Zim actor scoops US accolade

Itai Mushekwe

ZIMBABWEAN born actor, Michael Chinyamurindi, based in California, USA, scored a first recently by scooping the Best Actor award at the 2006 Cultures Coll

ide Film Festival hosted by the American Theatre of Harlem in New York.

Chinyamurindi won the accolade following his lead portrayal as Lebo Manaka in the hit drama, Ubuntu’s Wounds, directed by South African Sechaba Morojele.

The thrust of the film is based on the premise that “people aren’t people without other people”.

Chinyamurindi told Independent Xtra from Mexico last week where he was on set shooting for an upcoming feature film that he felt humbled by the award and would “continue raising Zimbabwe’s flag”.

According to Chimurenga Online, a publication, of arts, culture and politics from and about Africa and its Diasporas, Ubuntu’s Wounds “Is about a black South African activist Lebo Manaka who lives in exile in Los Angeles. While there he crosses paths with a former member of an apartheid hit squad that had murdered his wife years before. The white policeman had gone to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and had received amnesty for the killing. The confrontation makes for explosive drama. Manaka then takes justice into his own hands.”

Other award winners at the festival were Jerold Howard, Best Animation for See the truth, Global Action Project, Best Documentary for Razing New York.

Chinyamurindi was also last week invited by Artists for a New South Africa (Ansa) to announce the names of mega Hollywood stars who took to the platform to speak during a benefit dinner to mark Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s 75th birthday.

“I was invited to announce the stars as they came on the platform to speak. Ansa is an organisation that I’ve volunteered for from its inception,” said Chinyamurindi.

Among the stars at the event were veteran actors, Samuel Lee Jackson and Denzel Washington together with iconic musicians Stevie Wonder and guitarist Carlos Santana. Ansa was founded in 1989 to support the anti-apartheid movement and now focuses on fighting the Aids pandemic.

The actor who studied theology and political science in America has played numerous high profile characters in US movies and soaps notably Jurassic Park and the Bold and the Beautiful.

* Meanwhile on a different note, Independent Xtra, contrary to its report early this year about Chinyamurindi spearheading the production of a feature film about the late veteran nationalist, Josiah Magama Tongogara, has been informed by the actor’s publicist that Chinyamurindi was in fact approached to only portray the role of Tongogara by his son Tichafa Tongogara, a journalist-cum-filmmaker also based in the US. The error is regretted.