Anne Nhira, well known for her leading role as Vimbai Jari in the soap Studio 263 has of late been trending on social and mainstream media following her petition to acting Minister of Tourism, Patrick Zhuwao to bar popular South African dancer, Zodwa Wabantu from performing at the upcoming Harare International Carnival.
As if that was not enough, Nhira caused another social media stir after she was pictured at a Zanu PF event with people questioning the whole fiasco around the petition viz-aviz her political affiliation.
To get clarity on these and other issues, our reporter, Lovejoy Mutongwiza (LM) caught up with Anne Nhira (AN) and below are excerpts from the interview.
LM: As a point of departure, we might need to clear the air on the Zodwa Wabantu issue, tell us what made you petition government to stop the South African entertainer from coming to Harare International Carnival.
AN: I lobbied for what I believe in and I maintain my stance .We can easily empower our own entertainers in that regard. It's a prerequisite in our country
LM: While we still at that, can we safely say as a Nation we are losing our morals and adopting foreign morals which are diluting our own? How does this affect the future of our youths?
AN: We should raise our voices and speak out for what we feel needs attention as a nation. We should raise our voices and speak out for what we feel needs attention as a nation.
LM: Is the backlash worth it?
AN: Everyone is entitled to their opinions just as I voiced out mine. I respect everyone's opinions and I thank them for voicing out their concerns .We should embrace it and channel that energy to a greater good and elevate each other together as one voice and nation.
LM: Would you call yourself a feminist?? How does your action contradict that position if so?
AN: I'm a feminist .And I have parameters of what I lobby for .There is a big difference between following a crowd and being a feminist .This was not an attack to women it's an opinion based on some national decisions that I believe should be addressed and I'm happy that my voice was heard
LM: After you were pictured at a Zanu PF rally, there has been talk that you are now a member of the ruling party, please confirm if it's true and if you would be willing to run for any leadership position in the upcoming elections.
AN: There is nothing wrong with young Zimbabweans joining the political fray but if your question is linked to yesterday's march, that was largely to my reverence of the first lady's philanthropic work.
Our Mother, Dr Grace Mugabe has done a lot to support the less privileged in Mazowe and in the entire country.
From a philanthropy angle which is part of the work that I do I'm in support for a good cause .It resonates with what I stand for and the solidarity March supported that
LM: As someone who has the youths at heart and who has been a role model to many young people, what can be done to make sure that as we approach the 2018 elections and after the elections we have youths in potions of power and who can champion the development of the arts Industry?
AN: I'm lobbying for women's voices to be heard .In all structures .People should feel free to speak out and take action on what they believe in and use the correct channels to do so without fear of prejudice .And most importantly they should understand there is freedom of expression .We need more exposure in the Arts industry as a country and local empowerment is highly important.
LM: Too often we have seen young people being side lined from economic activities although they constitute a greater percentage of the population, how can we as young people (regardless of our political affiliations) come together and "fight" in the same corner to try and make sure we are fully empowered.
AN: It starts with self-empowerment. As an individual you have to stand for something. Negativity will always exist opinions differ and it's allowed. But we have been cripples by fear to be pioneers in our communities .It starts with one individual or a few
LM: as a young woman who lobbies for a better future of other women, what are the mechanisms that can be taken to ensure that the potential of the young woman is fully realized.
AN: Women should feel free to speak out and take action on what they believe in and use the correct channels to do so without fear of prejudice .And most importantly they should understand there is freedom of expression. Let's lobby for the correct standing as women and stick with it.
LM: how can people take a leaf out of your illustrious acting career and any lessons from SA?
AN: I have worked hard to be where I am in my acting career and I lobby for perseverance.
LM: Thank You Anne... it's been nice chatting with you