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Zim man rises from dusty soils of Gwanda to household name in the Johannesburg

by Future Moyo
18 Mar 2015 at 06:34hrs | Views

Reading into Bashimane's story is like reading into one of the Shakespearian fairy stories where heroism was created from nothing to something in the context of Elizabethan theatre. Mothusi (helper) has lived to his name as he helps other fellow artist in the industry. Through his Shilolo production, he has managed to project the long awaited inner arts world he has been warming in his tender heart till 2010 Soccer World Cup in Mzansi. Giving the best service delivery at affordable costs for his fellow Zimbabweans in diaspora he has managed to produce house hold names like Zinjaziyamluma, Abafana Baka Mzilikazi, Mehlokazulu, Izinkanyezi Zezulu,Imbizo Messengers and Thandi gospel, the list goes on and still cannot stop as the dream never dies!

A zealous patriot who has been often mistaken for protest artist through his olden day plays, Mothusi would prefer to work head over heels just to produce a smile on fellow Zimbabwean faces. He has gone extra miles to turn artists from nothing to something in the face of challenging industry.
Mothusi Bashimane Ndlovu-is a Gwanda born Zimbabwean musician, actor, writer, director, producer and composer. His passion for arts dates back to his days at Matulungudu primary school in Matabeleland South. As young as he was; the choir master would from time to time instruct him to lead the choir during concerts. When he graduated to Secondary level at Manama High School he met a friend by the name Desire Moyo who introduced him to the world of theatre and acting.

The desire to ascend in arts coincidentally met with Desire's potential to unlock talent. From then Desire and Bashimane became partners in crime in the arts industry. In all the stage plays that Moyo would write Bashimane would be also casted as the main actor and a composer for songs used in the musical productions therein. Winning various arts awards during his school days, he discovered the potential in him and latter devised and orchestrated the Missing Piece Performing Arts which became Bulawayo's` most wanted theatre group during the years 1999-2008.

Navigating his way in the rough patches of Matabeleland South Province arts industry Bashimane has had a stint in Zimbabwean theatre. He featured in the theatre hits Township Terror (1996), Calabash (1999), My father: My husband (1999), Home far Above (2000) amongst others plays written and directed by Desire Moyo, by then his Director.

When the economic situation stifled the industry Bashimane armed only with his talent and dream decided to cross to South Africa in 2003 for greener pastures. It is in South Africa where he worked with different groups both as an actor/theatre director and a music composer. The year 2005 saw Bashimane featuring in one of the Mzansi episodes of Zero Tolerance which was shown on SABC 2 before featuring in a Vodacom advert series in 2010 during the preparations for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. In all this time Bashimane did not stop composing music his first love and made a promise to himself that soon he will be making waves as a music producer.

Throughout his career, this man has lacked one thing –THE VOICE! The media has neglected him, potential sponsors have just watched him swell under the scorching sun of arts gurus, and even the big names have avoided him all because of the situations he met. Little did they know that he was destined for success, all drawn from his vigour, vision and velocity. Today he is now relishing this as the echoes of his voice are beginning to be heard in the dark corridors of hope and strife in Gwanda and in the midst of stifling industry of Johannesburg.

'A DREAM THAT NEVER DIES' is his underlining motto for his artistic motor, a motto that has turned to reality, a motto that has actually employed him. When he was still in Gwanda none ever dream of him amplifying his arts, he himself alone had that vision. He never underestimated his ability.   
Bouncing from Home Affairs to Horror Affairs, Mothusi transformed from being a mere stage player to a producer, he started the Shilolo Music that later turned to Shilolo Media House. He is one of those graduates from the University of Wisdom who has demonstrated that a real entrepreneur submits his CV to his own talent not external employer.  Despite his limited time in the education fields he has invested in his brain power to turn ideas into reality.  This he achieved by establishing the Shilolo Music company in 2010, with the sole aim of discovering raw talent and then putting their compositions into good use for the world to hear. The first artist to be signed under him was Peggy Nare who went on to release a beautifully gospel album titled UTHULELENI which is still doing well in the market. Nine tracks from the 10 tracks album were composed and produced by Bashimane; likewise he is currently assisting Viviane Nkiwane to come up with an album in which he writes songs for her.

The transformation of Shilolo Music to Shilolo Media House bespeaks of  'A Dream that never dies" as the brainchild thought of an all-in-one stop shop for arts in which all will be found under one roof. From production to promotion, promotion to strategic marketing, marketing to building business families, families to sustainable development in arts. Indeed a Hollywood is not far from Gwanda.

When he was asked to unpack his driving philosophy "A dream that never dies",  he said: 'Art is not for the sake of the Arts but is rooted in our identities that which we must never compromise. These dreams do not die, for life is about struggles and overcoming them. Through our talents, we celebrate ourselves as a unique people, chosen by God and blessed with that rare talent of having dreams that shape us, build us and make us through.

Soon after his production of the film comedy- MADLELA SKHOBOKHOBO POWER, the flames of Bashimane's fame went leaping skywards and none could think it's from the dusty rusty bins of Gwanda South to the city of Gold. The comedy is a socio-economic satire of the life of Zimbabwean in diaspora. The twists and turns in the story create a somewhat viable suspense that keeps the audiences glued to their seats till the last clip. Its cut between laughter and sorrow that somebody could be tempted to think its a tragic-comedy yet its ending and spinning will bespeak of an open-comedy. He sums it up by saying , "The comedy  is an alternative to stories of pain, a comedy that relieves tension and stress, an avenue of self-discovery, a platform to sit back and celebrate our struggles and humour, pain and successes, talent and dreams!".

Like an overflowing river, his arteries never stop pumping creativity into his heart. 'I AM A PROUD ZIMBABWEAN AND ALL WHAT I AM DOING IS FOR ZIMBABWE' is a statement written in his face. Indeed we hope through his dedication, determination and God's favour this vastly talented artist will be propelled to greater heights. Watch out for him in the Zimbabwean festivals like Intwasa ko Bulawayo, Shoko Arts Festival and will soon invest back home via the Rainbow Province Arts Festival eGwanda. Currently he is working on two new films that will beam soon, the Silence and BAFO and the two are expected to upset all records set before in the film industry of Zimbabwe.  

Through the FACEBOOK site Matabeleland Entertainments News, Mothusi partnered with Mongezi Shaba Mpofu to create a platform where by artists in diaspora could get publicity and connection with left at homes. Bashimane is an example of the few successful artists emanating from Matabeleland South. His openness, networks and vigour will eventually amplify his brand.  He will be counted amongst other successful names in South African entertainment industry as well like the late Simbarashe Mhere (TV presenter ).

The two partners in crime have extended their circles to involve other veteran organiser from home to amplify the Mqabuko day celebrations that have been traditionally held at Hilbrow theatre alongside Mzilikazi day celebrations. This year there will be an arts award day to be organised by the team. Such vents will help to keep the nationals together and even fly the flag of Zimbabwe higher.

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Source - Future Moyo