Zimbabwean’s film project hijacked in Botswana


A Zimbabwean film maker, Tinashe Jonas, had his P30million (US$5,2 million) movie project hijacked by a fellow producer in Botswana where he had been based, forcing him to abandon his stay in that country last month.
The movie, called Monate (meaning good times), was set to inject a fresh dose of life into the ailing Botswana film industry, where the movie had become a talking point.
Auditions for the film began in January.
Although Jonas, who is also known as T-Nash, was viewed with suspicion by stakeholders who thought he was just a desperate Zimbabwean seeking to make “quick buck” in Botswana, he went on to display a high level of professionalism after coming up with a transparent accounting scheme which won the hearts of sponsors.
His company, Vula Vala Entertainment, quickly got sponsorship from a number of companies in Botswana including the Gaborone Sun Hotels and Subaro Car Sales.
But as the money started pouring into the project soon after shooting had commenced, Jonas’ partner, Saymore Mapingire – a Botswana national – hijacked the project.
“Mapingire processed the papers so that I could get a work permit but he made me believe that the permit allowed me to be the director and producer of the movie. I later discovered that he had put me down as just a worker in the project so he would take over,” said a bitter Jonas.
“But I believe he is going to flop because he has no experience in the film industry like I do. He just got greedy and acted without thinking,” Jonas said.
The film–maker, who studied Cinematography at Wits University in South Africa, said he would not give up hope and his dream of making a successful debut on the big screen.
He added that he had already finished writing the script of another movie he intended to produce in Zimbabwe centred on HIV and Aids which will be called Ma One.
Under his new company, Episode Ten Productions, Jonas said he would soon start auditioning, grooming and training the cast for the forthcoming movie.
Jonas has had extensive media coverage in the Botswana media as his project was the first big budget movie in that country.
The movie is about how young people tend to satisfy their insatiable appetite for alcohol, drugs and sexual desires at the expense of self development.