Actors retrace roots to rebranded Viva Wenera

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BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
RENOWNED filmmaker and executive producer of local drama series Viva Wenera (formerly Wenera) Eddie “Nzou” Ndhlovu says he holds no grudges against actors and has accepted back into the fold old cast members of the rebranded production.

A number of actors left the then Wenera accusing Ndhlovu of lacking professionalism in dealing with their welfare.

Those, who have since retraced their roots include Fatima Makunganya who plays the character Tanya, Theophilus Marufu known as Detective Simbi and Muriel Tavaziva affectionately known as Chiwoniso, who is Boss T1’s sister.

Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style yesterday, Ndhlovu said he was happy that Viva Wenera, that airs every Monday on national television ZBCTV, was gaining momentum with the plots and characters getting fascinating.

“During our two-year break from television, some of the old actors left for other shows or started their own, but now that we are back and building the momentum, some of our old cast are finding their way back home to retain their characters,” he said.

“As we are halfway through the new season, the new cast is blending well. The old cast is leading the pack as usual with its previous experience of being on Wenera before we rebranded to Viva Wenera.”

Ndhlovu said Viva Wenera was moulded and shaped to tell the unmodified and not just the ordinary Zimbabwean story, but Africa at large.

Viva Wenera is set against the backdrop of the diamond, transport and tourism industries including the promotion of anti-poaching activities. Anticipation, deception and tension are the order of the day as the plots unfold and the love for money and cosy living influences relationships between rivals and family members,” he said.

“Focusing on the Musodza, Mabhena and Tembo families where jealousy, disloyalty and blackmail is their way of life supported by the Banda and Humba families, this makes Viva Wenera one of the powerful mouthpieces of our day-to-day life within the society.”

Ndhlovu said Viva Wenera was attracting corporates which had indicated their willingness to be part of the brand.

“As we move to Season 2 towards Season 3, we are making Viva Wenera even more interesting than its old times with corporates showing interest in coming on board to join the brand as at Viva Wenera we do not produce actors, but brands,” he said.

He said Viva Wenera’s Season 1 was based on the first 21 days of the COVID-19-induced lockdown.

“In Season 1 we are unveiling new characters, the old cast taking new twists with their old plots and above all Season 1 is moved by a well-crafted ensemble cast,” he said.

“Mai Musodza comes back to reclaim Wenera Diamonds from her son T1, who has been running the company well.  T1 will fight his mother to the tee and threatening to take each other’s life has become a typical peril.”

He added: “Kedha has joined a group of poachers on the other end Tanya is pregnant with his child. Tete Musodza is trying by all means to influence Tanya to terminate the pregnancy because Kedha is seen as a crook.”

“Sofia, who was Bongani’s wife, is also part of the poachers while she is being used to fish out information by the Parks Rangers special division led by Major Gora, while the Mabhena family, which is Ndebele speaking has its fair share of family issues.

“Mabhena has taken back his old girlfriend who happens to be Mai Musodza and they have a son together named Mambo, who is a doctor. Mabhena’s other children are against this and in the midst of the squabbles, Mabhena is hospitalised because he is suffering from a cancer.”

“Mabhena sold a portion of his game park to the Tembo family which sold its buses without the mother’s consent so that it is able to raise money to purchase the piece of land. All the plots will reach climax in Season 13 where it exposes bad deeds, secrets and will be the closing  part of the season leaving the audience at a cliffhanger.”

Ndhlovu said since the premiere of the soap on ZBCTV in July 2015, he had learnt to embrace negativity by taking important things from it and turn them into positive energy.

“The road has not been that smooth, we had good times, bad times, fights and I got to a point where I wanted to give up on the project not once, not twice, but over four times,” he said.

“The team I work with keeps me going as it has dedicated its lives to this dream from day one. Today the programme has grown and has become part of people’s lives and it is growing beyond Zimbabwe.”

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