Brenda Phiri Entertainment Reporter
The name Obey Machipisi might not ring a bell in the minds of locals but it makes waves within the South African arts industry.
The 27-year-old is amongst the unheralded artistes that are raising the country’s flag in Mzansi film industry.
Machipisi is one of the scriptwriters of one of Africa’s most successful soap operas, “Generations”.
“It’s a long story but what I can say is that it took almost two years, two test scripts, good references and one meeting to get the (Generations) job. The wait was really worth it. It’s a great experience working with writers that have been with the show since its inception, and writers that I have worked with on other shows,” he said.
It is no secret that real life drama has rocked the soap behind the scenes and the wrangle led to the sacking of the show’s principal cast members.
The troubled soapy is picking up the pieces even though the dispute has since spilled into the courts.
Machipisi said the tension has not dampened the spirits of writers but instead challenged them to rise above the occasion.
The Nyanga-born actor said such episodes gave him an adrenaline rush, getting his creative juices pumping.
“The drama (in the Generations camp) had nothing to do with writers. If anything, it was a mind-challenge to turn around the show to what it is right now. Unfortunately I missed out on this ‘fun’ as I was on a break working on a children’s show for SABC2 but yes, I still work with Generations. I have to experience a lot of different things to be satisfied, which means working for different productions. Where the wind blows, I’m there,” he said.
The writer who turns 28 on February 15 said he is not intimidated, working in a competitive industry that is dominated by seasoned artistes as he is driven by passion. He said he spends most of his time researching, reading and watching other people’s work just to keep abreast with the state of affairs on the market.
“I speak a lot of languages, always ask for advice and sometimes I find myself thinking like an old Zulu woman. That’s how much I dedicate myself to my work, so my age is nothing but a number,” he said.
While his current spot might be the place to be for many aspiring writers, Machipisi is not in a comfort zone yet.
In fact, he is mostly excited about a possible move that will have him work in the local film industry since he has a couple of deals that are in the pipeline.
“Fingers crossed, I have been asked to submit content for a local station. Unfortunately, I can’t say much until I get a thumbs-up, but be on the lookout for a kick back of Zimbabwe’s top actors and some international standard productions,” he said.
In terms of where locals are getting it wrong, Machipisi said the country has what it takes to lead the pack although quality was being compromised for quantity.
“There is so much talent in Zimbabwe and I’m sure given the knowledge, equipment and funds we will top all African productions and rate against big international productions,” he said.
Besides “Generations”, the youthful artiste has written for other shows and productions like “Isibaya” Season 2 (Mzansi Magic), “Vat’n’Sit” (eTV+), Live Music show for Nigerian TV channel (SoundCity), “Inside the Baobab Tree” (SABC2) and Rhema Ministries TV.
“I have a BA in Media Studies, Diploma in Film acting and Diploma in Screenwriting. I started out as an actor and did a few South African and international shows and commercials. Through all the jobs that I did, I made sure that I get important contacts so that I can get back to them when I need work in their production team,” he said.