ZIMBABWEANS based in neighbouring South Africa have released a short film portraying the sweltering life which most Zimbabweans working in the neighbouring country are subjected to.
When the country’s economy crumbled in 2008, unemployment rates skyrocketed forcing numerous Zimbabweans to migrate to South Africa in search of menial jobs.
Most of them have blue-collar jobs forcing them to live in squalid conditions where they share a single room in threes to fives due to high rentals which most of them fail to pay due to their measly wages.
The short film Madlela: Skhobokhobo Power — written by Mothusi Bashimane Ndlovu and directed by Elvis Phiri in collaboration with Daniel Danny and Michael Linda Mkhwananzi — tells a vivid story about the hard life of most Zimbabweans residing in South Africa.
Ndlovu plays the role of a comic character Madlela from Nkayi in Matabeleland North who goes to Johannesburg, makes a shock visit to his nephew Mazinyane who struggles to make ends meet as a builder.
Although he denounces the squalid conditions which his nephew resides in, Madlela multiplies woes to his lowly-living nephew by refusing to do menial jobs claiming he deserves an “office job” although he is not qualified for any white-collar job.
He causes an altercation over his terms of stay in the flat and causes a sour relationship between his nephew and the landlady — a Zimbabwean — who immediately throws them out of the flat.
Madlela who seems to have an insatiable appetite for wise waters is lured by Themba — a scoundrel who survives by robbery — to engage in the “bloody” business, but his cowardice helps him to escape during one of the robbery schemes thereby exposing his accomplice Themba.
At the apex of the film, enraged Themba manhandles Madlela for foiling the robbery scheme.
The film, it seems, is just a tip of the iceberg about the life which most Zimbabweans based in South Africa are subjected to.
Ndlovu, producer of the film, said: “This is the first step in our quest to extend the scope of Shilolo in telling our stories through song, drama, poetry and film.”