Chirisa in Hollywood’s Women of the Movement series

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BY FREEMAN MAKOPA

UNITED STATES-BASED Zimbabwean actor Arnold Tongai Chirisa continues to dominate the Hollywood film industry, having been roped into the forthcoming limited series Women of the Movement scheduled to premiere on American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) during the 2021 television season.

Women of the Movement is an American six-episode historical drama limited television series inspired by the book Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement by Devery Anderson.

Famed for his role as Detective Trevor Davies in the once popular local soapie Studio 263, Chirisa, who joins the series as Medgar Evers, took to social media site Instagram to announce the development.

“Truly excited for this one! #womenofthemoment#season1,” he posted.

Chirisa’s statement was followed by a series of congratulatory messages from people across the spectrum, among them fellow actors.

In the series, Chirisa links up with veteran actors of the recurring cast that include creator-writer Marissa Jo Cerar and a production team that includes popular singers Jay-Z, Will Smith and Aaron Kaplan.

Also in the cast with Chirisa are Leslie Silva as Ruby Hurley, Chris Butler as Rayfield Mooty, Alex Désert as Dr Howard, Miles Fowler as Simeon Booker, Jason Turner as James Hicks and Daniel Abeles as Chet Packton.

The series is set in 1955 and centres on Mamie Till-Mobley (Adrienne Warren), who risks her life to find justice after her son Emmett (Cedric Joe) is brutally murdered in the Jim Crow South.

Unwilling to let Emmett’s murder disappear from the headlines, Mamie chooses to take her pain to the world stage, emerging as an activist for justice and igniting the civil rights movement as they are known today.

After Studio 263 and Tanyaradzwa, Chirisa made a break into the South African market, starting with a KFC commercial and featuring in more commercials before being roped into Leon Schuster’s Mr Bones 2: Back from the Past, and then moving to his current base in the US, after landing a role on popular film Crusoe.

Afterwards, Chirisa featured in a series of productions such as The Jim Gaffigan Show, American Horror Story, Hawaii 5-0, The Guest List, Another Life and Palm Springs.

Despite the local movie industry failing short of international standards mainly due to the country’s economic situation, many actors such as Sibongile Mlambo, Rick Cosnett, Danai Gurira, Chipo Chung and Leroy Gopal have stood their ground in foreign lands.

  • Follow Freeman on Twitter @freemanmakopa