The Herald (Harare)

23 January 2013

Zimbabwe: ZBC/TV Screens Vintage Films

Do you still remember how movie fans used to throng community halls in the ghettos to watch the latest kung fu films on the big screen? Mai Musodzi Hall in Highfield was popular back then as it played host to film screenings with the majority of the movies being kung fu.

Well, ZBC/TV are bringing back those nostalgic moments by screening vintage programmes among them kung fu films and local sitcom "Paraffin".

Though the Chinese kung fu scripts lacked depth with almost similar storylines based on revenge, for instance a young man seeking vengeance for the death of a master, family member or teacher, they were exciting to watch.

You would also remember the incredible stunts in this genre of film inspired by martial arts - the falcon claws, the cobra, as well as the dreaded drunken master or the notorious ninjas.

Apparently, ZBC/TV is screening all the yesteryear movies which we used to enjoy watching and already many are going down memory lane when there were no other television stations to watch.

"These kung fu films are strictly for entertainment.

"We love them now than ever before because some of them are not available on the market," Tapiwa Kurewa said.

Another fan, Muchaneta Masaraneyi, said the screening of the movies was a noble idea since it used to be part of ZBC/TV's programming in the late 1980s.

"This is a good move by ZBC because there isn't much of a difference between kung fu and wrestling which we all know is stage managed.

"The kung fu films were even better because there was a storyline now with wrestling there is script with no story to tell," said a film student Mike Zaradenga.

However, some observers say the ZBC/TV's timing for screening such movies was a bit late considering that many people were now watching satellite channels.

A number of viewers who spoke to The Herald confirmed that the comedy "Paraffin" was still as enjoyable as before.

"Paraffin had many lessons about life. It touched on politics, economy and the social aspect of our day-to-day lives in Zimbabwe," Simba Mangwiro said.

Another fan said: "Paraffin tackled sensitive issues in a humourous way which brought smiles to many."

One of the programmes screened was titled "Muchato", where Paraffin refused his son Campion to wed his lover arguing that once he gets the marriage certificate he would lose everything to his wife.

But, more importantly, the cast explored some of the issues involved in the Marriages Act that needed to be addressed.

Emma Shamuyarira, ZBC/TV station manager, declined to comment on the latest development.

However, Sivukile Simango, the ZBC public relations manager, said the screening of vintage films was in response to public demand.

"We set up an email address for feedback from viewers and one of the things that they have been requesting was the screening of such programmes like 'Mukadota Family', 'Paraffin' and the others. So we are just responding to that," he said.

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