Home Lifestyle AFRLUENCERMen Dumie Manyathela: The man behind VEZA The Unfolding

Dumie Manyathela: The man behind VEZA The Unfolding

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Dumi Manyathela
Dumi Manyathela The man behind Veza (The Unfolding)

What made you decide to pursue a career in film making?

DM Growing up I used to be so addicted to tv, watching cartoons, movies, series like Yizo Yizo , before I was banned from watching TV by my parents because I was no longer concentrating on school. I spent a lot of time in an imaginary world where I became superman and other heroes. I admired recreating and remoulding my own epic scenes, great moments, creating my own environment which I believe through some kind of spiritual osmosis contributed to the filmmaker I am today.

Having chosen Art in my O Level and A Level at St Patrick’s Christian Brothers’ College, I was convinced that I was going to be a fine artist. However, my creative storytelling and problem solving was triggered in my first year at University. I got exposed to the film industry through the then Dean of School of Art, Dr Bere who was already working on a production, in place of another another lecturer in Photography, noticed my potential in the film. 2014 -2015 was filled with the ‘film set life’ after lecturers and I enjoyed every minute of it, spending a lot of time on YouTube as well, watching tutorials that were relevant in helping me sharpen my skill and craft.

l did my attachment at the national broadcaster, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation where I learnt all about creating content for television. After I finished university in 2017, I spent the first quarter of 2018 looking for a job, dropping CVs only to be sold dreams and given empty promises. I became emotionally drained as I needed to take care of myself and help my parents out with expenses. So I took the leap of faith to make use of my then camera, Canon EOS 1200D, (which was just good enough to create YouTube videos). I decided to do photography trading under the name, Afro-Spectacular Creations, because photography was a faster way of getting money. I retired from photography in December 2019 to wholeheartedly pursue my first passion, which is film and television production. Since January 2020, I’ve been on an industrious journey of producing high quality African stories. The late Shona Ferguson has always and will always be someone I look up to as reference in the film and television industry. His life and dedication to building the industry was and will always be an inspiration to me. He was the Elijah in our industry.

What projects are you currently working on?

DM Currently i’m in the final post-production stages of my second film, VEZA:THE UNFOLDING. This is a film created by Dream Made Films in association with Afro-Jams Studios & Rodney Films. I’m the director, producer and editor in the production. I had the honour of working on this film with Laura Bonginkosi as the script writer, Rodney Mabaleka as the Director of Photography & Dj DaKudu as the sound engineer, sound recordist and music composer. It was more like just a group of friends that got together and made use of the little resources that were available to us together with the amazing cast & crew. The fact that they believed in me and with that energy being reciprocated was enough to keep the production going despite the fact that there was no funding. I’m grateful to God for the awesome team that he blessed me with to tell this story, words can’t describe how grateful I am, I love and appreciate them all.

VEZA: THE UNFOLDING is an action thriller film that follows the lives of a police force, centered around a young recruit Detective Mxolisi Moyo, palyed by Calvin Madula, and his unreliable partner, Detective Kapenzi played by Lungile Ndlovu, as they find common ground with a company run by a crime ring.

What did you want to become when you were growing up?

DM Growing up in a generation of parents who would want their children to either be engineers, doctors or accountants was kind of hard for me to embrace their imposed career path. However my love for art started when I was just a toddler drawing on my mother’s walls, I always knew that I was going to get involved in the arts industry but wasn’t really clear where exactly until I went to Chinhoyi University of Technology where I did Bachelor of Science(Hon) in Creative Art & Design, in my first year that’s when I was sure that I wanted to be a filmmaker, to venture into entertainment and showbiz.

Have you ever produced something you thought was not good enough and tossed aside?

Whenever I watch it in comparison to what I’m producing now, all I see is consistency, determination and growth

Dumi Manyathela

DM Oh yeah, I mean we all start from somewhere right? Well I can’t really say it was not good enough but whenever I watch it, I just cringe, however it’s sentimental to me because it was my first short film, Londisizwe(Take Care of The Nation). Whenever I watch it in comparison to what I’m producing now, all I see is consistency, determination and growth. Londisizwe (Take Care of The Nation) was my specialisation project at University which won student awards at the Chinhoyi University of Technology and also got nominated in the Roil BAA Awards 2018 under the category ‘Outstanding Short Film’. The sole purpose of the short film was to bring an awareness to the society about the girl child being at risk in child marriages due to tradition and high levels of poverty. The film was a tool to prevent child marriages and promote emancipation and the equipping of the girl child.

What kind of a person do you want to be remembered as?

DM The king that was not only an answer but was an answer with a solution and added more value to his generation.

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