Hungwe ‘Zimpunkd’ into apologising


VETERAN playwright Blessing Hungwe was the victim of a reality television practical joke series Zimpunkd in Harare recently and is exposed during a 15-minute clip posted on YouTube apologising to Zimbabwe for his controversial play titled Lovers In Time.

Entertainment Reporter

Zimpunkd is a hidden camera practical joke series aired on ZBC-TV that makes pranks on celebrities and ordinary people.
The clip shows an unaware Hungwe being interviewed by two men that masquerade as agents with the Criminal Investigation Department quizzing him on his intentions in relation to his play.

For all those in the know, Lovers in Time is a comedy that explores the taboos of two ancient spirit mediums Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi.

In the play, Mbuya Nehanda returns as a man with transsexual behaviour and bumps into fellow spirit medium Sekuru Kaguvi.

The duo goes through a series of character changes as they travel through Zimbabwe until they are hanged by two drunken white men.

However, the play depicts the spirit mediums in bad light hence it courted controversy during this year’s edition of the Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa) for denigrating them and distorting Zimbabwe’s history.

Hungwe is seen admitting in front of hidden cameras that he might have portrayed Zimbabwe’s ancient spirit mediums in bad light and he sincerely apologised to the nation.

“I have tried to explain to a lot of people and have been looking for dialogue, to say yes I might have done wrong. I went beyond what was expected and I apologise to the nation and ancestors,” Hungwe says in the clip.

Asked on whether he understood the sensitivity surrounding the question of how he had denigrated the values of ancient spirit mediums and misrepresented Zimbabwe’s history, Hungwe even alludes to engaging the Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture in an attempt to map a way forward.

“I have tried to explain, but not anything I say seems to interest anyone. I have already done it and it is a creative process I shouldn’t have done. I haven’t made any comments to the Press so far following people’s reactions and all, but I have given the ministry a copy of the script and they are currently reviewing it and after that, we will map a way forward.”

However, the visibly terrified Hungwe throughout the prank maintains that his intention was to show Zimbabwe that more was needed to be done to hail ancient spirit mediums.

“Through the play, I was actually trying to show that our ancestors are important and more needs to be done to emphasise their importance. I started writing this play two years ago after taking a walk along Mbuya Nehanda and Kaguvi streets. My thinking was that, why not make these streets the main roads in town hence this could unify the nation in making it see the essence of these ancestors?”

The only question that Hungwe failed to answer during the prank is, the title of the play Lovers in Time that if it is a comedy, what is comic about portraying our ancestors as transsexual and would anyone from the West pen a comic play mocking the Queen like you did in his play?

The play was, however, disrupted during its last day of showing at Hifa by dub poet Sekuru Tozi who labelled it as a distortion of history and misrepresentation of African legacies.

Celebrities that so far have fallen victim to Zimpunkd include socialite Pokello Nare, Tinopona Katsande, musician Nox Guni and popular urban grooves producer Russo, to mention a few.


  1. well young man zivai kuti vadzimu venyika ino akarwisa vava vapfumojena imi mubatana nevana vapfumojena kuti zvidii? Mucharipa nezimwe gore nekuti vanhu vekwa chiweshe hatifare nema itiro enyu iwawa

    • saka vanhu veku chiweshe ndimi ma custodians emidzimu yenyika ino, who told u thoz lies. dont distort or misrepresent historical facts, saka masvingo ,chiredzi and guruuswa kwakanga kusina masvikiro here

  2. ᴍʏ Fʀɪᴇɴᴅ’s sᴛᴇᴘ-sɪsᴛᴇʀ ᴍᴀᴋᴇs $82 ʜᴏᴜʀʟʏ ᴏɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴜᴛᴇʀ . Sʜᴇ ʜᴀs ʙᴇᴇɴ ᴡɪᴛʜᴏᴜᴛ ᴡᴏʀᴋ ғᴏʀ 7 ᴍᴏɴᴛʜs ʙᴜᴛ ʟᴀsᴛ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜ ʜᴇʀ ᴘᴀʏ ᴡᴀs $14747 ᴊᴜsᴛ ᴡᴏʀᴋɪɴɢ ᴏɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴜᴛᴇʀ ғᴏʀ ᴀ ғᴇᴡ ʜᴏᴜʀs. ʏᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴ ᴄʜᴇᴄᴋ ʜᴇʀᴇ……….


  3. From the producer/director of Lovers in Time:

    Blessing’s apology makes a dreadful viewing. His play which I had the privilege of directing and producing for HIFA 2014 as a matter of fact DOES not present the spirits in a bad light. It presents them in a superbly good light as the heroes of Zimbabwe’s liberation. The play though challenges the notion that one must not question history and its presentation – particularly the most contemporary history. It also interrogates the notions of embodiment, forgiveness, sufering, love and trauma.

    Kaguvi is NOT transexual. Nobody gets hanged in the play – that is the point.

    Just repeating nonsensical and incorrect statements is just deeply unfortunate.

    Blessing’s play is a brilliant piece of work for which he should be praised and, using his words from the play, he will be undoubtedly ‘in the fullness of time’. He is a pioneer. That he was intimidated by this prank to apologise is shameful – not to him but to the pranksters and the context in which this has taken place and was even possible.

    Hungwe’s is a groundbreaking piece of work and it does open a dialogue, even if temporarily some conservative voices, who focus on hate and not reconcilaition, have chosen to completely ignore what the play is actually about, namely how to deal with pain and history.


    Agnieszka Piotrowska

Comments are closed.