Senior Arts Reporter
South African-based Zimbabwean (rapper) musician and entrepreneur Tapfuma Nzara, popularly known as T-Mula in music circles, is starring in a Nigerian film production titled "Mamba's Diamond" set to premiere on May 21.
The film, an action comedy written by Darlington Abuda and directed by Seyi Babatope, was released on March 19 and it also stars Osas Ighodaro, Gabriel Afolayan and Uchemba Williams in lead roles.
The film is based on a story of a couple of amateur thieves who accidentally steal diamonds, which is one of the most valuable precious jewels in the world.
In an interview, T-Mula said he was living his dream as this time around it was not about directing videos as he is known for, but has been cast as a cameo in the film.
"I am living my dream because when growing up, I said too myself one day I would be an actor and here I am. I was cast by a well-known director Adze Ugah who has done the drama series, 'Isibaya'.
"They needed someone who could pull off a black American and Jamaican accent to resemble a New York-based gangster. I was a bit nervous from the start, but decided to take it and surprisingly was told that I fit the part."
T-Mula said he was not new to the screen as he has once featured in some productions from Ghana and South Africa.
"I have acted in a couple of movies including, 'The Vow' which is also going to be on Netflix and series including one of the popular Ghanaian comedy series as a comedian," he said.
"I have done some minor roles which are yet to come. I can't shed details because of contractual obligations. I am feeling excited as this definitely lit my career path. I am, therefore, pursuing a profession in acting. I have realised that it is fun, although it's acting to me, it comes natural."
T-Mula said his role was about a gangster who works with his friends and they steal the diamond.
"I will be one of the ganster members. When the diamond comes to New York, I meet the buyer who is coming with the diamond from Johannesburg. He thinks he is about to sell the diamond and get cash from me, but it was a trap. My team members shoot him and we take the diamond."
Apart from acting, T-Mula said his business was picking up rapidly, despite the Covid-19 global pandemic which has somehow affected the entertainment industry globally.
"Despite the Covid-19 lockdowns, the creative industry in Africa is still on a rise, and in South Africa that is where a lot happens," he said. "I can safely say we are picking up and doing well. So far I have got a music extended play which is coming out in a months' time featuring Emtee, the late Soul Jah Love, Fire G, Scoobynero, Mr Kamera, and Moonchild Sanele, among others.
"On the film side, I am featuring in another Netflix movie which will be coming out soon and a few other productions. Shooting new music videos for other artistes has been hectic, but I am managing well."
T-Mula is the son of Shepherd Nzara, a businessman, former disc jockey and club owner who made a mark in the Zimbabwean entertainment industry in the 1980s. His late mother was also a passionate musician who worked with the late Andy Brown and Chiwoniso Maraire.
The talented artiste has a lot of street credibility from not just his music, but also a business he established that continues to assist other artistes, recording labels, and production houses to produce quality video content.
T-Mula wrote and recorded the rap song in Leon Schuster's "Mama Jack Movie", which was a box office hit.
Asked why he chose to use the name T-Mula, he said: "T-Mula is a long standing nickname. The name 'Tapfuma in Shona means we are rich, hence the nickname, now turned stage name T-Mula."