Jonathan Mbiriyamveka Entertainment Reporter
Most sequels are not that exciting because either the writers or producers run short of ideas or they end up losing the plot altogether but that is not the case with “Sabhuku Vharazipi 2”.
The blockbuster comedy, launched on Wednesday evening could surpass the first film after it hit the big screen and premièred to critical acclaim.
In “Sabhuku Vharazipi”, we had a cast made up of new faces from Masvingo who had just graduated from being a community theatre group to become a commercial success. Despite the challenges in producing the film, the reception was overwhelming thanks to digital technology.
However, there is always a downside to such a production.
The story behind “Sabhuku Vharazipi” has captured the entire nation through its razor-sharp and at times slapstick humour.
For those not in the know, “Sabhuku Vharazipi” is based on a corrupt village head who manipulates the distribution of food and other inputs in his area to get what he wants, including women.
He abuses his position and intimidates women before he asks for sexual favours.
“Sabhuku Vharazipi” also uses his position for political mileage to enrich himself and his family. He is the door to the village and anyone, either a politician or otherwise, has to pass through him.
The headman approves every activity in the village and in the process he calls the shots. The play is a socio-political comedy touching on several issues like corruption, politics of the stomach, headman’s position in the village and life in the village.
In the sequel, we see a losing candidate going back to his constituency, this time not for votes but to meet the people at grassroots level. He accepts defeat and wants to be with the community.
The story starts slowly but then develops into a complex narrative of village life and the politics of survival.
Production-wise, “Sabhuku Vharazipi 2” is not that bad considering it was shot on a shoestring budget. What is interesting to note is that there are talented Zimbabwean filmmakers who if given a chance are able to do it well. Imagine the first “Sabhuku Vharazipi” had over 52 000 hits on YouTube and over 27 000 likes on its Facebook page.
This level of appreciation tells you how good the producers and the cast are in terms of content.
Speaking at the premiere, David Mubayiwa, who is the face behind the character “Sabhuku Vharazipi”, bemoaned the lack of funding for the creative industry. He urged fans to support Zimbabwean artistes through buying original copies and shun pirated copies. Mubayiwa also promised fans new films for as long as they get the much needed financial support.
Wellington Chindara, the losing candidate in the film, truck driver as well as chairman in the film, hailed Government for the 75 percent local content drive. He, however, said as Ziya Cultural Arts they were driven by passion more than fame.