THE much-publicised 80-minute-long film by theatre producer and actor Silvanos Mudzvova titled Kumasowe finally premièred on Wednesday at Book Café after police blocked the initial launch in August.
The film chronicles the battering of several anti–riot police officers who had accompanied Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe executive president Johannes Ndanga to effect a ban on a Johanne Masowe apostolic sect in Budiriro early this year.
The incident has inspired a litany of humour–laden songs and videos with the latest being the film Kumasowe that was produced by Vhitori Entertainment.
Kumasowe is a political satire that exposes how rife corruption is in the police force tackling serious issues of accountability, power abuse and brutality.
The story opens with police officers engaging an official who seeks to regulate the operations of Vapostori.
The junior police officers are taken from a roadblock and are overtaken by their zeal and fail to consider pertinent issues before they engage.
Unknown to them, in the Vapostori camp are ex-convicts that are seeking redemption from spirits of violence, disgruntled vendors and kombi drivers who are trying to get assistance at the church after numerous losses caused by the police, among others.
The film also critically deals with reproductive health in a didactic manner.
Starring in the film is award-winning actress Nyaradzo Nhongonhema (Madzimai Spiwe), Valentine Tapi Madzibaba Isiah, Olivia Chipindu (Officer Chigubu), Eddington Hatitongwe (Officer Chamvari) and Moses Kawara as Officer Kepekepe.
Speaking to NewsDay on the sidelines of the launch, the award-winning Mudzvova said Kumasowe was part of their bigger projects to come.
“We are going to continue showing our creativity by making productions inspired by day-to-day incidents in a way that is both entertaining and educating,” Mudzvova said.
Mudzvova said the film was aimed at raising important issues that are often forgotten whenever people talk about the issue.
“Kumasowe is not just satire, but also tackles serious issues of sexual and reproductive health in a didactic manner. It brings to light the practice by members of the apostolic sect of marrying many wives,” he said.
The actor bemoans the use of “colonial pieces” of legislation such as the Censorship Act by the present government.
“Theatre to me is a way of expressing the will of the people without fear, but some parts of legislation being used stifle artistic creativity,” he said.
Like any other local players in the film industry who are on record that they are working against progress due to lack of support of the sector, Mudzvova said corporates must support the film sector.
“We started this project with a zero budget and normally when you have such a budget, it means you have to sacrifice to get a lot of things done.
“We are appealing for support from relevant authorities to produce about 100 000 copies and engage agents from across the country who will sell the DVD on commission so that at least we make strides towards fighting piracy,” Mudzvova said.
Mudzvova can be described as an artiste with a passion for democracy. In 2007, he made headlines after he was arrested after the launch of his play Final Push describing the arrest having made him realise the importance of theatre in advocating for the respect of human rights.
“I have been arrested on several occasions, but to be honest, detention actually strengthens me in my mission to stand up for human rights and respect for the rule of law in Zimbabwe. Theatre is my passion and I will never fear anything,” Mudzvova said.
Born in 1978 in Gutu, Masvingo, Mudzvova, a graduate of the Central School of Speech and Drama in the United Kingdom, has participated in several theatre productions, including Waiting for the Constitution that was written by Stephen Chifunyise.