All is set today at Ster Kinekor theatres Joina City for the première of the upcoming drama series, “Isithembu”, which was created and written by seasoned actor and television host, Zolile Makeleni.
Isithembu, which is based on how toxic a polygamous marriage can be, is set to air on ZBCTV this weekend.
The drama is in three languages — Shona, Ndebele and English – and was shot in Borrowdale West (Harare), other parts of Harare and Hillside (Bulawayo).
It features veteran actor Stephen Chigorimbo, Carol Mhlanga, Mitchell Mutodwa, Dzidzai Sithole, Tinashe Pundo and Forbes Chiripai.
Speaking to The Herald Arts, Makeleni popularly known as “Tsotsi” from the previous soap “Wenera”, said the event was a red carpet affair and they decided to première the series as part of their marketing strategy.
“I know most people will question why a première for a drama series, rather watch it first time it airs on television, but we need to move up with trends,” he said.
“The première serves as a marketing and promoting tool for the series.
“We have lots of sponsors who are on board, while some are still sceptical and this is an opportunity to show them how it is done and how they can benefit from the series. Again we grew up watching such premières in Hollywood and South Africa and we never thought we could have one here in Zimbabwe.”
Makeleni said the storyline was inspired by true events and how life can be toxic in a polygamous marriage, although it was not part of his lifestyle.
“I have lots of friends and I hear different stories,” he said. “The series idea came up last year while I was working on my talk-show, ‘Rock Bottom’. I decided to use my limited resources and the series is on television.
“I am also working on putting the content on other platforms which can be easily accessible by those in the diaspora.”
Makeleni said the première will be held in accordance with Covid-19 restrictions and regulations.
“We have 100 people and we will make sure we will observe the regulations from social distancing to sanitising,” he said.
“The event will end at 8pm and no after-party will be conducted. Guests should come dressed for the occasion as it is a black tie event.”