GWERU -As efforts to grow the film industry in Zimbabwe gains momentum, government has organised film production sponsorship through the ZimDigital programme which is decentralizing and capacitating content production in all Provinces.
Midlands has not been left out with three productions having been completed so far under the first phase of the project.
The Midlands productions include Heritage, a crime drama series, Three Strand Chord focusing on love and relationships as well as Comedy Sitcom Nashville Heights which are set to take the Midlands film industry to the next level, if not Zimbabwe.
On focus now is the hilarious ‘Nashvillians’, as this reporter takes a closer look at one of the key supporting acts in the comedy, Ms Isaacs played by a multi-talented 33 year old lady, Jacinta Mcthuizen.
First things first, a brief overview of who or what Nashville Heights is all about; well, this is a humorous tale of, Jason (played by Darlington Mutasa), an employed young man who moves out of his parents’ house to experience an independent life, in the process ends up with crazy friends and workmates who will keep the audience in stitches with their antics. Ms Isaacs is Jason’s boss.
Mcthuizen begins by taking us through on who Ms Isaacs is in the Nashville Heights storyline and how it was, playing the Ms Isaacs “madam boss” character.
“In the comedy, Ms Isaacs is a business owner who runs a construction company and works with the main character Jason as a junior accountant.
“Ms Isaacs’s character is like really stern, when she is around all the craziness that happens in the office has to end, everything has to be in order, like the real madam boss who likes all things on point,” she said.
Mcthuizen says despite the seriousness, the comedy in the character now comes with the way her subordinates react to her and also how she reacts to them with that seriousness as she is always up on their backs making sure things are done and breaking up the office ‘mukuhwa’ (gossip), as she says.
She said adapting into the character as a first timer in the acting industry was a bit difficult but quite fun with the technical crew in the production making it easy for her.
“It was tough because I hadn’t acted before and this is my first time in the film industry.
“It was a stepping stone towards the arts, talk of the confidence, breaking of the anxiety, being able to be in character and interact with other characters, being able to change Jacinta into Ms Isaacs.
“That was actually quite fun though because being the stern one around trying to maintain order but surrounded by these people who are always causing havoc was quite an experience,” she said.
“As a production, we became a family, working together and paying attention to things like time, getting used to the schedules and having fun but knowing that when it’s on set, it’s time for business.
“Kudos to Tariro Chingozho, our producer; He took us through the learning experience in acting and treated us like family.
“The Director, Mr (Victor) Nyamayedenga did a great job on the production; he was the serious one around both on the technical and cast side making sure things are done.
“Nyamayedenga to me is a good teacher, a good mentor always giving us guidance and ensuring everyone is in character and it was an honour to have worked with him knowing that he was once a nominee at the National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA),” she said.
A closer look at Mcthuizen the person, she was born of a mixed race in 1985 at the Gweru Provincial Hospital.
She is what most may refer to as ‘colored’ but she prefers saying she is of ‘mixed race’.
“My dad was Euro-African, born of the original black and original Australian while my mom was born of an Africana and Euro-African, some may say I am colored but I classify myself as mixed race, I believe I am more black than white,” she said.
Bred in Gweru, the dreadlocked Mcthuizen went to Cecil John Rhodes (CJR) Primary School before proceeding to Chaplin High School in the late 90s.
She wasn’t so lucky to have acquired tertiary education but was blessed with the talent of music which she pursued and made her who she is today.
Mcthuizen is a proud mother of two boys, Stephano and Raylen and currently engaged to Jekai Rihwaya.
She loves gardening, composing music, socializing and getting to know new people.
Mcthuizen said her future endeavor, on a lighter note, is learning isiNdebele as she is currently fluent in chiShona.
She looks forward to more productions in the future and discovering her place in the film industry as an actress.
As a musician, she has been singing in her local Roman Catholic Church Choir for the past 18 years.
‘LadyBird,’ as she is known on the professional music circles, has two songs so far to her name on radio, ‘Only You’and ‘Praise to the Most High’.