Senior Arts Reporter
Executive directors and producers of popular television soap series "Wenera" have defended their stance of honouring actors for their hard work on the production, saying that it was only for the "loyals", after it emerged they left out other deserving cases.
The ceremony, which was held last weekend in Nyanga, saw some of the upcoming and leading actors of the soap getting accolades from the director, although some fans queried why some of the original cast members who have been the face of the soap since it started were left out.
Is it a case of bad blood among the actors?
Some of the actors who were honoured included Albert Muropa, Arnold Gara (Boss T1), Andre Ndhlovu, Victorious Breakfast, Charity Mahowa-Matavo, Daniel Kiwitty, Jane Dembo, Melody Nyamaropa and Talent Nyamayedenga.
Other actors like Edmore Sandifolo, Rosslyn Chakanyuka, Zolile Makeleni (Tsotsi), Theophilus Marufu, Jefferson Muserera, Fatima Makunganya, Richmond Nyanguwo, Tinashe Pundo, Muriel Tavaziva and Ronnie Emmanuel, who are believed to have started off with the soap, were not present at the ceremony, neither were they on the list.
"What more can we say, we don't want to act like we are fighting or what?" said one of the actors who was left out. "Besides, it is his production he can do whatever he wants. Good thing, finally the awards were sponsored and it was long overdue to appreciate the efforts and time of the actors. We went through a lot, but for now let sleeping dogs lie."
In an interview, executive director Edmore Ndlovu, said the "Wenera honorary awards" were a general symbol that were given as a gesture of respect to the cast so as to recognize their performance and value they have put into the soap.
"This is part incentive of programmes that we intend to make as a tradition for 'Wenera' actors so that their hard work doesn't go unnoticed," he said.
"These awards were given to those actors who are still with Wenera today. Some actors left the show to join other productions or pursue other endeavours, so it was a noble thing to honour dedicated and loyal actors. Some of them started the show with us six years ago and they are still here."
Ndlovu said the awards did not have monetary recognition, but emphasized providing formal, highly symbolic recognition of the actors' contribution.
"The items presented included a hand crafted stone plaque and a framed certificate. However, these plagues are just symbolic in nature and don't carry any monetary value. It is just priceless."
The award ceremony was part of the programmes that were done at the Wenera Viva Boot Camp at Nyanga Zimparks.
Late last year, the production rebranded to "Viva Wenera" as the producers said they were now targeting regional and international markets.
They accommodated new actors from different backgrounds to spice up the drama with various languages and culture.
Then in January this year, they announced that the soap was to be flighted on You Tube so as to reach out to the world.