Sophia Chese Arts Correspondent
Renowned actor Lazarus Boora who is popularly known in the entertainment circles as Gringo after featuring in a number of hilarious ‘Gringo’ drama series by Enock Chihombori has appealed to the Ministry of Rural Development and Preservation of National Cultural Heritage to come to their rescue on the issue of piracy.
Gringo last featured in the “Gringo the Trouble Maker” that was released in 2013 but was heavily affected by piracy such that the producers of the drama are still owing people money used on the project.
In an interview the actor said he has a lot of projects but bemoaned financial constraints and piracy saying there is nothing they can do to come out of the shell now if the issue of piracy is not dealt with.
“I believe arts are an industry that must be appreciated like any other industry but I feel our ministry is letting us down. Since the cancerous piracy came in the country, nothing has been done to make sure that the problem is solved.
“Our government is talking of indigenisation and creating employment but how can we be employed when the arts sector is dying? It is not fair,” he said.
“We cannot conclude that there is nothing that can be done on piracy when the machines that are used to ‘burn’ CDs are being allowed to pass through our borders every day, the people who are selling pirated CDs are freely enjoying the fruits of our sweat.
“It is our wish as artistes to go back where we come from and improve the communities that we were born and bred but we cannot do that because we are the ones who are in need of financial help at the moment only because of piracy.
“We do not want the government to give us money but we want the government to make sure that we are rewarded of our hard work, just that.”
Gringo also pointed that people who have been in the arts industry for some time must be appointed to represent artists in the government since they know the agony in the industry.
“I wish people like Aaron Chiundura Moyo, Oliver Mtukudzi or anyone who has been in this field for a long time must be appointed to represent us in government because these people know how it feels to come up with a script, shoot a movie and you do not get anything out of it, they know what we go through as artists.”
He also appealed to the Ministry to have time with artistes so that they can air their grievances to him directly.
“We are seeing a number of ministries improving everyday simply because those in charge are taking their time to meet the people under their ministries and discuss their problems and what they expect from them and we wish the same thing can happen to our ministry,” he said.
Gringo however said what is happening will never deter them from acting.
“We were born to entertain and as long as we get the opportunity we will do what we know best, making people to laugh.”