Farewell to a Trailblazer: Zimbabwe’s arts community honors Stella January’s legacy

Farewell to a Trailblazer: Zimbabwe’s arts community honors Stella January’s legacy

Zimbabwe’s arts industry mourns the loss of Stella January, founder of the Mufakose Film Society and revered veteran actress, who recently passed away. January, aged 55 at the time of her passing, succumbed to cancer on March 27, 2024, after a year-long battle with the illness following surgery at Karanda Hospital in February 2023.

434415483_7556314941071995_6200168308771817078_n-770x1024 Farewell to a Trailblazer: Zimbabwe's arts community honors Stella January's legacy

Known affectionately as Amai Abhibho, January left an indelible mark on Zimbabwean cinema with her iconic portrayal in the drama “Yellow Card” and her involvement in numerous acclaimed productions such as “Mawoko Matema,” “Tangled,” “Gringo the Troublemaker,” “Ndafunga Kure,” “Kusika moto,” “Munombodei,” and “Vhunze,” among others.

In an interview with ZBC News, actor Blessing Chimhowa, also known as Mbudzi Yadhura, hailed January as one of the most talented actresses of her generation, lamenting that she remained underrated despite her immense contributions to the industry.

Chimhowa emphasized January’s tireless dedication to her craft and her advocacy for improved working conditions for women in the arts, as well as her unwavering commitment to community theater.

Beyond her on-screen achievements, January’s legacy extends to her nurturing of talent through the establishment of the Mufakose Film Society and her leadership as chairperson of Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe.

Her passing leaves a profound void in Zimbabwean cinema and society, yet her impact will endure through her extensive body of work. Colleagues and collaborators fondly remember her exceptional talent and unwavering dedication.

Stella January was laid to rest at Glen Forest on March 30, 2024, leaving behind a rich legacy that will continue to inspire future generations of filmmakers and artists.

Lisca Philo

Lisca Philo is a female journalism and media student from Zimbabwe Open University. She is a debater and a writer and was also once selected as the vice president of web of life which is a SAYWHAT group of young ladies, teaching about SRHR related things. Voted to be student representative secretary for special needs at Zimbabwe Open University in 2023.. Believes in fighting issues within societies to do with poverty, disability , GBV, drug abuse, and sexual harassment. . Also encouraging development and respecting people's objective from different backgrounds and walks of life

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