Mai Rwizi takes us down memory lane

By Colette Musanyera

Susan Chenjerai popularly known as Mai Rwizi in the popular Mukadota drama series   might have left the small screen 37 years ago but she remains a legend in the arts industry.

Colette Musanyera tracked the award-winning entertainer and filed the following report.

The name Mai Rwizi is synonymous with comedy and laughter but unknown to many, music marked the genesis of her career as an artist.

“I was discovered by Mukadota after he heard me singing. He then asked me to join his band and we released several hits. We then started coming up with scripts for the Mukadota series, which marked the beginning of my acting journey,” says Mai Rwizi.

The yester-year small screen goddess, with a career spanning decades, became an instant hit for role in the popular drama series, Mukadota, where she featured alongside another legend, Safiriyo Madzikatire.

But little did most people know that for her it was short lived.

“My husband was against the idea of me being an actress. I had to meet my responsibilities as a mother, wife, actress and an employee at OK supermarket. In July 1984 I then received a calling from God which resulted in me quitting acting.”

According to the 80-year old actress, back then one could sustain their livelihood through acting.

“Most of my colleagues bought houses and cars through acting. Back then one could earn a living through acting,” she says.

The veteran actress, whose favourite drama of all time is Paraffin, has a message for young actors.

“I enjoy watching Paraffin. He was very talented. The new generation of actors should pull up their socks. They should make their acting believable like it used to be back then.”

Chenjerai, who has five children, 30 grandchildren and 35 great grandchildren, is a recipient of three awards including Zimbabwe Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award, The Silver Jubilee award and NAMA Legend award.

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