Word of advice from Danai Gurira

Danai stresses a point during the interview

Danai stresses a point during the interview

Tafadzwa Zimoyo Senior Arts Reporter
Hollywood star and story-teller Danai Gurira says art is a process.
“The Walking Dead” actress desires to see more opportunities being given to Zimbabwean actors as there is a lot of unheralded talent which can help the industry grow.

In an exclusive interview with Zimpapers Television Network, (ZTN) Gurira who was in the country on a short visit said there is need to invest in arts and opportunities.

“Zimbabwe is my home, I grew up in Harare although I spent a lot of time in the United States. It is our desire with Patience Tawengwa (her local partner in numerous projects), through Almasi Collaborative Arts, to that Zimbabwean artists do better and get more opportunities to showcase their talent.

“We thought how we could create a real strong platform for them, something that lasts with great foundation. We should invest in artists and opportunities. They can develop their crafts and their voices can be heard globally,” she said.

Gurira also features in upcoming movie “Black Panther”, which stars Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Forest Whitaker and Chadwick Boseman. The movie is set for release on February 12, said the film industry should be professional.

“It is about creating access and professionalising Zimbabwe’s art scene. There is a lot of work and we have a long way to go. You should do brick by brick and that is what we teach at Almasi. Arts is a process, you can’t work without it.

“So, please no artists should come and say, I wrote a play in three days, and it’s brilliant. That is impossible,” she said. She said Zimbabweans should value what they have in art.

“It (art) is a moneymaker as you can see in the United States. We should value what we have in the arts industry. It should be a professional thing. People can go to work every day and make a living as artists just like they do in other countries. Let’s invest in the industry,” she said. Gurira said being an artist is not about being famous, but creating stories that stand the test of time.

“It takes full work, effort and takes time. That is what we teach artists. Do it from the place of wanting the story to be told not of wanting yourself to shine. We are on the right track and I am excited about the future from what I am seeing,” she said. The actress also shared her experiences in Hollywood and some movies she starred in, saying being able to tell a story from an African woman’s side is awesome.

“I really loved most of the work I have done, being able to be on a platform to tell an African story and speaking Xhosa in the movie. That was exciting. I hadn’t dreamt of such opportunity.”

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