Mthabisi Tshuma, Showbiz Correspondent
NEW online drama series Wadiwa Wepa Moyo that premiered in February has received rave reviews from the public after its first seven episodes that have been shown on YouTube.
The series aimed at showcasing teenagers in the ghetto’s love stories, struggles and dreams, had its first season which has 10 episodes and a cast of 14, shot under a low budget of US$1 000.
Since February the producers have been releasing one episode per week leaving viewers asking for more.
The series production manager, Kudakwashe Jani, said when they came up with the production, their focus was on establishing a brand.
Jani said he was confident that the objective had been achieved because the series is now sought after as it is attracting more than 200 000 viewers online.
He said the lockdown was a blessing in disguise as it had increased viewership as people were now spending more time at home.
“We created a big audience way before the lockdown but the lockdown resulted in a major boost to our viewership,” Jani said.
He said they were now scripting Season 2.
“Since we now have a big audience, we have been motivated to script season two,” said Jani.
He said they also hope to clinch a deal with ZBC which will see the series being flighted by the national broadcaster.
On the show, lead actor Everson Chieza who plays Tawanda (Man Tawa), an aspiring footballer who hopes to play for England’s Manchester United, is distracted by love.
“Fitting into this character was quite fun because I’ve always wanted to be a soccer player. It was like reliving my dream. The cast made it easy for me to execute the role as they motivated me and gave notes on how best Tawanda could tackle certain scenes and react,” said Chieza.
Tawanda is forced to make a choice between pursuing his football career or love. He chooses to pursue love at the expense of his football career which later haunts him.
Crowd favourite, Dillion Mafukidze who plays Biko — Tawanda’s confidante and football manager — said he feels indebted to the cast, his family and the acting industry for giving him a shot to showcase his talent.
“It took a lot preparing to become Biko as I had to learn his ideology and all, but I must say it was all made easy by the rest of the cast and crew who made me comfortable on set and pushed me to perform well,” said Mafukidze.
Narrating her role, Tadiwa Bopoto who plays lead actress, Nokuthula (Noku), Tawanda’s love at first sight said: “Noku is a teenager in high school who moves in to a new neighbourhood where she meets Tawanda who loves soccer and dreams of playing for Manchester United one day.
“They fall in love and spend a lot of time together with Noku bunking library sessions and Tawanda bunking soccer practice. Everything, however, starts changing when Tendai, Noku’s ex-boyfriend comes into the picture.”
She said playing Noku required a lot of hard work and commitment, adding that it paid off as they have become overnight celebrities, which to her is fascinating.
Songstress Lee McHoney who tried her hand at acting through this series where she acts as a housewife married to a university lecturer (Ben Mahaka) who’s a serial cheat, said she is happy to be part of the production.
“It feels great when your talent is recognised. I ventured into acting after the directors of the show approached me for the role and I decided to give it a shot,” said Lee McHoney.
Other characters are Chido played by Tapiwa Nzira, Sis Shami played by Monalisa Tendere, Riley who plays Kiki, Jani who plays Yaya, Bla Mose played by Tinashe Amos Machemera, Tendai played by Glam awards founder Albert P Chigiya, Prosper played by Zolile Makelele and Garikai Manyuchi who plays Kochalo.
The series was shot in Harare at Mabelreign, Sentosa and Haig Park. – @mthabisi_mthire