Bizure revisits Muwengwa scenes on Studio 263
By Godwin Muzari
Chipo Bizure got a role in Studio 263 by coincidence. Although she later became one of the most popular faces of the yesteryear soap for her role as Eve, Chipo had never considered acting before.
Her passion was modelling and she was among girls auditioning for Miss Teen in Harare in 2003 when a friend told her that Studio 263 producers were looking for models to feature in a scene about Miss Harare pageant.
As she pursued the love of her heart, she took part in the modelling episode and thought it would end with the cameo appearance in the soap.
But it was a career-changing juncture for Chipo. She did well in the episode and makers of Studio 263 saw something in her that she had not noticed on her own. They saw an actress and created a role for her. That was the beginning of her journey to fame.
“They said I was good and they wanted to give me a role. There was no vacancy, but they had to create a role for me. They said I had to be part of the script and asked me what name I would prefer to use on set. Everything was happening so fast and I did not have time to think much about it. I chose my middle name — Evah — and it was shortened to Eve for the cast,” she recalled yesterday.
“When I went home and told my mother, she was against it and I had a hard time to convince her. I was still in Form Four and she felt acting would disturb my studies. When she eventually gave me a chance that is when I joined Studio 263 as Eve.”
The character was developed from the Miss Harare episode and her story on screen began when Dread Welly (Kizito Mawoko) admired her at the pageant and they fell in love.
As their love began to blossom, Eve met Muwengwa (played by the late Nevernay Chinyanga) and the later used his wealth to lure the girl into an affair.
Muwengwa was married, but was also in an affair with Beverly and Eve became the fourth person in the love circle.
Lured by Muwengwa’s money and looking for true love in Dread Welly, Eve found herself in a dangerous love circle.
She ended spending most of her time with Muwengwa who showered her with many gifts and her lifestyle changed. She became jealous of Beverly and Mai Muwengwa and sought to snatch the man from her competitors through various ways including detaining him at her house and using love portions.
The story developed in an exciting way as Eve gradually became the most powerful of the three women and proved she could control Muwengwa.
Her good acting skills and ways of interacting with other members of the cast made her popular and people enjoyed her scenes with Muwengwa. Chipo became a celebrity overnight as Studio 263 helped her kick-start an acting career she had never anticipated.
“I was close to Nevernay even off the screen. The way he acted made our scenes popular. Sometimes I was not comfortable with the way he caressed me, but our directors loved it. They said it made the scenes real and I should always comply.
“Muwengwa would joke and say he was blessed to be given a chance to caress such a gorgeous girl on set because he would never get such a chance in real life.
“I remember there was a scene when I fell off the bed trying to run away from him. I was actually trying to avoid him in reality and the fall was not rehearsed. It just happened and the directors let it pass. When people saw it on TV, they said I was taking acting too far because it was a hard fall. I did not tell them that I actually wanted to get off the scene because Muwengwa was making an exaggerated advance.
“I later got used to him and we would laugh about those early scenes. I told other cast members that it was my first time to act and such scenes made the job harder for me.
“I will never forget the day Muwengwa was asked to kiss me. I initially refused and Stephen Chigorimbo who was one of the directors of the day told me that I would lose my role if I disobeyed the script. I forced myself to kiss him and he held me so tight and the kiss was too long. I actually pushed him away and the directors also let the scene go through. People thought pushing him away was part of the script, but it was a real push.”
Such were the scenes that Chipo can now recall and joke about because she has amassed more experience in acting and knows how to handle different scenes.
When she left Studio 263, Chipo went into theatre. She has featured in a number of plays at Theatre in the Park. She has had roles in plays like “Alone But Together”, “Waiting for Constitution”, “What they said, What they got”, “Rituals”, “Heal the Wounds” and “Harvest of Thorns”.
Her only other film appearance besides Studio 263 was in a Rooftop Promotions production titled “Sinners?” that is about female rapists.
Chipo says she now enjoys stage plays.
“I adore my days at Studio 263 but I have also developed a soft spot for theatre. I have worked with talented theatre practitioners and I enjoy being on stage.
“Although the stage challenges you to work harder because of the live audience, I have fallen in love with the genre and I will keep pursuing it. I really enjoyed the way we staged Shimmer Chinodya’s ‘Harvest of Thorns’ at Theatre in the Park last week. I want to continue enjoying such experiences.”
Chipo says she now enjoys the support she gets from her mother and her 12-year-old daughter.
“I remind my mother how she was against acting and we laugh about it. I became a celebrity at school in those first days at Studio 263 and she was afraid I would become big-headed. However, she still cherishes how I financially assisted her to put final touches to her house in Dzivaresekwa while I was completing my Form Four.
“We were getting paid well for acting those days and that is why I completely dropped modelling to become an actress.” The Herald