Business tycoon Philip Chiyangwa takes up his debut acting role in an upcoming movie The Gentleman, which also features one of South Africa’s leading actors, Presley Chweneyagae.
Chiyangwa told NewsDay he was glad to take part in the movie, saying he hoped his role would add value to the production.
“The producers approached me to feature in the movie and I decided to support them. We did some shots on Monday and I am sure my role will add some flair to the movie since I am a popular man,” he said.
Chiyangwa plays the character of Mr Rogers, a Zimbabwean businessman and ringleader of a crime syndicate based in South Africa.
“I play the role of a boss in the movie. All judgments being given, this will be a good movie as it is a blockbuster. I am certain it will break the record of African movies as many countries are going to access it via channels such as MNet,” said Chiyangwa.
Rufaro Kaseke, the movie producer, said Chiyangwa always had a passion for acting but never got the opportunity to do so.
“Chiyangwa told us he had always wanted to act, but no one ever approached him. He is a good and talented actor. I must confess he got the script late, but managed to master his role quickly and did a brilliant job,” said Kaseke.
He added that the movie was shot on full high dimension production using funds earned from sales of the previous movie, Lobola. The Gentleman is a sweeping story of love, corruption, deception and social degradation.
Kaseke said the movie was a tale of twin brothers whose worlds had gone drastically wrong.
“Munya (Munyaradzi Chidzonga) plays the roles of the twins. With one staying in South Africa and the other in Zimbabwe, fate throws at them financial situations that force them to drop their principles and integrity and pick up survival tactics,” he said.
He added that by shooting the movie, they were trying to re define the role of a gentleman.
“We were trying to provoke people’s thoughts by showing that everyone has a role to play in life as one of the male characters was treated like an outcast, but he ended up being useful,” said Kaseke.
The movie is being produced by Kaseke, Lillian Chidavaenzi and Batsirai Masvinge. It was directed and written by Joe Njagu, and edited by Charles Mawunga.
The star-studded cast comprises Miss Malawi 2010 Faith Chibale and local actors that include Munyaradzi Chidzonga, Elijah Madzikatire, Precious Makhulumo, Patrick Mabhena, musician Willis Wataffi, Charles Muzemba, Tonderai Hakuna and Miss Matofotofo Sithandazile Dube, among others.
South Africa-based dancehall musician Buffalo Souljah features behind the scenes as he is assisting on the sound tracks of the movie.
Chweneyagae who played the lead role in the popular movie titled Tsotsi said he enjoyed working on the movie with the Zimbabwean actors.
“This was my first time to partner with Zimbabwean actors and I shared my experiences and also learnt from them,” he said.
The film is set to premiere in Harare on September 16 before premiering in Johannesburg, UK, Malawi and other countries courtesy of Predestined Pictures from South Africa. Some of the scenes were shot in South Africa.