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University lecturer urges parents to support theatre

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MIDLANDS State University (MSU) head of Film and Theatre Arts Ephraim Vhutuza has urged parents to encourage and support their children to take up theatre arts seriously.

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

Vhutuza was speaking to NewsDay, on the sidelines of the screening of Vhitori Entertainment’s film Kumasowe at the Gweru institution on Monday.

“Theatre has always been there and practised even before, but there are misconceptions that it is for academic failures,” he said.

“Film and Theatre Arts must be taken seriously as it prepares students to be employers rather than employees which is vital in our economy where everyone wants to be employed in an ever shrinking job market.

“People should shun that belief of associating theatre arts with dramas only as there is a lot involved under Theatre arts.”

Local actor-cum-producer Silvanos Mudzvova, through his Vhitori Entertainment has come up with an initiative to assist students studying film and theatre arts at MSU discover their talents.

As part of the initiative, Vhitori Entertainment had a screening at MSU as they seek to cement their relationship with students whom they have offered skills training after graduation.

Mudzova said they seek for a vibrant community theatre movement in the country which can be achieved through unity among film practitioners.

He urged the students to have a different perspective over the theory that suggests the theatre industry in Zimbabwe is not functional.

Mudzvova said their aim is to advocate for the growth of the theatre sector.

After the screening of the film, students bombarded Mudzvova with questions seeking to understand the state of the local film and theatre industry.

Though some were critical there was general appreciation that the film was produced on a $400 budget.

Mudzvova invited writers from across the country to submit five minute long short films that are set to be published late this month.

Mudzvova said they were mainly interested in stories about township life, rural life, farming life and ghetto stories.

“Our intention is to produce about 60 short films and these movies will be broadcast via social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp on a daily basis,” Mudzvova said.

“The story lines can be in English, Chewa, Shona and Ndebele carrying economic, social or political themes. The genres of the movies can be comedy, fiction, nonfiction or real life stories, but relating to Zimbabweans.”

The project is a partnership with the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe who will provide shooting equipment and Zimbabwe Association of Children and Young people.

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