‘Vimbai’ revives romance with local film

IN the early 2000s, Anne Nhira was probably one of the most popular actors in the country, thanks to her role in Studio 263, the leading soapie of that era.

After leaving the production, she vanished from the film and television scene only to resurface about a decade later south of the Limpopo where she featured on a number of productions including Mzansi Magic’s “Zabalaza”. In 2014, she founded Anne Studios International, a company set to elevate local talent in sport, film, music and business, which is supported by the African Talent Development Trust.

The actress is set to rekindle her romance with local film lovers as she features in the movie, “Cook Off”, which is currently being shot in the capital. The movie is centred on a single mom who happens to be a good cook, which leads to her son entering her in a cooking competition where she has to battle it out with professional chefs.

Despite her prowess in the kitchen, the other chefs are not satisfied with the fact that they are battling with an amateur and want to see her off the contest. In the film, Nhira plays one of the judges.

Produced by Joe Njagu and directed by Tom Brickhill, the movie has a star-studded cast including Tehn Diamond, Jessesi Mungoshi, Kudzai Sevenzo, Michael K, Tendaiishe Chitima, Eddie Sandifolo and Jefferson Mserera.

Speaking to The Sunday Mail Society last week, Nhira said she had not disappeared from the film scene as she has been making her contribution in the background.

“I have continuously contributed to the local film industry over the years, I never stopped at any point,” Nhira pointed out.

“I have been lifting the Zimbabwean flag in the film industry in South Africa and beyond. Having done local showbiz, I then chose to go international as a strategic career move and I am happy with that decision as it benefits my country since I have gained great exposure.”

She might have featured in some international productions but her role in this film will be a significant step towards retracing her acting roots. The actress applauded the movie highlighting that it was poised to be a massive success considering the plot and cast.

“This is a great movie with a difference, which features a highly talented cast with some of our best actors and actresses. It is a must watch, a job well done and I definitely look forward to the premiere.”

She added that the local film industry was moving in the right direction as the filmmakers had been making vast improvements in terms of equipment and quality of productions.

“Quality has greatly improved in Zimbabwe, kudos to the producers and directors because we are definitely moving in the right direction. I am quite excited about the future in the local industry and look forward to more productions I am involved in.”

She said the local film scene was heading for exciting times as the industry was poised for growth adding that there was also a need for more TV channels.

“We need more TV channels because what we have been lacking is exposure and we may seem like we are far behind due to the limited platforms to showcase but we do have the talent.”

Besides acting, Nhira also runs a marketing and branding company called Masuwo Trading and she is also part of the Zimbabwe Business and Arts Hub (ZIBAH), which is a business and arts network.

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