Filmmaker Eddie Ndlovu ‘ecstatic’ over recognition
Tafadzwa Zimoyo-Entertainment Editor
Local filmmaker Eddie Ndlovu is a happy soul after he was finally rewarded with the Outstanding Contributor Award in film and television at the just-ended inaugural Zimbabwe Annual Film and Television Awards (ZAFTAs).
In the local film and television production field, there are few figures as dynamic and influential as Ndlovu.
From a humble background in Chitungwiza, where he was born and bred, playing with bricks and old tyres, he was destined for success as at a tender age he already knew the direction he was going to take — filmmaking.
“I would direct church and Christmas plays and sometimes get disappointed if they did not get into character,” he jokingly said. “My parents would say that did not pay, but I said this is what I wanted and I am happy to have trained my children to follow the same route, though not all will hold the camera to survive.”
Facts are stubborn, Ndlovu’s name is like the camera, the gimbal in the television industry.
You can not pass a comment on film and television production without mentioning him.
Ndlovu said he was “ecstatic” to win the award, as this was the biggest and humblest event in his career.
Besides that his works have been nominated in various categories, he values the “Outstanding Contributor Award” most.
“Winning the Outstanding Contributor Award at the Zimbabwe Annual Film and Television Awards on 2 December, I feel humbled and honoured,” said Ndlovu.
Ndlovu, who said the award came as a surprise after he lost hope in local awards because they were marred with controversies, said he was like a bridge to some of the stars in the film and television sector.
“In my 13 years of being commercially involved in the film and television industry, I have opened doors for some fellow filmmakers, be it on cinema or television platforms.
“The good thing about my vision is that it includes other people and allows so many to flourish as I achieve my goals also.”
The renowned film and television producer, equipped with extensive experience spanning over 21 years in content development and management for both film, TV and commercial jobs, owes his success to hard work.
“I am the Hollywood,” he laughs. “My first short film was in 2001 called ‘Kuteya-Bait’ where I was a producer and was written and directed by Masimba Musodza,” said Ndlovu. “Between 2001 and 2009, I worked on different experimental shorts before writing and directing ‘Sores of Emmanuel’ in 2010, which was said to be the pioneer independently produced film to get a prime-time slot at Rainbow Cinemas.
“Between 2011 and 2014, I worked with ZBC where I wrote and directed ‘Revelations’ soap, also the short film project ‘Zimtales Season 1’ before creating my TV dDrama ‘Wenera’ for ZBC TV in 2015 that went on to be one of the biggest dramas of all time.”
In 2018, Ndlovu wrote and directed ‘Thandie’s Diary’ film and executive produced ‘Botso’ the film before being attached as a co-producer to ‘Cook-Off’.
“I would say that ‘Cook Off’ went on to be the first Zimbabwean film to be on Netflix,” he said.
“This made me happy and last year, I created, wrote, and directed a drama series called ‘Bundu’.
“I would say I value this award because it means a lot to me. I have worked on several commercials for different corporates including POSB, ZCDC, ECONET, Steward Bank, ZimParks, Ecosure, Zvimba RDC, and GTEL.
“I also took part in symposiums and workshops in New York, Washington DC, Portland OREGON, Nairobi and Windhoek.”
Chronicling his journey, which he described as not as rosy as what you would see on television, Ndlovu said he was not stopping in his passion for camera work.
“In 2011, I met Arnold Shoko (who is now late) who was a producer at ZBC,” said Ndlovu
“He introduced me to television with the help of Eddie Sandifolo who was at his prime as Mambo Chabvonga in Tiriparwendo.”
Ndlovu saluted the ZAFTA stating that they have respected him.
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“Finally, they have seen who the pioneers, the godfathers are, I salute them,” he said.
His journey is one of passion, creativity and unwavering dedication as each project allowed him to delve deeper into the intricacies of the creative process, refining his skills and expanding his artistic repertoire.
His influence extends well beyond the borders of his home country and he is more than a producer; a visionary, a storyteller and a trailblazer.
Ndlovu will be honoured for his exceptional work, as even some local actors testified at the just-ended award show.
“It is good they have honoured him and his indelible mark on the industry can’t be erased. I am a product of him and look at where I am now. I can’t say much, but he is the greatest of all time,” commented one actor on anonymity.
Already, social media has agog with praises for Ndlovu, saying his award was justified.