BY WINSTONE ANTONIO/ HILDA TADYANEHONDO
ZIMBABWE-BORN and trained teacher Marshall Dzikiti is living his childhood dream in Botswana where he has featured in the movie titled The Sword of Mochudi.
The project, which started as The Dow Academy media club where Dzikiti teaches, has gained international recognition after being nominated for the Golden Short Films Awards in Italy.
The Sword of Mochudi‘s sequel titled Birth of a Giant, premieres today at the Acacia Mall New Capitol Cinemas in Gaborone, Botswana.
The movie is another successful collaboration between Ian P Universal and The Dow Academy.
The synopsis of Birth of a Giant introduces the Malachites from planet Malach, who seek refuge on earth and pass on their powers to the newly-born child of Matsieng.
It is told as a legend that Matsieng was a great giant who once lived in the belly of the earth and later came to the surface, as witnessed by the heritage site of giant footprints in Mochudi. The giant and his first human child become the great ancestors of the Warrior King and his daughter Princess Matsieng.
NewsDay Weekender caught up with Dzikiti from his Botswana base, where he expressed excitement at being part of the history-making production.
“My name is Marshall Dzikiti. I am a teacher at The Dow Academy in Botswana. I love music, sport and movies.”
Getting a role in The Sword of Mochudi
“It all started as a school media club project at The Dow Academy, where we teach kids how to operate media equipment and acting. The academy started a technology series programme for children in 2020 and one of them is the media club which is run by our director Ian Venganai of Ian P Universal.
“I volunteered to be part of the staff running the club. In one of the lessons, children were asked to use their imagination and come up with a character who had super powers.
“One of the students chose to be a Samurai princess with a sword that has mystical powers. This is how The Sword Of Mochudi was born. In the script, there was need for a father to the princess and the role was given to me.”
“I play the role of the Warrior King in the movie. This is a fulfilment of my childhood dream. I had a passion for the entertainment industry.
“I have been involved in theatre and dramas and always had an interest in media and production. So, it came natural to me because I had practiced acting. I did not have any problems, but took it as a chance to venture into filmmaking.”
“I did not go to an acting school, but I have been teaching children how to act during school concerts. I have also learnt acting from watching movies.”
“The children I taught are my inspiration. They have showed that they possess talent which has not been shown to the world. It also gave me an opportunity to reflect on my abilities in acting and gave me the confidence that I can actually perform on a big screen.
“When I perform, I feel that I am myself, without fear or doubt, but full of courage and satisfaction in what I am doing. This is what drove me into acting.
“This is what I have always wanted that one day, they can be on television and what they are doing can be seen by the public rather than a small audience. Moreover, make them believe in themselves that they can come up with something real and acceptable and this has come true.”
“I feel honoured to be part of a production that has already gained international recognition by being nominated at The Golden Short Films Festival in Italy. This shows much appreciation for what we are trying to do with our children at The Dow Academy and it is also an inspiration to other children in the world that anything is possible.
“I also thank the community and the media in Zimbabwe, especially Heart&Soul and NewsDay. We also have an amazing media facilitator Ian P Universal who makes our dreams come true.”
Other featured productions
“I am still new in the world of acting and The Sword Of Mochudi franchise is the only big screen production I have featured in so far. Gladly it has already travelled internationally.
“I discovered that anything is possible in life. I am a teacher at The Dow Academy and at another level I am now into acting which means I am now known across the world.”
“My advice to aspiring actors is to never give up on their dreams. Just as Steve Harvey once said, if it is the one thing you do at your utmost best with the least amount of effort, then it is your gift. Work on it. Polish it. Pursue it and you will always win in the end.”
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