By Bongani Ndlovu
A woman clad in a red dress faints and ‘dies’ after having too much fun at a party where contemporary musician Jah Prayzah is the DJ leading to his arrest and ultimate jail sentence.
In the prison cell, Jah Prayzah is mixed with interesting fellows, controversial Prophet Daniel Mandungwe who claims to be the commander of the heavenly army, the eccentric Zimdancehall chanter Van Choga, comedian Bhutisi and DJ Fantan who is familiar with the cells after a brush with the law at the beginning of the year.
This scenario is basically the storyline of Jah Prayzah’s new music video for the track, Murder taken off his latest album Gwara.
The woman in the red dress, who sets off the motions of the story, is Ms Pryde, real name Pride Mpofu, an actress that has been in the game for a long time.
A look at her repertoire reveals she has worked in over 20 productions with one of the earliest being the play Stitsha where she was a dancer. It was a remake of the play that was once turned into a sensational television drama that starred the late Beater Mangethe.
At that time, she was in form six at Sizane High School in Pelandaba suburb. Other schools she attended were Dumezweni Primary School in Pumula South suburb and Foundation Technical College.
To fine-tune her acting talent, Ms Pryde who calls herself the Ndebele Princess, trained at Bambatha Actors Centre in 2007 under the tutelage of Styx Mhlanga. Thereafter she joined Bambelela Arts Ensemble which played a huge role in grooming her.
When she was 20, she wrote a film, Blurred which got screened at the International Film festival images for Women.
On television, she has appeared on ZBC on shows like Mr Perfect, Cook Off, Mhosva, Not so fast, Wenera, Kuchina and Vhunze. Across the border she has featured on SABC 3’s High Rollers.
Before featuring on Jah Prayzah’s Murder video, she had also been featured on music videos that include Ngaibake by Freeman featuring Alick Macheso, Ndipe Moyo, Let me fall (both by Tytan) and New Bae by Mr Kata.
“I loved acting from a young age although my father used to be against it,” Ms Pryde said in an interview yesterday.
“When I’d go to rehearsals for productions, I’d get a hiding from him because I’d have come back home late. But I’d still go back and he ended up giving up and letting me be.”
At the age of 22, Ms Pryde relocated to Harare as she felt there were more opportunities for her fledgling acting career there. She lived with her cousin for a year and when she found her feet, she started staying alone.
“I moved to Harare because of a production I’d been cast in. Thereafter, I decided to just relocate there because I was getting more job offers. Relocating to Harare was so hard because I grew up in Bulawayo. So, when I came to Harare, I didn’t know where to start and who to trust. There were productions that exploited me and didn’t pay me showing just how challenging this industry is,” said Ms Pryde.
But now, she has found her space and is happy that acting opportunities have been coming in steadily.
“I’ve overcome all these difficulties by understanding that one has to work hard in order to achieve their dreams. Nothing was ever meant to be easy. The easier it is, the dimmer the light and the harder it is, the brighter the light.”
Turning to the Jah Prayzah feature, she said it came as a result of an audition for one of the artiste’s productions that she did some time ago although nothing materialised.
“Jah Prayzah remembered me from this other audition I did at his studio for a different production. His team called me and I believe I fit well into the role they gave me,” said Ms Pryde. She said her focus now is penetrating the regional and international markets. The Chronicle