Veteran actresses walk down memory lane

By Colette Musanyera

The local arts industry is blessed with various screen idols who have a way of keeping drama enthusiasts glued to their screens with their flawless acting abilities.  

As the nation continues to celebrate women’s month, the ZBC News team tracked down Susan Chenjerai, popularly known as Mai Rwizi in the popular Mukadota drama series and Patience Musa another revered actress.  

The name Mai Rwizi is synonymous with comedy and laughter and despite her exit from the acting industry 37 years ago, she remains a legend in the arts industry.

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

“I was discovered by Mukadota after she heard me singing. We then started coming up with scripts for the Mukadota series, which marked the beginning of my acting journey. My husband was against the idea of me being an actress and in July 1984 I received a calling from God which resulted in me quitting acting,” Susan recalls.

The 81-year-old actress’ acting prowess earned her the Zimbabwe Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award, The Silver Jubilee Award and recently, the NAMA Legend Award.

Not to be outdone is Patience Musa affectionately known as Mai Jilimba or Mai Meki from her roles in the local drama series like Maoko Matema, Kurauone, Chihwerure and Maimbodei.

The queen of make belief has perfected the art of portraying the role of a wicked person and so good is her execution that some perceive her to be that evil.

Says Musa: “I am humbled by the support that I get from Zimbabweans. I make it believable because that is what acting should be like. I believe that is why people can’t ignore my acting.”

Musa, who ventured into the acting industry over three decades ago, has earned a moniker Mai Azuka after a Nigerian veteran actress who is also famed for being the face of vile.  

Her acting prowess has also attracted the attention of musicians such as Jah Prayzah who has enlisted her services in his music videos.