The name “Baba Chipo” should ring a bell in the minds of those who watch Zimbabwean dramas. “Pfuma”, a drama which tackles social issues that affect children who are victims of divorce, introduced this humorous character who was totally controlled by his second wife. Chipo was his step daughter’s name yet he had his own name. The second wife got to squander the bride price of the man’s daughter whose mother had died. The man behind this character is award winning actor Nash Mphepo.
Mphepo who was born on 25 August 1977 and began his acting career in 1995 and specialised in community theatre. He switched to television films in 2007 with the film “Suburban D” in which he featured as McDonald.From then on, Mphepo went on to feature in a number of short films and dramas with “Pfuma” being one of the dramas that catapulted him to stardom. Other dramas he acted in include “Masimba” and “Mudiwa”. In an interview, Mphepo who is a family man with four kids – two boys and two girls – said he has undying passion for acting and that is what has kept him going.
“I started acting in 1995 and up to now I cannot tell how many productions I have featured in because there are so many.” “I have a Diploma in Theatre Art, acting is my life and I have a passion in acting. I also use arts as a way of expressing myself as I am a shy person. He said artists have the power to change how people see things and how they can relate to each other.
“The arts can do wonderful things; art is all about making people believe in certain issues and can also be used to tackle societal problems,” said Mphepo He added that given opportunity, platform and support, arts can be a formidable force in creating employment in the country.
“Zimbabwe has got a lot of talent and I have a first hand experience through my travels into different schools but at times artists would rather follow other paths when they realise that they are not getting anything in the end,” explained Mphepo. Mphepo who is with Patsime Edutainment Trust is currently working on a number of productions. He scooped an Ecrans Noirs festival award last year.
This is a Pan-African film festival held in Cameroon and Central Africa each year and his accolade was for best male actor in the film, “Dust and Fortunes”, last year. In the Global Academy production he played the character of a disabled young man Michael Marufu, who is passionate about soccer despite his physical stature. Michael has a dream of making it big in soccer so he starts a soccer team with a group of cattle herders and he names it Gomba.
His goal is to have the league champions come and play against his team every week. It is not easy since he faces a number of challenges including negative responses but he soldiers on. The formidable list of crew and cast of the film include names like Dorothy Meck, Tom Brickhill and Stewart Sakarombe with footballer Murape Murape putting in a cameo appearance. It is because of his role in this film that he has been nominated for the National Arts Merit Awards to be held this Saturday at 7 Arts Theatre for Outstanding Actor for the year 2015.
He also won the same award last year for his role in the drama “Decoder” and it is yet to be seen if he is going to walk away with the award again this time.