Zimbabwe: Eunice Tava’s long acting journey

People got to know Eunice Tava after you participated in Jah Prayzah’s Nyeredzi video last week. Why weren’t you so well known with such a large portfolio of actors?

Nhoroondo is a four part story told by musician Jah Prayzah from his latest offering Gwara.

It all started with the release of visuals for the song Nyeredzi last Tuesday, the fourth song from the 16-track album Gwara, followed by Chimwe Nechimwe and Ndichiyamwa.

Tomorrow, the fourth video in the Nhoroondo series will be released to conclude the project which attempts to literalize the song’s themes alongside endlessly charming interstitial sequences.

A star cast is featured in Nhoroondo’s foursome, including Tapiwa Mavindidze, who played VJ in the popular soap opera Studio 263, as well as award-winning actress and producer / director Chiratidzochedenga Eunice Chikowore, known as of Eunice Tava (photo) in the circles of actors.

Standard styles Moses Mugugunyeki (MM) met Tava (ET), who spoke about her long career as an actress as well as her philanthropic work through her humanitarian arm Chedenga Foundation.

Below are excerpts from the interview.

ET: The film industry in Zimbabwe has recently been low key when it comes to music. There has been a lack of distribution which has limited us in terms of exposure, but the music is readily available on various platforms and Jah Prayzah is a unique musician whose brand is widely recognized and appreciated for his unique talent and artistic approach. collaborative. so being featured on its platform puts one in the limelight. I want to thank Jah Prayzah for not being selfish with his brand and for remembering the professional players in our industry using his platform to put us in the limelight.

He’s always been an actor himself, he’s been in The Purse and Bhegi Rabvaruka before, so he’s one of us. It is the spirit that is lacking within our sector, to empower and support each other by using all available opportunities. Hats off to Jah Prayzah!

MM: How did you get into the Nhoroondo project?

ET: Jah Prayzah himself chose me after he fell in love with my performance on a shoot we did for a commercial. We were in his native village in Uzumba and after filming he told me he wanted to have me on his album.

I internally hesitated, but I couldn’t tell her that I wasn’t comfortable. I thought I was going to dance and I knew I am not a dancer. I was then called for a meeting and they explained what the project was about and I loved the idea. I cried when they explained the script because it describes some of my real life experiences. We then talked about compensation. I was told about a figure that made me smile and we started.

MM: Who is actually Chiratidzochedenga Eunice Chikowore, aka Eunice Tava?

ET: I was born in Kwekwe and grew up in Mhondoro with my mother’s family. I went to school in Mhondoro and Bulawayo and I am my mother’s only child. Both my parents are late.

MM: Tell us about your artistic background, especially on the actor side?

ET: From Bulawayo I migrated to Harare and joined the arts industry doing community theater as a hobby while working for GM Chemicals. I then joined Rooftop Promotions where I put on plays at the Theater in the Park. I have also worked with Daniel Maposa, Jasen Mphepho, Obrian Mudyiwenyama, Silvanos Mudzvova, Stanley Mambo and Cont Mhlanga who have all shaped my acting career.

I then turned to the cinema so it was a question from time to time I’m on stage, sometimes I’m on set. I then felt that there was a gap in the theater sector, there were no more than four, if not three, female directors in this sector and that is what motivated me to seek opportunities. In 2007, there was a call for young directors, organized by the British Council, and I applied. I had the opportunity to undergo training and thanks to this I presented my first play at the Harare International Arts Festival entitled Election Day, which was written by Chris Mlalazi. It won me a prize in Nama.

Since then, I have been directing plays and playing the role of actor. I have staged over 50 plays here in Zimbabwe and have staged some of my work on international stages in East Africa, Southern Africa and Europe. I made Election Day, Colors of Dreams, Diamonds in Son’s Grave, Narratives from the Dark and Blood Tongue. In movies, I have participated in Studio 263, Subaru D, Salon.Com, Sinners, Mirage, Chipo The Gift series and The Story of Nehanda, to name a few.

MM: What motivated your acting career?

ET: Acting is something that I have always enjoyed since elementary school and I have had the privilege of working with the people I mentioned above in the theater industry who then “us” paid money “with which we could survive. however, it is not something I do full time. I have other jobs in which you could find me.

MM: Apart from playing, what else do you do?

ET: When I’m not on stage, you can find me on the lectern editing certain works. when you are not on this desk, you can look for me in the studios to do voiceovers (commercials). when I’m not there, I’ll be in my office for the Chedenga Foundation, a charity that I founded.

MM: What challenges have you encountered as a woman in the art industry?

ET: A lot of artists mourn male domination, manipulation and stuff, but I had a different challenge. Mine has been the “pull it down” syndrome by other female artists. There are very few women who have supported me compared to female artists preaching the “Be the Sister’s Keeper / Women’s Empowerment Gospel” gospel. I have respect for the few women I will mention.

MM: Tell us about your humanitarian side? What are you doing and how long have you been doing this?

ET: I am the founder of Chedenga Foundation, a charity that helps marginalized children by providing them with basic needs. I have served street children with breakfast and other needs for the past seven years on a self-funded project. I saw two street children that I used to feed die from (I guess) the msombodhiya. They had grown up on the streets and their deaths also made me focus on helping these street children and other less privileged children build a future for themselves and that’s what motivated me. to have “Education And Career Mapping”, which is one of our programs. I had wanted to continue doing this in private, but I had a lot of limits. I then decided to register an organization so that I could reach more children around Zimbabwe.

MM: In the future, what should we expect from you both on the actor and humanitarian side?

ET: From now on, expect to see less on the actor side and more on the directing and production side. I’ve always wanted to direct and there are some well-established filmmakers who have already set the stage for me to be successful.

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