Sabhuku Vharazipi, one of the country’s best acts after independence is collapsing like a deck of cards.
David Dzatsunga, the script writer and David Chombe the film producer of Vharazipi 2 have jumped ship for various reasons including that three main actors cannot account for at least $17 000 said to have been received from well-wishers and an estimated maximum of $55 000 said to have been realized from the sale of Sabhuku Vharazipi 2 DVDs.
Wellington Chindara who is one of those three actors and co-ordinator of Sabhuku Vharazipi said everything he did was above board.
He refused to say how he used US$10 000 received from Zimpapers, US$4 000 received from Culture Fund and another US$3 000 received from a Non-Governmental Organisation that declined to be named.
“We spend this money in accordance with the proposals we made to funders. Everything was legal and above board. The rest are lies against us,” said Chindara who initially threatened The Mirror reporter for raising the issue.
However, there are allegations that Chindara who also acts as the truck driver in Vharazipi 1 was living large and spending lots of money on himself. He is said to have bought a car which he got involved in an accident with soon afterwards. Chindara who stayed in the high density of Mucheke is also said to have moved out and started lodging in Rhodhene, Masvingo’s plush suburb but is back again in Mucheke after fortunes started nose-diving.
According to sources, this is despite the fact that other actors were not paid a cent for their role in Zimbabwe’s most popular drama in recent years.
Dzatsunga confirmed to The Mirror that he was no longer doing Sabhuku Vharazipi. Dzatsunga who actually discovered the acting talents in Sabhuku Vharazipi when he was an English and Drama teacher at Christian High School in Masvingo including two of the main actors said he had no further comments to say except that greed was destroying the arts.
He also confirmed that he was now involved with another Drama act called Mayaya.
“I don’t want to say much but I feel greediness is destroying the arts industry. I know I penned Vharazipi 1 and 2 but someone decided to take over my work. I am not worried about that because I did that out of passion. I have written another play which will be out very soon,” said Dzatsunga.
It is alleged that Chindara has claimed the Sabhuku Vharazipi scripts.
David Mubaiwa, the main actor who acts as Sabhuku Vharazipi went on his usual jokes when asked for a comment.
“Uri kubvunza izvozvo iwe wakangoti vavava ikoko, isu tiri kutorima kuno kumusha uku. Tiri kudya kuno uku. Munoona mhoni idzi munoti kubata mazamu here nhai boss,” said Vharazipi before referring all questions to Chindara.
Mubaiwa, Chindara and Kumbirai Chikonye who is Chindara’s wife acting the role of Mbuya Mai John in the drama are said to be the only three actors remaining in Sabhuku Vharazipi after the rest deserted.
Chombe of Magical Films who shot Vharazipi 2 said he was not paid 8% of the 55 000 DVDs that his company produced but was only paid a paltry $600.
Another allegation came from Denice Rusoro who featured in Vharazipi 2 as Constable Mayaya and Christopher Kubvedzi who also played Joram’s part, Mai John’s husband in Vharazipi 2. They said they were given 97 and 87 DVDs each respectively as payment for the role they played in the drama.
“I produced the film out of passion and I also did their marketing and personally talked to the President Mugabe’s spokesperson, George Charamba who later facilitated the Zimpapers deal. I also talked to Davis Guzha of Rooftop production and he did the first 5000 copies. But after the receipt of the $10 000 things took a new twist and I told them I was no longer working with them.
“The stand off came after they decided to burn their DVDs here deviating from what we had originally agreed with Charamba. We had agreed that encrypted DVDs were supposed to be done in South Africa but they said that was too expensive and chose to burn them here,” said Chombe.Entertainment
Source: Masvingo Mirror