One-on-one with Obey Muchipisi
It’s been a minute since I brought you phenomenal Africans as usual in this column. It’s 2024 and I promise to dig deeper and bring you the best exclusive interviews. Today is no exception, I had to push to have this story out of this talented and awesome Zimbabwean based in South Africa as he has been busy doing what he loves best.
SS: Obey I’m glad I caught up with you since our last interview, thank you
O.M: It’s a pleasure talking to you Sympathy.
SS: Well as a Scandal fan I was delighted to see you featured on the current trending storyline. Can you spill a little bit about your character Chiko?
OM: Chikonzero Mapfumo popularly known as Chiko first appeared on Scandal about two years ago, supporting Dr. Nyasha Mugari’s storyline. Chiko is from Zimbabwe and went to school with Dr. Mugari. His characteristics are a mix of medical nerd, social interest cheerleading, and doings for the community at large besides his home country. As much as he is scared of being deported back to Zimbabwe, he always finds himself in situations that comprise his status in South Africa, if he has to be exposed, but he does it anyway.
SS: Haha he seems like a handful. I like him though, don’t we all want to survive? How is it working with fellow Scandal team?
OM: Scandal production is like a second home for me. Working behind the scenes with other shows has created acquaintances with most people who work at Scandal. Everyone is professional and kind.
SS: I know we talked about this last time I hosted you here, but please share again how you became an actor.
OM: When I was in primary school, I did a stint on Radio 4, Mbuya Mlambo’s show, from there on I loved the spotlight, I joined an agency that was owned by the late Kiri Davis and did a couple of projects before moving to S.A where I trained further as an actor then joined an agency in Johannesburg.
SS: Was your transition from Zimbabwe to South Africa an easy one?
OM: Not at all. I was based in Mpumalanga and had no idea how it worked. I ended up with an extra agency because I didn’t know that they’re different types of agents. However, that platform made me aware of the different aspects of the S.A industry, and in no time I was signed to a Performers agency. The other challenge was the aspect of language and accent. I had to learn S.A indigenous languages as fast as I could and learn how to speak neutral English without a Zimbabwean accent to avoid being typecast as a Zimbabwean all the time.
SS: You also have helped other actors realize their dreams through your agency. Share more on this.
OM: I own a Talent management company called Trinity Management. Besides representing South African actors, I’ve also helped fellow Zimbabwean performers like the late Anne Nhira, Tonderai Chiyindiko, Yvonne Katsande, and many others.
SS: I know I speak on behalf of many, how does one work with your agency to become an actor?
OM: We work with experienced and or qualified actors only. This is by no means segregation but just the way things work. There are agents for different kinds of performers, e.g. Background artists and character actors, and mine only deals with Professional actors whose bread and butter comes from this profession. So one would have to apply using their CV and headshots and we then respond accordingly.
SS: I know you always have something cooking. What projects can we look forward to this year?
OM: Indeed! I worked as a Casting Director for quite a few projects for both Linear and streaming services and most of them are coming out in 2024. If you follow me on Instagram, you will see the projects as they unfold, so do follow me.
SS: Back to Chiko, please spill a little of what to expect from him.
OM: Whenever there is a Scandal at the Private Hospital, Chiko will always be there. After his encounter with Dr. Renaldo, he will feature in another new story in February, as a little stint and his return will be dependant on future stories.
SS: Well done Obey, it’s always a pleasure talking to you. Any parting words for our readers?
OM: I’m just grateful to be representing Zimbabwe on these various platforms. I have received so much love and support via social media and I look forward to more plausible moments. Thank you My Afrika Magazine.