Cultural Ambassador: Normally Chapwanya’s impactful acting career across boundaries

Cultural Ambassador: Normally Chapwanya’s impactful acting career across boundaries

Acting is a form of storytelling that transcends boundaries of time, culture, and language. Zimbabwean actress and Master of Ceremony, Normally Chapwanya has featured in several films and TV shows including The Revelations, Vhunze and Gazaland amongst others.

My Afrika Magazine reporter, Charmaine Brown (CB) interviewed actress Normally Chapwanya (NC) in a fascinating conversation about her acting career in Zimbabwe.

CB: Can you tell us in brief about yourself?

NC: It is a pleasure being here, I am a mother of four. I am a female actor with a passion for storytelling and bringing characters to life on screen. Acting has been my lifelong dream, and I have dedicated myself to honing my craft and exploring the depths of human emotions through various roles.

CB: At what age did you realise that you want to join the entertainment industry?

NC: I started acting at the young age of seven, taking part in school dramas and church productions. Growing up, I was always drawn to performing arts and storytelling. Watching movies and TV shows, I was captivated by the actors on screen.

WhatsApp-Image-2024-05-02-at-23.58.23-1-1 Cultural Ambassador: Normally Chapwanya's impactful acting career across boundaries

CB: What was your first role?

NC: I actively participated in school plays, talent shows, and drama clubs, solidifying my passion for acting. At 22, I decided to join the entertainment industry, landing my first role as a detective in a series called “Go Chainawa Go.”

CB: Has the journey been fairly easy, and if not, what obstacles have you had to overcome?

NC: The journey was not easy. Acting sometimes requires us to film out of town for weeks, which meant leaving my kids behind. This balancing act between personal life and career was challenging. However, overcoming these difficulties made me stronger and more determined to pursue my acting passion.

CB: Describe your most challenging role to date.

NC: My most challenging role was in the ZBC production, the drama series “Vhunze” where I had to cry on set. Crying on set proved very difficult and it is common practice to use eye irritants like onions. I eventually managed to cry convincingly without them.

CB: What do you love about acting?

NC: Acting is a passion that runs deep within me. I love acting because it is a way of conveying a message to the world on what is happening in our daily lives. Acting allows me to explore the depths of human emotions, to empathize with various perspectives, and to connect with audiences on a profound level.

CB: You have worked in a number of films now; can you tell us some of the films you acted on.

NC: My filmography includes numerous films and TV series, such as “The Revelations,” “Vhunze,” the feature film “The Hero,” “Daraja” (also a movie), “The Bank Loan,” “Kusasana Kunoparira,” “The Bachelor,” the epic movie “Shamiso,” “Pachiteshi,” the family show “Tinaye,” “The Gazaland,” “Simbimbino” seasons 1 and 2, and more. I have also appeared on talk shows like “Auntie Flo” and “Couples Show,” commercials for companies like Maisha Medical Aid, PSI, Zimpost, and Kitchen Link, to name a few.

CB: Besides acting is there anything else you work on or you wish to venture into?

NC: Besides acting, I also do Master of Ceremonies (MC) work. Alongside my acting career, I have found another creative channel in hosting and MCing events. This allows me to showcase a different set of skills, such as improvisation, public speaking, and connecting with the audience in a more direct and interactive manner. It provides me with the opportunity to bring energy and enthusiasm to different occasions, whether it’s a corporate event, a charity function, or a social gathering. Overally, both acting and MC work are integral parts of my creative expression, allowing me to connect with people in unique ways and share memorable experiences with them.

CB: What advice do you have for young people who are just starting their careers, specifically in relation to female actors?

NC: For young female actors, understanding the industry’s dynamics is crucial. Be prepared to face both the opportunities and challenges it presents. Acting can be incredibly rewarding if it is your passion and calling. While financial compensation can vary, building a sustainable career solely through acting in Zimbabwe might be difficult. Consider supplementing your income with side hustles to achieve financial stability.

Charmaine Brown

Charmaine Brown is 27 years old, media personnel. She studied Media and Society Studies (2017-2020) at Midlands State University in Zimbabwe. Charmaine had an internship at The Herald and presently is the Editor for My Afrika Magazine. She currently lives in Harare.

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