Bulawayo’s first action movie

Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday Life Reporter
WHILE local movie buffs have had to worship action from Hollywood, they will finally get a chance to see their own set the screens ablaze when Veza, an action thriller conceived, shot and filmed in the City of Kings, makes its debut at Ster-kinekor on Saturday.

Produced by Dreamnade films, in association with Rodney Films and AfroJams Studios, Veza is set to introduce Bulawayo to a new batch of action heroes, with Calvin Madula and musician cum actor Lungile Ndlovu playing the leading actors in the film. Other members of the cast include Natasha Dlamini, Nonkanyiso Mabaleka and Percy Shoko.

The groundbreaking film was directed and produced by Dumie Manyathela who was assisted by executive producers, Rodney Mabaleka and Da Kudu, as executive producers, while writer Laura Bonginkosi provided the script with help from Manyathela.

Lungile Ndlovu

The action-packed film follows the lives of a police force in Bulawayo, paying particular focus on the fortunes of ambitious young recruit, Mxolisi Moyo, who is investigating a high-profile case which takes some exciting twists and turns as shocking conspiracies are uncovered.

In an interview with Sunday Life, Laura Bonginkosi said a spirit of collaboration had given birth to the film, as talented creatives came together to make an ambitious big screen production despite a shoestring budget.

“The making of this film required collaboration between talented people who made themselves available and I think this just goes to show the power of collaboration. That is also the main drive behind our marketing.

“We are a little behind due to the time that post-production requires in general but we will definitely be able to revive public interest via network marketing which will entail incorporating public figures, media houses and keen corporates to spread the word.

“We are also using social media to spread the word and we have uploaded our trailers through which we are going to be engaging our audience,” she said.

Despite the makers of the film managing to make magic happen with little in the way of financial backing, Bonginkosi said they hoped that if the flick made a big splash when it hit the big screen, it would entice the corporate world to join the bandwagon.

“We are hoping to the change the African narrative and initiate a dynamic change in African storytelling. The quality, the teamwork, the passion in this film should serve as an inspiration and catalyst to revive the film industry in Bulawayo and Zimbabwe at large.

Calvin Madula

“We are hoping to inspire the corporate world to invest in this film or any other projects that we might have in future.

“As much as we are driven by passion, we need funds and unfortunately the arts industry lacks that financial backing that we need to keep pushing.

“That’s why you find that there are a lot of talented individuals in the country but they rarely get the chance to bring their ideas to life. So, this film was made through the generous collaboration of a lot of people” she said.

Bonginkosi said while all was set for the film’s debut on the screens of the country’s biggest movie house franchise, they were still hoping for more corporate support before the movie’s première.

“Our première is on 27 November at Ster-Kinekor and we want the people of Bulawayo to come out in their numbers to celebrate a visual masterpiece which was shot here in the City of Kings.

“We are so grateful to Ster-Kinekor’s partnership and keen interest in pushing this film. We have also managed to receive notable sponsorship from Maita Private Limited, Alliance Francaise, Gifted Agency, Habakkuk Trust and Comrades as well.

“It’s a proud moment for both cast and crew and we really want to share this moment with everybody. It’s going to be a red-carpet event so everyone has a chance to dress up and experience the fun on what we hope will be a glamorous celebratory night,” she said.

Bonginkosi said they hoped that the première event at Ster-kinekor on Saturday would bring the glitz and glamour that had become synonymous with red carpet events in Bulawayo in recent years.

Bulawayo’s first action movie