For years, there have been a lot of drama renditions on the late Safirio “Mukadota” Madzikatire, whose legendary, multi-talented artistry has been considered as one of the best comedies to emerge in Zimbabwe.
Mukadota rose to fame in the early 1980s until his death in 1996. Many have been asking questions as to who will fill his shoes, with a number who have tried to imitate him failing to reach his heights, including his son Elijah who attempted the character under the moniker Bhero Mukadota.
But social media was agog in the past weeks with a skit done by renowned comedian, Admire Kuzhangaira, affectionately known as Bhutisi, where he was seen imitating the late Mukadota.
What made his skit and stunt different from others that have been done before was his dress sense and language tone. Listening to the skit, one could be forgiven to think Mukadota had resurrected.
Kuzhangaira donned the Mukadota famous hat style and his khaki shirt which were popular in his hey days. His hat was a Stetson sutley fur fedora, with the shoulder pocketed shirt more of like a prisoner’s guide style.
Well, on that Bhutisi nailed it. His skit was done in Africa Unity Square, typical of Mukadota, during whose days the place was the in-thing, especially to meet with your loved one.
We are in 2022 and Kuzhangaira did not want to modernise the skit with current status. He decided to rekindle the romance with yesteryear fans as he also brought an old mobile phone as props so that he brings Mukadota to life.
Only on the Katarina side, to accommodate the new generation and make the skit appeal to everyone, she had a different set up as she brought her A game of “Ama2000.”
In an interview, Kuzhangaira said he had been thinking a lot for the past years of doing the reincarnation of Mukadota dramas as part of tribute. “These are people who pioneered the comedy industry, so I have been thinking in the past years of why not bring back the lost memory of such a legend,” he said.
“So, the challenge is that we have a lot of stuff happening on social media on entertainment which is being consumed very fast. “I admire the late Mukadota. I love his music so much. I can sing all his songs word by word.
I then started practicing his body movements, researching about him. Surprisingly, I practice his speech and stunts by the mirror every day, talking to myself.” Kuzhangaira said he was motivated to do more skits by fans on social media.
“After reading the comments on my page, it then gave me a push to do more of this,” he said. “I then decided to do the skits.
At the moment, the project is a series of skits, we are not yet sure if we will turn it into a movie or drama. With time it will shape up.
For now, it is bringing the nostalgia feeling.” Kuzhangaira said the skits for now featured three main actors — Mukadota — Baba Rwizi (Admire Kuzhangaira), Katarina (Gladys Dzaputa) and Mai Rwizi (Florence Chourura).
“All the cast have a strong background in acting,” he said. “We had to centre on the current societal settings but taking them back to early 90s which is being depicted by Mukadota.
“There is a satire on both generations. Katarina was more on the music side, but we chose to bring her on the drama side to bring the society aspect of small wives.”
Kuzhangaira said the costume were done by Harare-based tailor identified as Barbara. “We discussed costume and make up with my tailor for a long time. I only send her pictures of Mukadota and in two days it was done.
Gladys does her on makeup,” he said. Kuzhangaira said he needed financial assistance to enhance the agenda on entertainment.
“We started this business in 2014 and it has been a mammoth task. We need cooperate bodies and relative authorities to support us in this production.
Every project its more of like a hand to mouth, but the goal is to entertain the masses. Acting is my passion and I can’t stop. A lot of celebrities pretend to have made it yet, they are failing.” Asked who his role model was, Kuzhangaira said he had many.
“To start with, my first role model is Mukadota from music to acting. He was also an entrepreneur. His art could tell a story, picture, music to acting. He was a man of his words.
“My other role model is the late Charles Mungoshi. I am inspired by story tellers. I used to read his books from my Advanced Level.
Outside the country, I am inspired by Russian writer Nikolai Gogol of the book ‘The Government Inspector’”. Kuzhangaira said special mention goes to his teacher who discovered and nurtured his talent at high school.
“My teacher, Garikai Masuka, at Chemhondoro Secondary School in Murewa, I give him all the credits,” he said. “He nurtured and groomed me well.
We used to go to drama competitions, and he would push me harder. “One day we went to the headmaster’s office asking for money for the competition.
His words still ring a bell in my ears: “Admire is a million-dollar asset and project, let’s support him”. I didn’t know what he meant then, but now it’s speaking for itself.”