Karateka spreads wings to acting

BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO

RENOWNED and multi-award-winning karateka sensei Wilfred “Ninja” Mashaya  has spread his wings to acting as he is set to feature in a forthcoming anti-crime film titled Vicious Cycle set for virtual premiere on PlayAfrika TV in August.

In the film, Mashaya plays the character Muller, the right hand man to the main actor HOD played by the film’s scriptwriter Stephen Mutsago.

The film revolves around how a police officer HOD strategically investigates a series of highly-complicated cases which culminate in the deserved apprehension of a notorious criminal organisation called DETROIT.

Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style, Mashaya said he was inspired by the late legendary Chinese-American Bruce Lee, who was both a martial artist and actor since childhood.

“Mingling with American martial artist and Hollywood superstar Cynthia Rothrock in Venice, Italy, in 2018, and the American kickboxing World champion actor Don “Dragon” Wilson, who is also an actor made me keep on dreaming about starring in an action film,” he said.

“It is a dream come true. I am very happy that the Almighty has helped me achieve my childhood dream. I used to say that if I grow up, I want to follow the footsteps of this hero (Bruce Lee) both in martial arts and acting.”

Mashaya said he was inspired by fellow karatekas to become an actor and martial artist.

“Travelling around the world representing our nation, winning awards and accolades in countries such as Russia, Spain, South Africa, Italy and Montenegro, I met colleagues who encouraged me to join acting and showcase my martial arts skills,” he said.

“I met Hollywood superstar Cynthia Rothrock and Ipman 3 actor Simon Kook in Venice, Italy, in 2018 when I was inducted into the Martial Heroes Hall of Fame. In Barcelona, Spain, I met American kickboxing champion Don “Dragon” Wilson in 2017.”

The film’s director Iginitious “Igi” Matope described Mashaya as a natural actor who has what it takes to be a great film star.

“Mashaya brings a lot of dedication and passion to the art of acting. His composure, genuine expression of emotions and delivery caught my attention during the auditions. He is one actor I would love to see featured in more movies preferably in a leading role,” he said.

“By virtue of being a decorated martial artist worldwide, we found Mashaya the best candidate for the role of Muller. We needed someone with physique who would become our protagonist’s muscle and confidante.”

The film also features Zimbabwe Republic Police stuntmen Felix Machingambi, Talent Manguruwe and Mauridy Palume as villains. Others starring are Phyllis Masukume, Prosper Sithole, Pretty Mutsago and Tapiwa Marahwa.

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