ATTITUDE AND HUMILITY MATTER IN ARTS INDUSTRY: ZEMURA
By Beaven Tapureta -WIN Online
US-based actor and filmmaker Nick Ndongamahwe Zemura is home and last week on May 18 he met a group of film enthusiasts at the weekly Wednesday Film Club, an ideas and skills exchange forum organised by Pamberi Trust in partnership with Creative Arts Zimbabwe.
Zemura, who has produced and directed over 20 films and television productions in different countries around the world, drew from his personal life and filmmaking experience some wise words for fellow artists, particularly filmmakers.
A positive attitude towards one’s career serves well in building life-changing opportunities, he said. The Mirazvo Production company founder also acknowledged that Zimbabwe has talent although there are sentiments he discovered among filmmakers nowadays.
“We are getting to a point where the ones that are coming in are very passionate and the ones who are in are frustrated leading them to be less passionate about the things they do,” said Zemura.
Talent alone, he added, is not enough because one can be very talented and yet nobody wants to work with him/her.
“You can be very talented and yet nobody wants to work with you. How you express yourself, drive yourself matters so much,” said Zemura.
Pride can discourage growth, he warned, for how can one grow and be recognised when you refuse to start with ‘menial’ jobs in the film industry like just being a holder of equipment.
His childhood in Murewa played an important role in moulding him from a rural boy to the vibrant filmmaker and actor that he is today.
The acting muse caught up with him as a Grade Two pupil in Murewa. His mother, perhaps noticing theatrical potential in his son, asked him to come up with a Christmas play that he would perform with cousins at church.
“This was the first time I wrote a script. I played King Herod. She gave me the appropriate costumes and from that day I got attracted to the stage. I then moved from one drama club to the next and continued writing plays,” he said.
In Form 3, he bought his first camera and started recording. After high school he transferred to Bulawayo but could not stay longer for various reasons and ended up at Seke Teachers College. It was after college that he went to the USA where his dream was augmented.
In the USA, his first job was in theatre but he had to do another job at a certain hardware store to raise income for film-related endeavors. Always, at the store, he would be glued to his notebook, jotting down ideas and observations for his film scripts.
It happened that a Good Samaritan, in form of a regular female customer at the store, noticed him. In this age of personal laptops, the sight of a young man jotting down notes, sweating up with pen and paper daily puzzled the woman who one day asked if she could see his writings.
Touched by the scripts after reading them, the woman sent one of his scripts to a certain school of film which right away accepted Zemura. And she started helping him with the fees and also bought him a laptop to use. From then on, Zemura’s light began to grow and whenever he did a TV or film production, people always want him back, want more from him.
The open discussion alternated with screening of snippets from Zemura’s films such as Mwana waMwari and the Farayi Mungoshi directed Makunun’unu Maodzamoyo, an adaptation of his (Farayi) father’s classical Shona novel of the same title published in 1970. The film Makunun’unu Maodzamoyo, apart from targeting the international market, certainly has so much value to local literature students who are doing the book at school. The film features celebrated local musician Jah Prayzah and renowned actress Jessesi Mungoshi who is Charles Mungoshi’s wife.
The Wednesday Film Club takes place every Wednesday from 6pm at Pamberi Trust Garden, No 90 Selous Avenue, Harare.
HARARE BOOK CLUB INVITES YOU
The next book club is reading and discussing "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini. Club starts from 6pm on Thursday 26 May at Moto Republic, 3 Allan Wilson Ave, opposite Parirenyatwa Hospital on Mazoe St.
The Kite Runner is the first novel by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini. Published in 2003 by Riverhead Books, it tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, whose closest friend is Hassan, his father's young Hazara servant. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan's monarchy through the Soviet military intervention, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime. Hosseini has commented that he considers The Kite Runner to be a father–son story, emphasizing the familial aspects of the narrative, an element that he continued to use in his later works. Themes of guilt and redemption feature prominently in the novel, with a pivotal scene depicting an act of violence against Hassan that Amir fails to prevent. The latter half of the book centers on Amir's attempts to atone for this transgression by rescuing Hassan's son over two decades later.
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