ZVEMOYO: An adorable Zimbabwean “chick flick”

ZVEMOYO: An adorable Zimbabwean “chick flick”

Title: Zvemoyo (Matters of the heart) Director:  Igi Matope Producers: Pikicha Afrika

I’m not sure if “chick flick” rightly defines the genre of this film, but if you decide to go with things at face value, then this flick indeed has the basic characteristics of a chick flick.

For those who might not be cinema literate, chick flick is an American slang term for that genre of film catered and tailored to appeal mainly to younger female demographics and the themes usually explored are love, personal drama, friendship, and romance.

However, the term “chick flick” can be sometimes used pejoratively and in certain societies, feminists object to the formal use of the phrase.

With love as a theme, and romance as the rhythm to sustain that theme throughout the 81 minutes of the film, Zvemoyo can safely qualify to be a Zimbabwean chick flick. And the fact that the story was written by a female writer ticks another box to qualify it under that banner and further endear it to the fairy and flouncy market.

WATCH FULL MOVIE HERE: www.playafrika.tv

Scripted by HK Masara, Zvemoyo is a love triangle set between two love birds; Munya and Makomborero and the third part who arrives a little late to the party and wants all the broth to himself: Sheunesu.

Stories set around love triangles can be quiet predictable: they all end with the good guy holding the prize (the chic) tightly to his chest, bubbling away in maudlin emotions, savouring that brief yet infinite moment preceding the long dreamt happily ever after. Their tone and aesthetic style can also be corny.

Zvemoyo is a culprit of all the above but makes good use of the basic tenets in the filmmaking handbook which are story, setting, picture and sound design to break away from the rut of monotony and deep stereotype.

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Directed by Igi Matope, a rising savant filmpreneur from the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, the film takes off on a catharsis inducing note where we are introduced to the world of the protagonist chic, Makomborero. Though endowed with beauty, Mako must shoulder a heavy domestic responsibility whilst meeting the demands of her boyfriend Munya, who, to make matters worse, is a player.

She is prepared to put up with the status quo until Sheu, her homeboy, suddenly shows up in the picture and they quickly develop feelings for each other. What then follows is a waltz of drama, double-crossing, lies, friendship, romance, and heartbreaks.

The project was shot in Mutare, the capital city of the breathtakingly beautiful Eastern Highlands, and it makes a great attempt to incorporate some of this beauty in its scenes.  The dialogue is substantially in English, but there is a fair dose of the delectable Manyika dialect throughout the film. Well done to the directors and producers for keeping it real through mirroring the dialect of the locality. And for those unfamiliar with the vernacular lines, don’t worry, there are nicely done subtitles throughout.

The picture is so crisp like a baked potato you would want to eat it. And the sound is so gooey like ketchup you would want to add it to the potato and whip it down in a loud gusto. And that’s not an exaggeration. Zvemoyo is a very “audible” film, and the production team invested time and effort to come out with a good sound job. It simply ticks all the boxes under sound: from scoring to the music selection. The music, which compliments mood by ascending or descending with the story arch, was all local sourced.

Starring seasoned thespian, Farirai Borerwe alongside the beautiful and talented Tapiwa Marahwa and the promising duo of Trust Kadzere and Florence Makamure, Zvemoyo was released in end August 2022 but still tastes and smells fresh. I have recommended it to a few lady friends prior to this review, and they all found it ‘adorable’ and ‘funny’.

If you are looking for an excuse to take your breakfast in bed any one of these winter weekends, or if you are just looking for something home brewed to refresh your spirit during this crazy election season, Zvemoyo should be on your watchlist.

Elias Muonde

Elias M Muonde is a Writer, Scriptwriter, film Director and Journalist based in Harare. His writing has been published in a handful of anthologies as well as in The Standard Newspaper, The NewsHawks, various international journals, blogs, and online platforms. He's also a Human Interest correspondent with My Afrika Magazine, but often happily encroaches to hard beats like politics and business. A film enthusiast, Muonde has worked on several film projects in different capacities: from production management to assistant directing. He also wrote over a hundred episodes of radio drama aired on Radio Zimbabwe , TV series for independent producers and popular satirical shows under Magamba TV. When not writing or reading, Muonde spends his life in the garden helping a swathes of colourful geraniums, hibiscus and roses open up their buds to the sun and bloom.

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