Cookson excited to judge Voice of Namibia finale

Passion for music

02 March 2020 | Art and Entertainment

Theodore Cookson; Choir conductor; “I love working with upcoming artists.”

Walvis Bay • [email protected]


The conductor of the Mascato Youth Choir, Theodore Cookson (33), has been chosen as one of the judges for the Voice of Namibia singing competition finale slated for 7 March at The Dome in Swakopmund.

Theodore expressed his delight at being chosen to adjudicate at the event.

“I am very excited. I like working with upcoming artists and I love working with the youth and making a difference. Competitions like this help young people and give them a platform to express their talent. It is a great feeling to see them on a stage where other people can appreciate their talent.”

Cookson grew up in Narraville where he completed his high school at De Duine Secondary School. He fell in love with music at a young age and when his taste for choral music first developed, he formed a school choir at Narraville Primary School.

Cookson, who was a bass singer, joined the Mascato Youth Choir under the guidance of the late Ena Venter and his passion for choral music ignited even further in 2000.

“Ena was one amazing lady. She taught with love and unconditionally. She took in young people that did not have a chance, that were failing at school and came from difficult circumstances. She sacrificed her life to help all of us. I have seen children who have come out of difficult circumstances that are teachers, lawyers and doctors today. Without her help and mentorship, we would not been where we are today.”

Cookson says his style of teaching may be different to Venter’s, but he teaches with the same passion and love.

“I don’t really care how much talent they have, I just want to see their drive and their passion. I want to see them better their lives. That is what I learned from her.

Cookson was assistant choir conductor, deputising Venter for six years. However, after Venter had a fatal stroke in 2012, Cookson took over the Mascato Youth Choir – a role he still holds today.

He describes music as the great equaliser, saying no matter your status in life or how you look, music does not discriminate. That is why he loves it so much.

According to Cookson, his experience as a singer and a choir conductor will help him immensely in the judging process at the Voice of Namibia.

“On the Voice of Namibia Facebook page there are a couple of cover tracks that each of the contestants made. From what I have heard so far, it looks and sounds quite interesting. There is a lot of variety, many different genres and styles, so there is going to be something for everybody,” Cookson said.

Kosmos 94.1FM radio presenter Jean-Louis Knouwds hosts the show which also includes other judges like Nadia Hanssen, Savannah Collins and Lomine Brynard.

The top 10 finalists are Elmero Strauss, Mia Shifaku, Lorenzo Linden, Amy Botes, Michelle Jacobs, Stephanie Araes, Lin-Mari Coetzee, Jessica Strydom, Maraai Helm and Karla van der Merwe.

The Voice of Namibia finale which features the top 10 and a wild card, takes place at The Dome on Saturday 7 March.

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