Mutsago teams up with Moza, Zambia actors

Talent Chimutambgi

Arts Correspondent

Zimbabwean renowned filmmaker Stephen Mutsago has collaborated with other veteran actors from Mozambique and Zambia, with the thrust to boost his interactions in his career.

The National Arts Merit Award winner (NAMA), author and actor, has resolved to expand his career to collaborate with veteran regional actors.

Mutsago created a story titled “Comrade”, while Joseph Datsata, his counterpart, produced a screenplay.

It is a movie which had some reminiscences of the regional relations between the three countries which date back many years ago.

“We chose Zambia and Mozambique because of the warm relations that exist dating back to the liberation struggle when the two nations rendered immense support to the success of the struggle for independence in Zimbabwe,” said Mutsago.

“The pace at which the Zimbabwean film industry is growing is very slow due to lack of support by the stakeholders, as well as the absence of sound policies that govern film production.

Mutsago said the neighbouring countries were making strides in enhancing the industry, hence the collaboration.

“We need each other, it’s like the incarnation of the liberation struggle manifesting in film,” said Mutsago.

He teamed up with Abel Silungwe, who is the co-director, Sam Johannes and actors Penelope Chindolo and Choolwe Kuyimbilwa, all from Zambia.

From the Mozambican side, there is Sergio Bata, who is also seasoned in performing dramas.

Mutsago said the movie was expected to be officially launched next month by the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry at Skyview Conference Centre in Mutare.

He said the movie will also be televised on SkyAfrica and PlayAfrica on pay per view.

“I created the story and Joseph Dzatsata wrote the screenplay with the thrust to foster the spirit of oneness amongst ourselves as Africans, as such we had to work as a team,” he said.

“The story is about a comrade, a liberation war veteran who used the common guerrilla warfare tactic to curb the cattle rustling dilemma that had hit the local village.

“The society had hopes on him by virtue of him having served in the army with vast knowledge on defence and security tactics.”

Mutsago said the partnership would assist in improving their skills and content as well.

He said the movie recognised the role of the veterans of the struggle in the society despite some having retired from the force.

“It is also a tribute to our liberation war veterans, they are still in a capacity to build and defend our societies regardless of them having retired,” he said.

“Their ideas and expertise are still of importance in all societal facets and in this movie we are celebrating these heroes and heroines.”

The movie recognises different vernaculars.

“We had one actress from Zambia (Penelope Chindolo) who played the role of Gamu,” said Mutsago.

“In order to relate to our neighbouring Zambia we had to allow her to use Tonga and Nyanja in some dialogues.”

Mutsago said they had joined hands in funding the production of the movie with their foreign partners chipping in for the success of the play.

“It took us a month to produce the film, that is pre-production and shooting,” he said.

“We are now in post production. The film was shot in Honde Valley, Kwesha Village and Mutarazi Forest.”

Mutsago produced various films, among them “Vicious Circle” in 2020, “Directed Smoking Gun Season 1” which was screened on Zimbabwe’s national broadcaster, the ZBC TV, in 2022, as well as the most recent, “Lobengula the Godfather”.

Mutsago pleaded with Government to render support for them to reflect the patriotic African history through plays.

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