Clive Malunga


On 27 February 2019 Jenaguru Arts Centre was granted permission to work together with the Joint Operational Command (JOC) which comprises of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) to produce a Nesango Feature Film. The permission was granted by Honourable Senator M. Mutsvangwa, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.

The main protagonist of the Nesango Feature Film was the late Commissioner-General of ZPCS, Rtd Major- General Paradzai Zimondi. When I suggested the idea to him, he immediately rendered his support, assuring me that he was going to sell the idea to his fellow comrades; Commissioner-General of ZRP, Godwin Matanga and Commander ZDF, Philip Valerio Sibanda. He instructed me to check with him within a week to allow him time to consult with the other service chiefs.  True to his word, in a week’s time, I got a positive answer.  All three commanders had supported the idea of producing the film. Before I could start shooting the field, I was told to first get a clearance letter from the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.

We started shooting the Nesango film in 2020. We began our shooting in Domboshava. Our research tells us that Mr. Roy Bennet used to operate in that area.  His nickname was Muzezuru.

Next, we went to Goromonzi Prison. We are informed that the Goromonzi Prison was very notorious for ill-treating black political inmates.  Cde Robert Mugabe and Cde Morris Nyagumbo were once incarcerated and tortured there. Near the prison, there is a hill where Sekuru Kaguvi was allegedly captured by the colonial forces during the First Chimurenga. Therefore, Goromonzi Prison and its surroundings have a special place in the liberation narrative of Zimbabwe.

From Goromonzi we proceeded to the balancing rocks. We had four Scania trucks, each with twelve heavily armed soldiers. Our last shooting was at Haka Game Park where we had armed soldiers on horseback. We were provided with army uniforms by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, ammunition from ZRP and uniforms and leg irons from ZPCS.

After these initial shootings, we paused and I went back to the drawing board to reflect. I wanted to find the best way to narrate the Zimbabwe liberation war story. I felt that the film would come out best if we were to incorporate input from all Zimbabweans across the board. I then started to work on an animation script. The main theme was to depict the brutality of the Rhodesian armed forces towards unarmed civilians and all their injustices towards the owners of the land.  I scouted for a brilliant artist and a colourist to assist me with my story line. It took quite a while to complete the animation film.

When the animation film was complete, I took a copy to ZTV / Zimbabwe Television Services to show the animation so that I could judge from public response. This is the moment I was waiting for. I wanted all Zimbabweans, especially former war collaborators and former combatants to help me improve the storyline. The animation was flighted for a few weeks and then the management decided to stop showing the animation film. The ZBC management said the film was not showing women as the main actors.  This is in spite of the fact that there is a female commander called Tsimereropa who is one of the main actors.
When I was granted an interview with the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, I discussed the issue with her and she promised to assist me when I encounter some hurdles along the way. When I tried to see the minister again, her gatekeepers prevented me from having an audience with her.

I still feel the film project must continue with the help of the national broadcaster.  The brave people of this country fought tenaciously against a brutal and fiercely armed oppressor to reclaim their freedom and their land. That the sons and daughters of this land endured a lot of brutalization until they vanquished the racial supremacist regime of Rhodesia is something that should make all generations of Zimbabweans raise their heads high with pride. Preserving this liberation war heritage should be a responsibility of all patriotic Zimbabweans. Our history, especially the liberation war story, has to be told correctly by the main actors in that war.  I am finding it extremely difficult to proceed with the film project until I get support from the media and input from the public.  Our story is being denied the light of day by a few individuals who have no vision for generations to come.
In 2021, I decided to honour legendary musician Tinei Chikupo by building a mausoleum in Murehwa at Chikupo Village. I wrote a letter inviting honourable Senator Monica Mutsvangwa to be guest of honour at the unveiling ceremony. Cde Mutsvangwa told me that she would not be able to come personally as she would be busy elsewhere. Instead, she delegated the ministry’s permanent secretary to be our guest of honour at the ceremony.

Before the unveiling ceremony, we had an audience with Cde Nick Mangwana. He asked me if I wanted any assistance from his office.  I told him that we needed publicity. This is because many young people do not know Tinei Chikupo and the role he played in the popularization of Pfonda and Jiti music. Therefore, it was ideal to disseminate information about Tinei Chikupo’s music career on radio, television and press.

Cde Mangwana agreed to help us with publicity.  He instructed his subordinate Mr. Ben Tsododo to work with us on the ZBC publicity issue. Mr. Ben Tsododo referred us to the ZBC radio manager Mr. Albert Chekayi. Mr. Chekayi promised to work on the publicity plan. He later sent me a detailed publicity plan that would cover interviews with 6 radio stations and television. According to the plan, ZBC was to start playing Tineyi Chikupo’s music regularly on radio so that the message would reach all corners of our country. When I realised that we were running out of time without the implementation of the publicity plan, I approached Mr. Chekayi and I was referred from one office to another. It became clear to me that I was wasting time at ZBC as I was not going to get the help I needed. I then asked for two cameras from the broadcaster’s director of Production Services, Mr. Tazzen Mandizvidza which we used before and during the unveiling ceremony. This country has patriotic cadres who are prepared to serve but there are many selfish individuals who are thwarting progress along the way. 

If a national broadcaster behaves in this way, we won’t see any progress in as far as music promotion is concerned. The media, particularly the ZBC occupies a very important position in the development of the music industry. I have worked with ZBC before during Jenaguru Music Festivals.  We achieved a lot because the national broadcaster supported us. At each and every festival, the national broadcaster would bring an outside broadcasting van for 24 hours. ZBC would also broadcast “Live on Radio 3, from Gwanzura Stadium for almost 3 hours. We pray that those at ZBC now get the heart to be supportive of national projects in the arts sector. We need their support to develop.