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Byo turns out for locally-produced movies

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FANS turned out massively and some even sat on the floor at the Bulawayo premiere of The Bulawayo Show at Rainbow Cinema 1 this past week.

My friend uMdawini, a marketing man, was quite chuffed by this brilliant movie and waxed lyrical about how the movie producers could milk the franchise by developing it to be more national in outlook.

The audiences lapped up the jokes by the characters in the animated movie. I understood the Ndebele parts of the dialogue. I also got the tribal jibes in the jokes.

But the jokes and comedic timing were from an artistic perspective, on point. Ingwe Studio’s “product placement” was a tad bit too much, however. Mdawini was also right to point out however, that “they should have left us wanting more”.

He was referring to the film’s length at over two hours. His idea was: “leave them wanting more”. I have to agree. It is a showbiz rule to help you snag another date with the girl. Go on guys, edit the movie.

Still, the movie is a game changer and all considered, Bruce Lunga and Ingwe studios are onto something very bankable with this movie. I understand that the Bicycle Thief also got a size-able audience and was well received at the Bulawayo Theatre venue on the same night.

Are we headed for boom times in our film industry? That is everyone’s burning hope. The distribution challenge is the one that remains for the filmmakers to grapple with.

Sungura king’s daughter weds, Culture Beat applauds the King of Sungura Aleck Macheso for supporting his daughter’s wedding and Tuku for the camaraderie in playing at the gig this past week. Alas, PHD Ministries pastor Prophet Walter Magaya officiated Macheso daughter’s wedding in gangster style hoodie and slippers! I saw the pictures and was incredulous.

I marvelled at our superstar’s sense of occasion. As a preacher, he is very aware of the concept of message. What surely was he playing at? That he is a simple humble man? Reasoning from cause to effect, I will surmise that he intend to steal the show and hog the headlines by this very inappropriate dress code.

I advise the pastor to read the book of Ecclesiastes regarding seasons and the synoptic gospels more diligently. Prophet, what dost thou?Let’s use the Bible as a frame of reference now.

There is a parable of the wedding banquet therein (check Matthew 22:1-14) where the Lord Jesus narrates the story of a king who threw a wedding feast for his son and sent out invites.

One wretched fellow decided to attend the occasion, but without the proper attire on. The king spotted him and ordered him cast out into utter darkness. His crime was the apparent failure to honour the occasion through appropriate dress.

Though this parabolic tale is didactic, it speaks to the importance of certain social graces, mores and values. For example, a properly cultured umkhwenyana in Matabeleland will not visit his parents-in-law dressed in a t-shirt and skinny jeans. A jacket will do just fine! You may say I am picking on the prophet, but I am not alone.

I was at a hair saloon and I witnessed a conversation by those who feel that the self- styled prophet was out of line. But here is a brother whose “acts” tend to court controversy. The Bev fiasco is a case in point.

Heaven help us all ! Speaking of daughters, I will this week share with you another excerpt from another local paper a few days ago: “a four year old girl from Bulilima district was raped after her mother fled from a man who wanted to rape her leaving her behind.

The infant’s mother was attacked by a neighbour, Butholezwe Ndebele (31) while she was alone with her daughter in her hut. In a bid to save herself from being raped by Ndebele, she ran away in the middle of the night, leaving her daughter at the mercy of the rapist who then raped her until she fainted.”

What kind of society produces this kind of beast that devours children? What culture, what psyche? Rather than hog headlines for hoarding celebrities, I wish the churches would abandon dirty power politics, grasping for material wealth and embark on serious evangelism efforts to proselytise us wretched sinners and exorcise the demons that lade our souls!

Remembering all heroes as we remember the liberation war heroes at this time, I urge parents to lend unreserved support to teachers as they impart knowledge to our children. So be circumspect: Do not frustrate your child’s teacher! They can ruin your child or mould him or her.

They do spend a lot of time with our kids every day don’t they? I know that as a child I could be a little moron. Oh but the fan belt brought me back to shore! In law we say they are: bona pater familias ie in the place of parents. Teachers are the hands that rock society’s cradle and they rule the world like it or not.

As a society must reward and affirm our teachers. Personally, I place teachers right up there with the titans. I notice a disturbing trend in recent times wherein the teaching profession has been frowned upon. The reason is mainly down to the lowly pay.

But what kind of a culture is it that disdains its teachers? It is a culture teetering dangerously on the brink of ignorance.

Teachers rock! My love affair with words was nurtured in primary school. We spent mandatory hour-long periods weekly in the school library as part of our learning experience.

My township had a library too; and rather than join the local gangs, it was either reading or strumming the guitar my late brother brought for me from a universities games trip to Bulgaria. I went through classics such as Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, Oliver Twist and others.

I also read Enid Blyton’s the Secret Seven private investigators series, The Hardy Boys series, Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Later, I read up on Thomas Hardy, Shakespeare, Emmanuel Ribeiro, Charles Mungoshi, Ngugi wa,Thiongo’s The River Between and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart to name a few.

These books, together with a certain little celebrated group in our society also laid a foundation for this nation. Without my teachers I would be nothing. My point is this: as a society, we must celebrate our heroes. But we must not be limited to political ones much as one of the women who raised me was a freedom fighter.

That is why I concur with the Robert Mugabe recent comments regarding teachers and the need to improve their lot. They are real heroes. Even now, I seek out teachers, albeit new ones and I sit humbly at their feet. Reflection: Every week when I sit down to prepare this column.

I also take into account the fact that there are those that follow the column. Indeed, I meet with some of you who give me feedback.

I hope you never walk away feeling suckered when you are done reading the column. I owe it to my teachers to hold up the light in my corner.

In my essays I recall Virginia Chambati my form three teacher commenting that I must not use words simply because they sound good, that every word must earn its keep in prose. The advice has helped. At least I hope it does.

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