Renowned playwright, director, producer and actor Daves Guzha on Thursday night screened a stinging rough cut of a docu-drama on President Robert Mugabe and the last Rhodesian leader Ian Smith at the Zimbabwean German Society.
Report by Our Staff
Titled, The Two Leaders I know, the production envisages the similarities between the two leaders from his vantage point.
The story starts off with Guzha as a 12-year-old boy celebrating his birthday at school while being exposed to the ravages of war and culminates with him trying to celebrate his 40th birthday.
He uses a narrator who acts as the storyteller referring to the white settlers as monkeys while the locals are called hares.
The story is balanced with his own narrations as he shoots a video for his children and grand-children.
What is striking in the early stages is he cuts a lonely figure after two failed marriages. There is also a girlfriend who is never at home as she is preoccupied with securing money at the bank and buying goodies at the supermarkets since the queues are long and winding.
Smith, who is late, is portrayed as an utter villain who is oppressive in every way, yet there is an enviable success of his economy juxtaposed with the current economy where nothing seems to work.
The story travels through the life of captivity where Guzha compares the imprisonment of locals in the pre-independence era with the life today outside prison calling imprisonment better off than freedom.
It highlights conspicuous similarity between Smith and Mugabe that they forget the people and fell out of favour.
Guzha uses some interesting symbolism for instance the two bottles of expensive whiskey that he guzzles in a space of two hours which he says is similar to how politicians have plundered the diamonds in Manicaland and other minerals.
He also speaks of the late Josaiah Magama Tongogara as the rightful leader of the country regarding Mugabe as a failure.
Guzha said the docu-drama asks pertinent like whether or not he be envious of a child from a different country, half his age, whose tender years have been influenced by the same number of leaders and possibly more.
“A child whose life is certain to be influenced by at least four leaders by the time he reaches 40? What difference would it make? Are all lives influenced by Politics? Do we blame politics for the lives we’ve managed to shape? Are we all a result of the politics of our countries? Do we consider the possibilities?” said Guzha.
It contains video clips from the armed struggle, riots, sanctions, food shortages and price controls experienced under the rule of the two leaders who have been in power during his lifetime.