Melgin Tafirenyika – the relentless filmmaker
Melgin Tafirenyika is a multiple international award winner, director, actor, producer, model and writer. He did modeling at Model Management International and studied Acting in South Africa. His modeling work saw him working with prominent brands across Africa such as MTN, VISA, DSTV, ECONET and many others.
Melgin also featured in local, regional and international films that include The Widow, Generations, Easy Money and Fong Kong Pastor. He has written over 20 films and directed over 25 movies in Zimbabwe and South Africa. At the times of writing 10 of Melgin’s films are currently shown on Zambezi Magic channel 162 on DSTV.
Melgin is the director and founder of Light Image Productions.
How did you get started in the movies business?
It has always been my passion to act since l was 6 years old but no one believed in my passion since l was a kid. l kept telling my mother for 8 years that l wanted to act. She introduced me to the producer of Mawoko Matema, ltai Kakuwe. l made my first appearance on Maimbodei – a Ztv drama. In 2006 l started modeling at Model Management International. In 2008 I moved to South Africa to study Drama at the South African State Theatre. In 2010 while in South Africa, l had an idea of my first film – I Will Marry Myself. I became a writer and became a director by default.
You have made many films in a short period of time. How do you manage doing so much when others are facing challenges?
Well sometimes I don’t even know how l will do it. l believe vision and passion is not enough. When l was in South Africa l would push knowing that I was at a disadvantage. l would go for paying and non paying jobs. l needed experience more than money whilst a lot of people need money more than experience. l guess that was the difference.
What are the titles you have produced as Light Image Productions?
I’ve written directed and produced films that includes I Will Marry Myself (2012), Deep Thought (2013), Love Is Not Enough Short Film (2014), Sour Milk (2015), Muchero Wemusango (2015), Flowers Of Dry Seasons (2016), 30 February (2016), Butterfly (2016), The Pod (2016), Shortlist( 2017), Chihombiro (2018), 206 Bones, Love Is Not Enough (2018), Flowers Of Dry Thorns (2018), 5th Anniversary, I Married My Mother (2019), Can Of Worms (2019), Chapungu (2019), Are We Strangers (2019), The Creation (2019) and A New World (2020)
In your experience what do you think Zimbabwean productions lack for them to compete with other regional and international film products?
We lack a lot of things in Zimbabwe. Funding is the major setback followed by experience. Lastly there are no distribution platforms causing nightmares for artist to make a living through their talents.
Explain what it is like making a zero budget film?
It’s not a game. It is very stressful and exhausting. You end up compromising on the budget and that budget will affect production value resulting in half baked cakes.
You have rubbed shoulders with industry greats on the global arena. Who are the great names you are proud to have met?
I was happy to meet Simi the Nigerian singer, Charles Dance from Game of Thrones, Jack Mabaso of Generations and Getmore Sithole from Blood and Water.
If people want to watch Light Image Productions, how do they access your content, online and offline?
Currently our films can be accessed through Zambezi Magic channel 162 on DSTV and soon you will see more Light Image Productions on lginiteFlix.
lginiteflix is a VOD channel that plays Zimbabwean movies online. Chihombiro will be the first LIP film on lginiteflix.
What message do you want to leave our readers?
I urge readers to support local films for the industry to grow.