Gringo creator bemoans lack of funding

BY FREEMAN MAKOPA

RENOWNED film writer and producer of the popular Gringo cartoon and television character, Enock Chihombori, yesterday said he was frustrated by the lack of funding which he said was the cancer eating away the industry.

The Botswana-based Chihombori, told NewsDay Life & Style that the absence of funding needed to be addressed to resuscitate the industry.

“I think the first thing that needs to happen is to identify real and serious professionals in the industry and somehow have funds injected to create tangible projects, which can compete internationally in terms of quality and substance,” he said.

He said Zimbabwe had huge potential in light of past successful projects, including Neria, More Time and Yellow Card.

He said producers were working under very difficult circumstances so they could not be blamed for many of the substandard
projects.

“Blame cannot be put on practitioners who are deemed to be producing substandard work because they are possibly doing the
best they can under the worst of conditions,” he said.

“In hard times, films are easily catagorised as unnecessary luxury commodities and hence the numbers willing to spend
their hard-earned money on films dwindle.”

Chihombori said there was also need to revamp the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation so that more focus is placed on
quality local content.

“I don’t know much about the current programming schedules or the quality of local dramas being produced, but I know
Zimbabweans never used to rely on outside products to replace local content as feature attractions on prime-time
television. Our local broadcaster needs to invest more on quality local content, with no overdose of programmes with
obvious political connotations and undertones,” he said.

The award-winning creative, who is currently working at a mine in Botswana, said the lack of independent broadcasters has
greatly affected the film industry as there was lack of competition.

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