By Tafadzwa Kachiko | NewsDay |
The late actress Anne Nhira left a void in an unfinished local war series titled Lines of Duty that is scheduled to hit the small screen next year, NewsDay Life & Style has learnt.
Nhira, who was based in South Africa, succumbed to stab injuries after being attacked by unknown assailants in Bedfordview, Johannesburg on March 11.
She was laid to rest on Sunday at Zororo Memorial Park along Chitungwiza Road.
In the forthcoming production, to be produced by Special Matarirano, Nhira was to play the lead character Cde Muchapera as well as being the co-producer.
The series, tells the story of sub-population groups such as women, children, people with disabilities and the role they played during the war of liberation. The character Nhira was supposed to play, Cde Muchapera, is of a female comrade who survives an ambush and faces a lot of challenges as she leads her surviving comrades back to Mozambique.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Matarirano, who is also the series’ co-director, said he had offered Nhira a role in the series after she expressed disappointment over how she had been left out of a film cast when they met in South Africa in 2017.
“I first met Anne in South Africa when we were doing post production for Chinhoyi 7 movie in Rivonia, Sandton with Tawanda Sarireni and Moses Matanda. She spoke about how she was snapped out of the film’s cast because the producers could not fly her to Zimbabwe and back to South Africa. She was a bit upset that the producers were able to fly international actors from Canada, Britain and other countries, but failed to honour their own,” he said.
“The energies she expended expressing her disappointment instigated me to offer her a role in Lines of Duty. In 2019, we signed our first contract and agreement to produce Lines of Duty. She was going to be the producer and lead actress in it. I never doubted her work ethic and I trusted her.”
Matarirano said it would be hard to replace Nhira in the series that is currently at preproduction stage.
“We were to set the ball rolling for Lines of Duty, which was going to be the first war series on our country’s television. I had initially enlisted a foreign director Julian Show from England, but Annie shot it down saying ‘we have a lot of good directors’ in the country. She was for aesthetics. She was proud of her people’s abilities, she wanted local energies rather than foreign ones,” he said.
“Our people need to direct their own films with or without money. She (Nhira) was patriotic. The foreign involvement would only reduce the ambience of our stories. Unfortunately, her death has cut short the long road that we wanted to travel together and the war series we wanted to do.”
Matarirano said Nhira’s energy, drive, enthusiasm, intelligence and knack for film production would never be replaced.
“Now after the thief called death robbed me of a producer, I stand in the sun with wounds which will take time to heal. Death is a thief, a cheat and a stalker of our mortal lives,” he said.