Tafadzwa Zimoyo Senior Arts Reporter
Award-winning filmmaker, actor and director Ben Mahaka has dismissed reports of having yesteryear television soap, Studio 263, back on the silver screen any time soon.
Mahaka, who played Tom Mbambo in the popular soap opera, said it was news to him considering that he has not been regularly in touch with some of the actors. Some of the characters that featured on the soap like Pretty Xaba (Mai Muvengwa), Fidelis Cheza (Danger) and Nevernay Chinyanga (Mr Muvengwa) have died while Tatenda Mavetera who acted as Tendai Jari is now into politics with interests in agriculture.
Kizito Mawoko who acted as Dread Welly has since pursued his career in music while Anne Nhira who stared as Vimbai Jari as since tried her luck on South African soils.
Trevor Davies (Tongayi Chirisa) has since left the country and he has managed to land roles in some of Hollywood television series and movies where is he reportedly doing great.
Considering the displacement of the original cast, would a rebound be possible? In an interview with The Herald Arts, Mahaka said he doubts that the soap will bounce back in its original form. “It has been over a decade since I left Studio 263,” said Mahaka.
“At some point, I just wanted it to go away but I now accept that it is the project that has defined my career. I directed 300 episodes of Studio 263 and acted in about 600 episodes. I don’t know if the soap can be reborn in its original form. I am in touch with some of the old cast. “It is news to me about the reunion as I have never got any email, no phone call since I am or was the producer of the soap,” he said.
Mahaka said he was busy focusing on his upcoming drama series called Gaza which was shot in Chipinge.
“It is an initiative to produce content for television while training young people in the various aspects of production. I am waiting for my series to air on ZBCTV this coming July. I have just finished its production. I am also working on a couple of documentaries,” he said.