BY CHELSEA MUSAFARE
Eddie Ndhlovu, executive director of the popular local soap opera Wenera, says the production will be undergoing a re-branding process to Viva Wenera as they target regional and international markets.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style yesterday, Ndhlovu said Viva Wenera would accommodate new actors from different backgrounds to spice up the drama with various languages and culture.
“The drama will be a mixture of new and old cast and our main focus is to give not just new actors a chance to be part and parcel of this programme, but we will be having auditions in different towns so that we have a variety of actors from different backgrounds in terms of language and culture,” he said.
Ndhlovu said their aim was to make the new production better than the previous one, adding that they wanted to be relevant to the contemporary society.
“Our intentions are to include tourism aspects, anti-poaching plots in the new story lines as we want to be relevant with what is happening and moreover keeping and maintaining our identity as a project from Zimbabwe,” he said.
“The quality of the pictures, setting and the direction of the plots will also be different. The aim is to make the new production better in any way we can. We are still in the development stages and soon we will be able to shed light on other major changes.”
He said they had already started engaging stakeholders to partner them as they strive to bring out a more competitive production.
“We do not have timelines for the premiere yet, but will begin from episode one, season one as we have begun appealing to sponsors so that we are able to bring out a more modest programme in terms of quality and a product that will be able to compete with other regional television shows,” he said.
“We were on television since July 2015 up to October 2019 when we took a break from TV to rethink and re-strategise. Wenera was doing well, as it also paved the way for a number of other television dramas, but I personally felt we need to take a different direction if we are to meet regional even international television standards.”
Ndhlovu said the soap opera, which will now be available on online platforms that include Zollywood and TelOne DEOD, will continue to maintain its Zimbabwean identity.