SHAINA is a movie that tells the Zimbabwean story on hope and resilience, it tells the daily struggles encountered by ordinary people in their day-to-day lives. The movie, bankrolled by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Zimbabwe, is expected to hit the screens again on national television. The production’s spokesperson, Patricia Mabviko, speaks to NewsDay Life & Style …
BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
Produced by the same creative team that brought Inside Story and The Lucky Specials to television screens across Africa, Shaina brings together the best of Zimbabwe’s talent in the likes of Jesesi Mungoshi, Leroy Gopal, Edmore Sandifolo, Marian Kunonga and Charmaine Mujeri alongside a host of refreshing young talent the country is yet to see in Wilmah Munemera, Tinodiwanashe Chitima, Gamu Mukwakwami, Tadiwanashe Marowa and Tarumbidzwa Chirume.
The film also features lead actress Munemera (Shine). Munemera is a young Zimbabwean/South African actress and model who possesses many talents and is working to become a success in the television, film, theatre and modelling industries.
Munemera took part in the National Eisteddfod 2016 and acquired certificates for three modelling categories (casual, runway and formal) and was the singing item winner (jazz category). She then entered again in 2017 and acquired certificates in the three modelling categories.
Shaina tells the story of a group of friends who face life-changing obstacles that mirror day-to-day challenges encountered by ordinary people. Their dreams and aspirations are put to the test and as they fight to overcome their circumstances, they discover that there is power in believing in one’s self and in standing together. It’s a story about friendship, forgiveness and finding real power in girls supporting girls. This captivating drama is a story about something Zimbabweans excel at — resilience — and the ultimate lesson is ingenuity in the face of tough challenges.
The movie prides itself in being one of the few to have a rare combination of a female director in Beautie Masvaure Alt and a female screenplay writer in Wanisai Chingwendere both of whom are Zimbabweans with outstanding experience working at home and abroad.
Shaina is exceptional in the way that it allows us to vividly see the struggles faced by young people in their desire to achieve their goals, which is sometimes further complicated by the demands to survive on a daily basis. The question is really, what do you do in the face of tough challenges? It’s a story of determination, of hope and of resilience which I believe will appeal to all Zimbabweans.” Mabviko said it was exciting to see the opportunity that movies like Shaina were now presenting to Zimbabweans to tell their stories and share experiences.
Locations and players
The film was jointly shot and produced between South Africa and Zimbabwe. We worked closely with the Zimbabwe ministries of Information, Primary and Secondary Education and Health and Child Care in order to co-ordinate filming logistics, writing workshops, and content review sessions throughout the production process.
The choice for us to film part of the film in South Africa is based on the fact that there is a film rebate programme in South Africa that will help defray some of the production costs.
To tell the Zimbabwean story to the world, Shaina seeks to raise the country’s flag through exploring some of the things that happen to various families and how people come up with ways to conquer challenges they face and hence the inclusion of Zimbabwean actors both local and international. We hope to distribute the film to millions across sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. For that reason, we made the decision to film primarily in English, but with Shona and Ndebele phrases included throughout the film.
Due to its rich content and variety of themes which were unpacked in the movie, Shaina has reached a huge audience and the movie has touched people’s lives due to its unique and emotional stance. Like other international Hollywood movies, Shaina has managed to tell the Zimbabwean story using English, Shona and Ndebele languages and for that reason, it has managed to reach out to wider audiences.
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