was known as a no-nonsense wife who made her rather wayward husband toe the line.
“Mai Sorobhi” acted her role with perfection to the extent that many people believe that in real life, she was a violent person.
“Pengai, pengai, Mai Sorobhi”, became a popular cliché in the country because of her act in one of the episodes where she would appear to defend her husband “Paraffin”, portrayed by the late Phillip Mushangwe.
A visit at her Kuwadzana home showed that in actual fact “Mai Sorobhi” is a warm, loving person who is usually in a jovial mood.
Now at the age of 70, “Mai Sorobhi” still yearns to return to the small screen that gave her fame.
“I still want to be part of the cast; I still feel that I have not reached my potential. I want to act with upcoming actors and show them what we used to do during our heydays,” she said.
The veteran actress still vividly remembers all the lines she acted in the drama series. She said her efforts for a comeback in 2009 hit a snag after the flop of the drama series “Simbimbino”.
“I tried to come back with a drama entitled Simbimbino, but lack of funds derailed the project and we ended up having a half-baked product. I want the producers to know that Mai Sorobhi is still well and sound, I am yearning for yet another chance,” she said.
“Mai Sorobhi” said she missed “Paraffin” dearly and wished he was still alive.
“We had a telepathic understanding with Paraffin; we could improvise and come out with a masterpiece. He was such a talented actor. I wish if he had lived longer and I hope we could have taken our talents to higher levels,” she said.
“Mai Sorobhi” is now employed by Harare City Council as a health promoter.
“I am now a social worker and I go around teaching people about good hygienic methods. I am also a mentor for those aspiring actors. They always come to me asking for advice and I am always ready to teach them one or two things,” she said.
“Mai Sorobhi” said the “Zino” episode remain her best act.
In the episode, “Mai Sorobhi” has a terrible toothache and “Paraffin” takes her to the clinic. When they arrive, the nurse is handing out condoms and “Mai Sorobhi” accepts a few packs much to the chagrin of her husband.
“Kwese kwandinoenda vanhu vanondibvunza kuti Mai Sorobhi, zino rakapora here? PaZino takabika nhapitapi,” she said.
Like any other actor in Zimbabwe, “Mai Sorobhi” has a heart-breaking story to tell.
“I am not getting any royalties but the drama is being aired on ZBCTV,” she said.
While many people thought “Paraffin” was her husband in real life, “Mai Sorobhi’s” husband Vaxison Mtembe passed away a few years ago and the couple were blessed with seven children.
She said some of her children are now married and two of them — Stephen and Charity are living – with her.
“I am a devout member of Johanne Masowe WeChishanu. God has been good to me. He gave me long life and a good family and I am grateful to Him for that,” she said.
Born in Chimanimani in 1943, “Mai Sorobhi” never thought of taking acting as a career until she was invited by Aaron Chiundura-Moyo who was with ZBCTV then.
“Aaron invited me after watching me perform at one of the functions at a local clinic, he fell in love with my acting skills and when I rehearsed for the Paraffin series, producer of the drama Agnes Gwatiringa gave me the role,” she said.