Mthabisi Tshuma, Showbiz Correspondent
THE shooting of sitcom, Bazukuru was completed on Monday with the production that addresses various issues including absent parents and generational gap challenges, expected to premiere online next month.
Created by Kudzai Chikomo and written by MultiChoice Talent Factory student — Nkosilesisa Kwanele Ncube, Bazukuru is about an old man’s life that turns upside down when he has to start living with his two grandchildren, a DJ who is in his late 20s and a school-going teenager, Noxolo after their parents relocate to the United States of America.
Directed by William Nyandoro with Rasquesity Keaitse directing photography, the bilingual sitcom features Nama 2020 Outstanding Actor and Actress (Film and TV) — Percy Soko and Antoinette Sango who play Jo and Daphne respectively. Other cast members include veteran theatre director and actor Memory Kumbota who plays Dereck the old man, former Amakorokoza star Zenzo “Mzambane” Nyathi who plays the DJ and Musa Sibanda who is Noxolo.
Chikomo said Bazukuru which was shot at different locations in Bulawayo, seeks to merge two formerly ignored genres, animation and situational comedy.
“Locally, very little has been produced in terms of sitcoms, save for old productions such as Paraffin and Mukadota. There has not been much animation coming from the Sadc region as well,” Chikomo said.
“The sitcom explores the lives of this unconventional family of three and their relationships within and outside the family. More importantly, the sitcom addresses the issue of a generational gap,” he said.
“Dereck represents the older generation — the one that took pride in the joy of work and sweat to get what one has. He is juxtaposed with his two grandchildren who have never had to work for anything and will do anything to avoid work.
“However, not all hope is lost because Daphne represents millennialists who somehow understand the kind of hard work that it takes to achieve some level of success. Jo on the other hand, represents the percentage of the youth who may not have much, but are still completely comfortable with their lives.”
Bazukuru is set to be distributed online by AfrikaSTV in a bid to tap into the online space which is growing rapidly due to the ongoing lockdown. In April alone, digital content consumption in Zimbabwe increased by about 57 percent.
“In the next two months, we should be done with the post-production. We’re targeting to distribute the sitcom online because if you notice, during this lockdown, digital habits of Zimbabwean people have changed as they’re now consuming their content online.
“We were working on a shoestring budget, but a great team spirit, support from friends and family are making it all happen,” Chikomo said.
The sitcom throughout alludes to the issue of absent parents, a common trend in modern day Africa. – @mthabisi_mthire