President Robert Mugabe and his family have opened up their homes and lives to top South African television presenter Dali Tambo for his weekly programme, People of the South.
Tambo is the son of the late African National Congress stalwart Oliver Tambo. He jetted into the country on December 18. Accompanied by a 14-member crew, he filmed the documentary from 19 to 21 December . It will be shown on SABC3 next month. Lead cameraman Perseverance Dube said they had access to many areas of the Mugabes lives. They even interviewed Bona and Chatunga.
“We were given access to the places the President holds dear that include his rural home, the Gushungo Farm and the new school that is about to open. I am in awe of the good works the First Family is doing to reach out to the community.”
“Most of the footage comprises the President telling the audience of all the facets of his life: how he was brought up, what made him start his political career, his days in jail and exile, the inspirational people in his life and the principles he upholds as a father and the President of a nation.
“These will be further illustrated visually by intercutting archive footage, photographs and personal memorabilia. The episode will culminate in a celebratory dinner where Dali encourages reminiscing, good humour, and a great sense of occasion.
“We also included detailed separate interviews of the First Lady and two of their children, Bona and Chatunga. We are convinced that we have come up with a riveting piece of work that will set the tone for the anticipated second season of People of the South and will grip the audience from start to finish.”
Speaking after filming the documentary at State House last week, Tambo said Mugabe “is a person of substance” whose appeal is unique and overarching. He said that Mugabe remained iconic despite criticism from his detractors. “No African should doubt that President Mugabe is an icon. He is a good example of an undeniable icon of Africa,” he said.
Tambo said President Mugabe bore a distinct sense of national identity throughout the interview, which is expected to evoke African pride among viewers.
“The aim of People of the South is to interview people of substance who have a unique and overarching appeal to viewers. President Mugabe fits this bill in every sense because his presence creates a strong sense of national identity and evokes a sense of pride in viewers,” said Tambo. (Try telling that to the families of the thousands of victims killed by his regime.)