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Comedian probes Mugabe's life

by Staff reporter
23 Oct 2022 at 19:03hrs | Views
BRITISH-ZIMBABWEAN comedian Munya Chawawa is preparing to launch a new documentary comedy titled How to Survive A Dictator with the production house Rumpus Media.

Chawawa (29) is to meet the friends, family and foes of Robert Mugabe for the Channel 4 documentary.

Rumpus Media's hour-long single How to Survive A Dictator will use interviews and archive footage, as well as comedy sketches, as Chawawa explores Mugabe's complex life; from his extraordinary fight for independence for his people, to ruling them with an iron fist for nearly 40 years.

Among the contributors are Mugabe's nephews who have a "rose-tinted" view of their uncle, his former friend Wilf, who cut ties with the dictator after the massacre of 20 000 civilians, Mugabe's spiritual adviser and some of his many victims. Chawawa will also go head-to-head with a Mugabe ally accused of brutal violence and intimidation.

The film was nearly derailed after Chawawa's original plans to travel to Zimbabwe were thwarted at the last-minute when his filming visas were cancelled by the authorities in Harare with no explanation. He subsequently headed to South Africa to make the film.

How to Survive A Dictator was commissioned by Shaminder Nahal, the head of specialist factual productions at Channel 4, a British free-toair public broadcast television network headquartered in London.

It is executive produced by Morgan Roberts and Iain Wimbush, with Chawawa producing alongside Beya Kabelu. He shared writing credits alongside Joe McCardle. Paul Taylor directs, with Hannah Stupple serving as production executive, and Lucy Cartledge and Rebecca Gilchrist managing production.

Nahal promised the single will be a "fresh mix of contemporary history, biography and personal journey, it's revelatory, eye-opening and plays with form in the unique way only Munya could pull off".

Roberts added: "Munya's brilliant ability to blend intelligence, insight, heart and humour with Cecil Rhodes impersonations is a rare and beautiful gift."

Chawawa said that Zimbabwe is "like a blueprint" for his personality. "I never fully understood why I had to leave [Zimbabwe] and this documentary, for me, was a chance to uncover that," he said.

"But let me tell you: it's an emotional rollercoaster, especially after I found out my filming visa was rejected. But in true sneaky, satirist style — we managed to tell the story another way . . . and I can't wait for people to see it."

Chawawa was born in Derby, England, and spent his childhood in Zimbabwe. When his family returned to Britain in his youth, he studied at Notre Dame High School in Norwich and proceeded to the University of Sheffield, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology in 2014.

His popularity grew during the Covid-19 pandemic when he gripped the imagination with social media sketches dripping with rib-tickling satire.

Source - thenewshawks