Team work makes dream work!

by Media Xpose

Well-known in the entertainment industry with a career spanning over 40 years, Loukmaan Adams takes centre stage as husband to Shaakirah and father to their three girls, Nurah (5), Nimrah (4) and Qaariah (3).

“We met when I was walking on the beach, she was drowning and I saved her,” jokes Loukmaan Adams.

“We actually met through her cousin who is my best friend. He lives abroad and we only get to see each other during festive season. When I was visiting him, I met Shaakirah. At first, she did not give me a lot of attention, so it was a bit of a challenge, but we soon discovered we had a lot of mutual interests like our love for culture, music and family values. She comes from a very close-knit family, and it was great to see the family dynamics.”

Marriage and family dynamics
Fast forward… Loukmaan and Shaakirah have been married for just over five years and have three daughters together.

“You only get to really know a person once you are married. When you are married you learn about things that you had no idea about, and your options are to negotiate or accept,” says Loukmaan.

“I mean, when you are married and you discover your partner snores, it’s best to say things like, ‘wow, you sleep so beautifully!’,” he quips.

Shaakirah adds, “I have learned a lot from Loukmaan. In general, I am an impatient person but watching Loukmaan I love the
fact that he is always humble, makes time and has patience for everyone.”

With the kids just over a year apart, Loukmaan jokes that Mediclinic called them last year asking if everything was okay as Shaakirah had not been admitted for another birth.

“The kids arrived so quickly after each other and there was the pandemic, so we did not have much time to adjust. Now that they are older and there is a level of normality, we have more structure in place,” says Loukmaan.

“They can now go to school and creche, but with that comes another aspect where they want to do every activity – and we can’t say no as the activities help with their development,” he adds.

“The amazing thing about parenthood is that I learn something new about my girls every day. It’s so surprising and I don’t understand that even though they are growing up together, they are each so different.”

When questioned about being a dad of girls, Loukmaan says, “With girls it’s easy. My job is to make them believe they are the most important person at any given moment. Sometimes the one comes crying to me, ‘Daddy, she hit me on the head,’ and then the other one comes to explain. It is important to give each child attention and that calms them. Some days are good days, and they are all happy and some days they are enemies.”

He adds, “I am not sure how it is with boys, but I find with daughters they know so much at a young age. And they are very independent in knowing what they want.”

Shaakirah adds, “The most important thing for us is to help instill confidence in our children. Loukmaan is a very hands-on dad and always makes us a priority, no matter what is going on. He is also the more ‘fun’ parent as he is more spontaneous. I am a planner – I like to know where we are going, and what we are doing so I know what to expect and can dress the kids accordingly.”

“For me it’s about ‘Let’s make today lekker!’ It’s less about the planning and more about creating happy moments,” says Loukmaan.

A deep passion for theatre
Having started his career in the entertainment industry at the age of nine, Loukmaan has a deep passion for theatre and regaling the public with colourful stories.

“The thing about theatre is that no matter what is happening in one’s life, for a couple of hours it makes people forget
about their realities as they are taken on a journey from a musical and story perspective,” he says.

“I was playing soccer with dreams of becoming a soccer star when my dad came to collect me and said I should
sing a song for an audition at the Baxter Theatre. I got the gig and worked for a couple of years on that production,
which allowed me to travel both locally and abroad. That opened a lot of doors for me, and the Baxter became my
second home.”

An award-winning performer, Loukmaan is well-known for having worked alongside directors and songwriters such
as Taliep Petersen and David Kramer in productions such as “District Six”, “Kat and the Kings”, as well as performing with international artists like Stevie Wonder and Bonnie Tyler.

“A lot of the productions I am involved with highlight Coloured stories. Through theatre I am able to express our stories and culture, which you won’t find in the history books,” says Loukmaan.

I did TV for a bit, and it was challenging with a family. I have a lot of respect for local ‘soapie’ stars. Learning lines every day is intense – I mean you do the normal household/family chores such as shopping and making food, while simultaneously trying to learn lines. With theatre it is a bit more structured – you know what your schedule is.”

Like most families, the pandemic forced the Adams family to diversify. “During lockdown, it was very different – we went from performing for hundreds and thousands of people to being limited to 100. Shaakirah and I then started our own company, LA Productions (Pty) Ltd, which gave rise to productions such as ‘Unity on the Square’ and ‘ Two of a Kind’. We started this as a means to sustain our living in terms of expenses. During lockdown, many of my friends had to sell their guitars and drumkits to make ends meet. Fortunately, Shaakirah comes from a tourism and hospitality background, and she came up with the idea of partnering with hotels to have a performance and meal package, whereby we could entertain 50 couples at a time.

“Working together means our personal and professional life is intertwined. We rarely switch off, but we are fortunate to have amazing people we work with. Shaakirah handles the operational and logistics aspects, and I am in charge of the production and creative side,” he says

Creating a lasting legacy

“Our next step is to launch an NPO – the Unity Foundation. The Unity Foundation is about empowering youth. It is a platform that seeks to create opportunities for youth to grow in the arts, performance and entertainment industries.

“We are not just looking at performers – we want to grow the platform to be inclusive. Digital media, for example, takes skill – sometimes people spend hours recording something to make a 20 second reel. At the end of the day, we want to create a lasting legacy that will continue through our youth. It’s important for us to guide our youth – it’s not always about instant fame. We have to put the time in to grow ourselves and work hard to achieve our goals,” concludes Loukmaan.

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