MEET ZIM’S MAMA AZUKA
12 February 2019
…I’m the aunt of film industry
She hogged the limelight with her style of acting which can be likened to that of Nigerian actress Patience “Mama Azuka” Ozokwor.
Coincidentally, they share the first name, Patience.
She has also earned the name Mama Azuka from her antics.
H-Metro’s Latwell Nyangu (LN), talked to actress Patience Muza (PM) and she opened up on her journey. Read on…
LN: How did you manage to win hearts of many when you starred in Maimbodei as Mai Meki?
PM: I think it came well from the drama Maimbodei, I acted that drama with all my heart and Zimbabweans gave me that name, even interviewers like you gave me the name.
When a script writer tells you what to do, just do it whole heartedly, ndinopfeka nyaya inenge yanyorwa and I get into real life like what I am.
LN: Does Mai Azuka inspire you?
PM: Zvangu ndezvangu because I started acting before I even got to know her. So I do my own things.
LN: Corruption, sex demands have also been part of this industry, share your experience?
PM: There is corruption and abuse, nevarume nevasikana. Producers, directors have been the most popular to be accused for abusing actresses.
The producer can ask for sex to the actresses in return for roles, it’s really happening, it’s something we can’t say hazviko.
But musangofunge kuti vakadzi chete vari kuabuswa, but these women are also seducing producers and directors.
Satete ndinotombotsiura vamwe vasikana not to do that. They end up hating me because of that, vanenge vachiti tisiyei takadaro.
I also warn these producers and make sure the women are not abused and also not for them to seduce men.
As such, when some actresses have been turned down they will end up reporting that they have been abused and vice versa.
If the producer is turned down they will then remove the characters from the cast.
LN: But does it affect production?
PM: If a producer demands the favours, they will end up taking individuals who don’t have talent.
LN: Do producers demand money in exchange for roles?
PM: Yes it’s there because some demand money for you to be auditioned, for you to get main role, you need to pay, and it cannot be denied because it’s happening. With the economy not conducive enough to get rid of that.
LN: tell us about your brief background?
PM: I am Patience Musa, and I started acting way back since I was young.
I always wanted to entertain people not knowing that it’s a talent that would take me far.
I then got a chance to meet other actors who were on TV and during that time and I started appreciating what they were doing until I got the opportunity to start this journey.
LN: At what age did that journey begin?
PM: Umm I wouldn’t want to talk much about my age and I don’t enjoy sharing my age, I will lose some of the role because of the age (laughing).
LN: How did you manage to be auditioned?
PM: I had an opportunity to meet the actors such as the late Stembeni Makawa and they encouraged me to go for auditions.
I was auditioned on my first drama by Arron Chiunduramoyo around 1987 and it took me to the screen. Mafuro Manyoro was one of the dramas during that time and I had a key role in the drama.
LN: You have been to Nigeria, tell us the experience?
PM: It was an honour to act with Nigerians in the Zimbabwe I Know and I also went to Malawi where they wanted us to be part of their cast in Malawi.
LN: How did you get a chance to go to Nigeria?
PM: I was auditioned by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority officials, they chose me to be part of Ejike (Nigerian actor) who was the director in the movie, along with Uche.
LN: What was your role in Zimbabwe I Know?
PM: I was acting in bar and I was also the makeup artist.
LN: And your experience?
PM: I felt excited because when you are chosen by your country to represent your nation, it’s an honour, I was part of the delegation from here.
LN: Any notes from such an exposure outside Zimbabwe?
PM: As Zimbabweans we are good more than other international actors but we lack resources, we don’t have finance to work on our projects.
In Malawi, they treat their actors very well, actors are paid well and they can earn a good living out of the industry.
Our problem here is lack of money and we have no one to support our standards, kana pasina mari ruzivo tinarwo ndezvekiya kiya.
LN: But who should provide the money for you?
PM: The Government should treat us as their children. I am an actor for ZBC, so I am acting for the county and the Zimbabweans saka hurumende inotisimudzira.
LN: Is this journey a success?
PM: Haa pandiri kuda kugumira parefu, handisati ndapasvika, dai Mwari waigona kudzora makore angu ndaramba ndiri mudiki ndirambe ndichisimudzira nyika yangu neacting.
LN: Apart from Malawi and Nigeria, where else has acting taken your to?
PM: We have been in Zambia, Namibia with the intention of acting.
LN: Do you have dreams of reaching America?
PM: Yes, if I get support from my country I can end up there.
LN: And now to the roles you play?
PM: Ini ndokiya maroles ese, ndinokwanisa kupinda, if you want me to be a witch I can do.
LN: But people assume what you act is what you do, can you separate the characters?
PM: When we act, we are like teaching people, there are some people with such characters, so it’s sort of teaching kuti zviri kuita this actor, it’s not the good way to live or it’s good. So it’s up to the people to take the characters.
LN: How does your family portray you?
PM: My family is happy, including my husband, he is proud of me and my kids appreciate it. My siblings commend on every role each time I am on tv and I get much support from my family.
LN: Women have been on the receiving end, what are some of the challenges women face?
PM: Chinoita kuti tishorwe kana kuzoshoreka ndechekuti when one is an actor kusazvibata, wakuita kunge mvemve, wese ada abata, discipline is key because maapproaches are always there. When you are popular learn to discipline yourself.
And also when people see you acting, they won’t take you serious, some people even call us with some names. We get such challenges from people who don’t know how to act.
LN: Standing on the high mountain of acting, would you tip someone to be part of this industry?
PM: I am actually very free to welcome everyone, to come because as we are growing up we need to leave heirs of this industry.
LN: Have you written any film?
PM: I am just a creator, actor and entertainer.
LN: Imagine yourself being the arts industry goddess?
PM: I would create a bank like a lotto for the arts which will be conducted weekly and it would help them. The actors would be getting money from that jackpot but mainly meant for the arts, kana kuri kubheja, vanenge vachibheja ikoko and I think this will sustain us. Lotto yakanakira kuti ahwina anopihwa mari yake.
LN: A breakdown of your projects?
PM: Most of my dramas, have been directed by Itai Kakuwo and I have done, Chitsidzo,Checkmate, My Love my second wife, Munombodei, Maimbodei, God Given Job, Gamuchirai, Confession, Gehena Harinamoto, Upenyu Mutoro, Zuku, The Zimbabwe I Know, Fools Day among others.
LN: Apart from acting what else do you do?
PM: I train inmates on how to act, with Zabron Kani. I am also herbal doctor, I look after some orphans whom I take as my children. I am a make-up artist, scrap dealer where I buy and sell metals.
LN: What has been your contribution do you give to the society?
PM: My roles have given much impact, because we receive a lot of positive feedback and people are getting teachings from my roles and they apply it in real life. The role of being an aunt has changed many people’s lives.
LN: Do you feel honoured or celebrated as Zim artists?
PM: I think when people see and recognise you, it makes us feel loved and appreciated, although we have a few who laugh at us saying celebrities without money. We are proud because we get much respect.
LN: Any endorsements from the experience?
PM: I am always invited to functions of important people and I teach especially to the new married and weds. I am an aunt because ndinoraira, I have been part of NGOs.
LN: Any projects in the pipeline?
PM: We are shooting a project, three with Itai Kakuwo and we working on Honourable Chinotimba’s book of jokes, we are turning it into a drama.
LN: After all do we have talent in Zimbabwe?
PM: There are writers, producers, actors who have talents but when they are told about the money, they feel demotivated because the money is too little. We are failing to be exposed because of the few resources. We have people like Danai Gurira, Arnold Chirisa, that’s pure talent, and they can’t be part of the local productions because hamuna chinhu, Zimbabwean talent is going outside because muno hamuna mari.
LN: Any awards to your name?
PM: I don’t have individual accolades but the films and dramas which I featured in have been nominated including Checkmate which has a NAMA award.
LN: Do s artists support each other?
PM: It’s a 50 -50 situation, some emulate and some take you down, they won’t tell you about the auditions just because they don’t want you to succeed. We are jealous of each other.
LN: What is the secret to survive in this industry as a woman?
PM: To listen, let’s say you have been auditioned you need to be listening to your producer or director. Also kuzvibata because this industry inoda kuzvibata kuti mbiri isagume nepasiripo. Be prayerful also, it doesn’t mean you are an actor or actress.
LN: Do you go to church?
PM: Yes I am a Catholic, Mbuya Anna, I am also a tete to the youths.
LN: Thank you Mai Azuka.