Zimbabwe’s best actors

Many may not be familiar with the name Philip Gadzikwa Mushangwe, but this the man who rocked Zimbabwe television in the 1990s as a comedy character under the name Paraffin or Baba vaSorobi.

Cecilia Kamuputa


Parafini coined street language to suit any mood, leaving viewers in stitches.

He usually acted as a character who gossiped about what was going on in the neighbourhood and he was known for his huge appetite and ‘amazing’ eating habits whenever he visited his neighbours.

Paraffin’s career ended with his death on June 29, 1997.

Popular quotes from Paraffin include:
Ko nhai nurse,ndokumbirawo mejensi.
Ndamboti ndakaenda ku University here ini? Inongori scop medula blangata yangu inongori sharp!

Safirio Madzikatire, also known as Mukadota, was a multi-disciplinary artist specialising in comedy and music.

His nickname comes from his role as Mukadota on The Mukadota Family, a Shona drama which ran on Zimbabwe Broadcasting Television in the 1980s and early 1990s.

He acted alongside Susan Chenjerai (Mai Rwizi) and dancer-cum-actor Elizabeth Taderera affectionately known as Katarina.

Lazarus Boora, also known as “Gringo” is a popular comedian from the 90s in Zimbabwe born on October 18, 1973 in Nyazura.

Boora was cast as Gringo, an adaptation of Enock Chihombori’s cartoon character, becoming an instant hit with Zimbabwean television viewers.

Hailing from Epworth, Freddy “Kapfupi” Manjalima rose from being a street theatre performer with the likes of Charles “Marabha” Mirisi and Jeffrey “Aphiri” Chikwesere, to a musician.

With his Orchestra Ndozvo band, Kapfupi produced the famous song ‘Mai Ngaa’.


And hailing from the East, Simon Shumba, also known as Mutirowafanza became popular for his heavy Manyika accent.

His popular quotes include:“Bambo wako haana bachi? Go get that one, enda wotora irero!

The following screen shots show findings from a survey carried out by NewsDay on FaceBook on who the greatest actor to ever come out of Zimbabwe was.







Other names that came through in the survey include Sakhamuzi, John Banda, Felix Silandulo Moyo and Sabhuku Vharazipi.


  1. 1-Paraffin, 2-Gringo, 3 zvichienda mberi mupedzisawo……

    1. Ko Mbudziyadhura mamusiirei.

      1. Ahhhh, taura hako @Robsugar, I actually watch Gringo because of Mbudzi!! so Mbudziyadhura goes at number 1.5!

  2. Elijah Madzikatire, Mukadota. My sister called him “Kamudota” growing up. Night rider, Bionic Woman, The A team, MacGyver and of course mukadota in no particular order. Yep that is how we liked our entertainment on our black and white TV! I can totally relate to mukadota, used to crack us up. Kind of reminded me of Bill Cosby.

    David Mubaiwa starring as Sabhuku Vharazipi is outstanding and certainly of the the best rising acts we have. The way he captured the simplicity and politics of village life in Zimbabwe was outstanding. You can see its a low budget production but the actors make it worth while. Now that is what i call entertainment!

  3. taurai henyu mukadota and paraffin, mahwani – view some of their hilarious videos here: http://www.megastoon.com/?share=34850

  4. Gringo ,kapfupi and mukadota kumberi ,but Parrafin kumberi kwekumberi kwacho

  5. Gringo na VZ ma 1

  6. I personally salute Paraffin he was in a league of his own…each time you see his episodes nomatter how much u repeat them it still remains very humorous.


    1.Paraffin (best of the best)
    2.Gringo (upcoming star)
    4.Sabhuku Vharazipi

  7. These actors were all good kuti number 1 ndiyani azviite…what about Arron Chiundura Moyo, Mai Rwizi,Stambeni Makawa,Madhumbe,Mbuzi a lot of them i think we have talent in Zim lets pray we fund for our own Zimhood Movies,Oliver Mtukudzi a good actor ,Leroy,we cant finish them we should stop saying number one we are limiting the talent that GOD gave to our country,with technology we should start our own big movie industry,check the poor and useless movies on African magic from Nigeria,its like they shoot with a cellphone,Lets tell our Zim Story talent yakazara kuti taaa…Thanks Zimbabwe for recognising these fellow heroes,its like politics dominate everything these days lets focus on issues of intertainment tizorodze pfungwa,life is too short………I love Zimbabwe

    1. Tell them bro, we sick and tired of politics, some of us need a rest tichiseka patv, not kungohwa kuti hee cde nhingi vazoti, hee part so and so yazoti. dhemeti mhani

  8. The truth is vechikuru vakawana mukana wekuona Mukadota vanoti inumber one. Vakawanawo mukana waParaffin vanoti ndiye, avawo vaGringo vechidiki vachiti ndiye. Hatigone kuvaenzanisa nekuti havana kumbotamba mutambo mumwechete panguva yakafanana.

    1. ah ah, even those who are yet to be born will testify that Mukadota was and is and will be the standard of every ZIM comedian. Sonke siyavuma heee, ukhona ophikisayo hini?
      Right you can now start debating but don’t include Safirio. Liyezwa na?

  9. 1. Mukadota, 2. Madhumbe on gringo, the blacks unlimted backing vocalist was great.

  10. parraffin or mdara puffs was the best mkadota was the pionner hats off to him but paffs anga ari ma 1 he was origina he never changed his voice to imitate anybody it was just natural plus combination na mai sorobhi was a match made in heaven

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  12. Parafin,gringo,mai rwizi mukadota,vz vz aaaa vese zvao vanopinza

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