Zimbabwe Digital News
Emergent Zimbabwean actress Ashleigh Manyeku nailed the role of Matinyanya in the film Deep Thought through her easy-going demeanour and seamless adaptation to the Zimbabwean way of life.
Deep Thought was released to the Zimbabwe and South African circuit this week to favourable reviews. The film, which was written by Melgin Tafirenyika, who also plays the main character Dzingai, features Tendai Maduwa as his best friend Jafter and Manyeku as the girlfriend Matinyanya, among other actors.
Tafirenyika told zimbabwedigitalnews.com that Manyeku, who had never been in any professional acting role before Deep Thought, had proved her worth on the cast after she excelled auditions, and her outward behaviour had brought stability to the production.
“The character of Matinyanya is central to the storyline in Deep Thought. We wanted a character who can fit into both worlds of the Zimbabwean rural life, like eating sadza ne sugar and she nailed it big time.
“And when it came to the role of a transformed village girl who has just become a professional actress when she is living in the city, she transformed as well. You could swear that she has been acting throughout her life,” Tafirenyika said.
He added that the tricky part about auditioning Matinyanya was that the cast had wanted someone who is humble and down to earth because there is a scene in the movie where the action had to take place in the swamps, and Manyeku had adjusted seamlessly.
Manyeku will go far, according to Tafirenyika, if she takes her passion serious, because its not all people who execute such characters with aplomb, especially first time actors.
Melgin Tafirenyika plays the main character Dzingai, and Ashleigh Manyeku plays his girlfriend Matinyanya in Deep Thought
You could swear that she has been acting throughout her life
Deep Thought is the story detailing the pains of a Zimbabwean guy who is dumped by the love of his life because of an apparent failure to match the standard of his now transformed village girlfriend who has just become a professional actor as a result of the former’s sacrifice.
Dzingai (played by Tafirenyika the main character), is left nursing the wounds of a broken heart when his lover drifts away and is lured away by high-end urban men, who bait Matinyanya with luxury and richies, material that Dzingai does not possess.
“What do you do if you are the guy who earns a living by doing some of the really tough jobs out there, like breaking stone on a granite plant, or trying to make ends meet as a mechanic.
“Yes those are some of the dirtiest jobs out there, but does it mean that those guys do not deserve to love, and be loved in return,” Tafirenyika said.
“The sad part is that the man lacked vision and failed to also invest in himself so as to walk the walk of life with his desired woman,” Tafirenyika said, adding that the woman ended up dumping her benefactor because he was no longer in the same league with her.
” l believe she is the next Jennifer Hudson, but don’t tell her that I said so,” said Tafirenyika
Melgin himself needs no introduction to anyone with an interest in Zimbabwean and South African film and television, having been on Generations, Isidingo, Game Mates, Sour Milk, I Will Marry Myself, The Wild, Better Days, Love Is Not Enough, Gold Diggers and over 20 television and print commercials within the Southern Africa.
Bringing the Zimbabwean story to the world
Besides Manyeku and Tafirenyika, Tendai Maduwa played the supporting lead playing a jealous guy who wanted to date Matinyanya, right under the nose of her frustrated boyfriend Dzingai.
Garikai Ndanga was a sugar daddy to Matinyanya who started spoiling her and wanted to take care of her. Deep Thought is one-hour long and its now on DVD before it goes onto the SA circuit on Zambezi Magic channel 160 on Dstv.
“The movie tells us that love don’t cost a thing and (Tsitsi dzino tsitsirira) but above all its for entertainment and light image productions is there to tell African stories and bring people home through visuals,” said Tafirenyika.
He said Deep Thought is the product of Light Image Productions and the film was directed by Mell Seans. “Its all about entertainment at Light Image. We are telling the African story as it is, and through the medium of film we are hoping to reach many more people who love film to enjoy our productions, and we feel that through this medium, stories like Deep Thought will being all those the reality of our lives to our fans.”
Dzingai and Matinyanya on set at Deep Thought