Telling the story of Mbuya Nehanda through film

By Colette Musanyera

The story of First Chimurenga heroine, Mbuya Nehanda, has been told several times through poetry, song and literature but now, the spirit medium has been immortalised in a new film.

The film, which chronicles the events of the first Chimurenga/Umvukela, is centred on Mbuya Nehanda, a spirit medium who was one of the leaders of the first Chimurenga in resistance to colonial occupation.

Her contribution, trial and execution are depicted in the Story of Nehanda, told by Zimbabweans from a Zimbabwean perspective.

Film writer Special Matarirano talks of the importance of the film to the Zimbabwean narrative.

“Many people do not know about the history of Zimbabwe, the struggles that were fought long back that even shape our future. Mbuya nehanda is one of the local spirit mediums who played a crucial role in the initial fight against white settler colonialism and we strive to let people know what transpired that period through this film.”

The film, which was written by Special Matarirano and Sydney Taivavashe, was produced as a collaborative effort between Ngano Studios, Township Pictures and Nelned Pictures.

It stars Eunice Tava, Tariro Washe, John Dennison, Larry Greeff, Khetani Michael Banda, Rodney Bowen, Andrew John Goddad, Shona Mushayi and Daniel Tapera.

The Story of Nehanda which premiered on the 18th of this month, is set to be aired this Sunday on ZBC TV at 9pm.