Grady Drama Academy, if any?

Finding suitable venues and appointing teachers who accept and practice the international standard of professionalism that Helen O’Grady stands for.

Can you tell us what some of your achievements have been since starting as a Principal?

The overwhelming amount of positive feedback from so many Parents! Seeing a positive change in a child’s self-esteem and confidence is possibly, the most rewarding achievement of all!

If you can give a new Principal some words of advice when they start out, what would you suggest?

Stick to the Franchise “recipe”. Keep your head down, work hard and stay Professional. Keep your Marketing on Top Form! Listen to advice and tips from other principals and attend as many seminars as you are able to!

How many people on your staff?


How many children attend each week?


What advice would you pass on to a new franchisee as regards to staff?

Give them a firm grounding in the Helen O’Grady way of teaching. They need to remain positive and compassionate at all times; whilst finding a good balance between fun and discipline/respect!

Why do you believe drama is important for children?

Drama encourages students to realize that respectful communication is the basis of all relationships!

Would you like to mention anything else about your time with the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy so far?

The Helen O’Grady Family is incredibly inspirational, encouraging, passionate, powerful, humorous, exceptional and kind! It’s an honor to a part of this family!

For more information about the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy, to find out our nearest locations or the become a Drama School Franchisee, head to: 

Website: www.dramaafrica.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/helenogradyafrica

Instagram: www.instagram.com/helenogradyafrica

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Top quote

"As a toddler Lara was very vocal and loud but during her Grade 1 year we noticed she started to become a bit of an introvert and more shy. We signed her up with Helen O' Grady Drama Academy in the hope that it would help her with her speech as well as aid her in being more self-confident. Although still a little shy, she has blossomed while doing drama. Her speech is clearer and she is learning to expr..."

- Cape Town Parent