BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
SOUTH AFRICA-BASED Zimbabwean female producer-turned-actress Kudakwashe Maradzika has defied all odds to clinch a producer role in the drama series Isono which is airing daily on DStv’s BET Africa channel 129.
Popularly known for her role in local movies Tanyaradzwa, The Tunnel and My Story, Maradzika has been making waves in the film industry, collecting awards both locally and internationally.
Maradzika now works for Viacom CBS, which is a global-listed company which owns brands like MTV, MTV Base, Comedy Central and BET, where she has produced content for all these channels as well as work in the content business development space.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style yesterday, Maradzika said the film industry had taught her to be industrious and create opportunities for herself.
“I had taken a back seat from acting for a few years mostly because I made the choice to learn how things work behind the camera so that I can write, produce and direct my own content,” she said.
“The biggest struggle for most actresses is work, so I figured if I create opportunities for myself, the journey would be somewhat easier. I have kept most of my acting to small cameos and roles over the past few years as I cemented my skills as a television producer. So mostly I do advertising campaigns and voice over work for brands.”
Maradzika, who is also into wellness coaching and is known on social media as Hey-Kudisco, said there were a lot of projects she was working on that would be shared with the public at the right time.
She said featuring in Tanyaradzwa helped her understand how the industry works.
“The Tanyaradzwa team was great, but that was my first production at a young age. So I realised I needed to learn more and went to University of Cape Town in South Africa to study Film Media Studies and Performance,” she said.
Maradzika said apart from winning awards on both the local and international arenas, working with inspiring individuals in the media industry was the greatest highlight of her career, adding that she hopes to make films such as Cook Off yearly.
“The award wins and mentions are obviously great, so anything from the National Arts Merit Awards, the African Film Academy Award nomination to the South Africa Film and Television Award for shows I have produced really inspires me,” she said.
“Working backstage at The Global Citizen concert was awesome. At some point, Oprah (Winfrey) and her team walked past our filming station followed by Tyler Perry. You can never get used to that, it was an incredible experience.”
Maradzika reckoned that Zimbabwe had a lot of talent scattered all over the world.
“The incredible Zimbabwean talent both in the country and in the diaspora is astounding. I would like us to continue to build cultural currency in our music and films,” she said.
“Cook Off was great showing that we are more than capable of creating content that travels throughout the continent and the world. I can’t wait for people to see more of our unique Zimbabwean films.”