Tsambe 'been-to' stars in Chin­hoyi 7

IN an era of ris­ing aca­demic stan­dards, some of the coun­try’s bright­est minds have come from St Au­gus­tine’s (Tsambe) class­room benches.

The Manica Post - - Front Page - Mor­ris Mtisi Week­ender Cor­re­spon­dent

THESE aca­demic ge­niuses have lit­er­ally pen­e­trated and ex­celled in al­most ev­ery as­pect of Zim­bab­wean life — be it pol­i­tics, eco­nom­ics, reli­gion and ev­ery­thing else any mind can dream of.

The lat­est en­trant to Tsambe’s long list of achiev­ers is Moses Matanda, who has forged a bi­lat­eral ar­range­ment with the Zim­babwe De­fence Forces to com­ple­ment each other in telling Chap­ter One of Zim­babwe’s armed strug­gle through the film Chin­hoyi Seven.

The Man­ica Post re­cently caught up with the Chin­hoyi Seven di­rec­tor and owner of the Honde Val­ley Film Pro­duc­tion Com­pany who said the first point of call nat­u­rally had to be the Chin­hoyi Bat­tle, pop­u­larly known in the Chimurenga an­nals as the Si­noia Bat­tle.

“This is my own first Chimurenga bat­tle in the film in­dus­try. And what story would be bet­ter to tell through film than the real first armed con­fronta­tion with the en­emy forces of Ian Smith in 1966 at the fa­mous Chin­hoyi Bat­tle?” said the new film pro­duc­tion guru on the block.

“Af­ter St Au­gus­tine’s in 1986 I went to Dal­las-Texas in the United States where I stud­ied Me­dia, spe­cial­is­ing in film­ing. I then went to Canada for fur­ther stud­ies in the same area.

‘‘These were places a re­minder of racism and re­lated mis­ad­ven­tures back home then and the cur­rent bit­ing eco­nomic sanc­tions haunted me and forced me to think of the rea­sons the peo­ple of Zim­babwe took up arms to be­come their own lib­er­a­tors. I am proud to be the hobby-horse of this great his­tor­i­cal story. And thanks to the Zim­babwe De­fence Forces for agree­ing to join hands in a pro­ject that brings hon­our not only to its pro­tag­o­nists, but to the na­tion as a whole.”

Con­firm­ing and com­ple­ment­ing Moses Matanda’s sen­ti­ments about the amal­ga­ma­tion, Squadron Leader Spe­cial Matari­rano said: “It was a mat­ter of in­ter­ests col­lid­ing here. ZDF had the vi­sion, the idea and obli­ga­tion to tell the story of the armed strug­gle through pic­ture but we had no ex­per­tise. Moses and Honde Val­ley Film Pro­duc­tion Com­pany came in with the skills and knowl­edge. And here we are to­day! We have learnt a lot about film mak­ing as ZDF. We con­tinue to learn. We have to­gether formed, I am de­lighted to say, a com­pany called Fo­cus Uhuru Me­dia to cham­pion the cause of telling the Zim­bab­wean story of the war of lib­er­a­tion. That is crit­i­cal.”

Both Moses Matanda and Squadron Leader Matari­rano con­curred on the need for the story of the war of lib­er­a­tion to be prop­erly chron­i­cled and recorded.

They said their main tar­get now were high schools to make sure stu­dents did not get de­tached from their his­tory, es­pe­cially the armed strug­gle, which marks the most im­por­tant chap­ter of their jour­ney from slav­ery to free­dom.

The two film pun­dits said there was crit­i­cal need for youths to see and read sto­ries on how Zim­babwe was freed from the shackles of colo­nial white mi­nor­ity rule and how they must cher­ish this his­tory.

“If we do not tell that story and tell it with gusto, with de­light and plea­sure, with ap­petite and pi­quancy, as the zest that comes with film, the chil­dren of war veter­ans and their own chil­dren and chil­dren’s chil­dren will never re­spect those who fought and fell to lib­er­ate the coun­try,” they took turns to as­sert.

Chin­hoyi Seven was shown to stu­dent teach­ers at Mutare Teach­ers’ Col­lege this week for the first time. The stu­dents’ re­sponse was emo­tion­ally mag­netic and heart-rend­ing.

The tim­ing to ex­hibit this great film and great story could, how­ever, have been bet­ter if it had not co­in­cided with ex­am­i­na­tions.

Cur­rently, right up to end of term, ex­am­i­na­tions are run­ning ev­ery­where in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor. Squadron Leader Matari­rano said it was their wish to ap­proach Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and seek au­thor­ity to go right round Zim­babwe giv­ing in-school youths an op­por­tu­nity to watch this great film and story.

Moses Matanda ca­pu­tured in ac­tion in the film Chin­hoyi Seven Moses Matanda (right) and Zim­babwe De­fence Forces (ZDF) Squadron Leader Spe­cial Matari­rano

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