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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Hollywood actor connects with his Zimbabwean roots

Story by Tichaona Kurewa

United States-based Zimbabwean actor, Tongai Arnold Chirisa, who was in Victoria Falls this Monday is working on a film that tells the Zimbabwean story with the setting being the country’s tourism capital.

In an interview with ZBC News after visiting the majestic Victoria Falls this Monday, Chirisa shared his vision of producing a film around Boxing Coach Tobias Mupfuti’s journey in setting up the Victoria Falls Boxing Academy.

‘‘We are trying to tell his story that will probably bring hope and joy to the world around and hopefully bring the film world to Victoria Falls. I am here with script writer and director Jessy Rollins and Joe Njagu, who is a film creator from Harare, and we are here on a special assignment trying to see what we can do in terms of bringing an exciting story based on an incredible individual here by the name of Tobias who owns the boxing academy.’’

Chirisa said he is on a drive to market the country’s tourist attractions through film.

‘‘Victoria Falls is a beautiful natural wonder, the vegetation and the wildlife. This will play an intrinsic part in our storytelling. We will capture the beauty of Victoria Falls as a whole; you can’t make this movie without showing the beauty of Victoria Falls. We are trying to champion Zimbabwe film and bring Zimbabweans to the forefront.

“We have been in the backyard for a long time and it’s time for the world to hear our stories. It will be a collaborative effort with internationals to come in and help locals,” Chirisa said.

Mupfuti summed up the purpose and impact of the film, equally excited about the unique project which unites boxing and the arts.

‘‘The whole story is about encouraging some of the kids out there who are facing hardships and also to add value to each other as a community. We want to use boxing as a tool to groom kids and take them out of the streets to give them shelter, training them the healthy life skills, so we are trying to do this film so people learn something.’’

Chirisa is one of the most celebrated Zimbabwean actors having featured in various projects including Leon Schuster’s Mr Bones and AMC horror Mayfair Witches.

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