MARITAWANA Dhliwayo is a charismatic, cheerful and crazy woman who has always dreamt of starring in a Hollywood movie or television series. She grew up in Harare and attended Chisipite Junior School and then went on to Eaglesvale Secondary School for my secondary education.
Due to her huge passion for acting, she decided to go study a BA degree in Live Performance at AFDA (The South African Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance) in Johannesburg before studying an Honours degree in Theatre Arts at UZ.
She currently star in many productions including the cartoon, PuraziRaSinyoro, an upcoming animation, Patriotic Force, Working Wives (A Web Series),Small House Saga (a television soapy), Justice (television series ZBC production) and works for Magamba TV as a performer.
She also do a few theatre productions here and there and updating my C.V to give more detailed information about the productions she is involved in. Below is her interview with Celebrity magazine:
Why did you choose this career?
I chose acting because it simply makes me happy. It makes me forget about all my personal problems. So when I become someone else or a completely different person, I immediately forget Maritawana and her problems and I am part of a character’s world that does not exist entirely but gives me the freedom to express myself regardless of the fact that the particular character I am playing is not me.
Looking at your career from where you started, what are your accomplishments?
Well so far, I do not think I have accomplished anything as of yet because I believe for a performer and a writer to be able to achieve something, they have to be nominated for a particular award to prove that they have accomplished something. Graduating from Film school was an achievement for me at the time, but it is still not enough. For an artist to have accomplished something in their career, they have to have become internationally recognized or at least won a NAMA. These are my own opinions.
The film industry has been a battlefield especially for women facing all kinds of abuses, what forms of abuse do women face in the industry and how have you managed to fight them?
Women in this industry face verbal, sexual and sometimes physical abuse. As for me, I have not faced any of these forms of abuse myself but I know a few women who have.
However, the problem is that these women do not speak up against the abuse or they do not report the offender probably because they are scared. Therefore, I cannot help them and assist them in reporting if they do not speak up and have proof.
If you could go back in time, let’s say 10 years, what advice would you give yourself?
- Never trust someone you are close to. You do not know what they are capable of doing to you behind your back.
- Have standards and principles as a woman.
- Do it because you love it. Not because you want to fit in or blend into the crowd.
The Zimbabwean film industry is going through a tough time, in your opinion what do you think can be done to alleviate the situation?
Well I will talk for the TV industry first. We cannot move forward in our industry with only one television station. The population is like 17 million. So I suggest, that the BAZ gives private enterprises a chance to start their own television stations which gives producers who are based outside Zimbabwe to also submit their works there. This not only brings in more revenue in the entertainment industry, but it gives Zimbabwean people a voice other than a state owned network with poor working conditions and outdated equipment.
The film industry can improve if the industry had its own television and film awards ceremony instead of being part of the NAMAs so that we can proudly compare ourselves to world-class award ceremonies such as the SAFTAs and the EMMYS. After all, it is not difficult to get reliable sponsors and a good management team to organize such ceremonies.
Casting or Talent agencies also need to be introduced so that actors are not taken advantage of such as working for two months with no pay or getting a role and then there is no contract involved. It is unfair and very unprofessional.
Who are the greatest directors you have worked with, who have a profound work ethic?
Tendai Nyeke (Film and TV producer and MakNorbert (theatre director)
How do you spend your free time?
Reading, shopping, writing, singing and doing short skits for my Instagram.
What advice would you give to fellow filmmakers out there?
Be innovative. Yes, a good artist steals and yes, you have to seek inspiration for your work, but try to be original as much as possible.
Work with contracts and try to pay actors enough money so that you create a good name for yourself in the industry and everyone will want to work with you. Be professional as much as possible.