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Special Class: An extraordinary breed of ‘fools’

A scene from the drama Special Class

By Sindiso Dube

Zimbabwean comedy lovers have been offered a previlege or a curse, so to say, of a seat in a classroom led by a dumb and foolish Professor, a temporary teacher who tries to bring balance in a confused class of equally foolish students.

The classroom’s day-to-day foolishness is chronicled in form of a series called Special Class. In reality a “special class” is meant for slow learners.

Special Class is a television sitcom, which plays every week on the web, joining so many productions that are good enough to get television space locally.

The sitcom is about a high school class of “fools” with different characters and every character has their own view of life and learning. So different are their views, it makes it hard for the teacher to do any meaningful teaching.

There is the ever-forward Constable (played by Tinaye Wayne), the class monitor who is full of the “I know mentality” and also thinks he is above the law due to his power as the class monitor.

You have Petronella (Lisa Gutu) — the beautiful girl — who minds her own business of selling sweets during lessons, but her bully behavior overshadows her appearance.

There is also Rudo (played by Maya Banks), the soft and faint-hearted cry baby who is moved by anything. You have Melinda Shumba, who plays Saru, the attention-seeking pretty girl, who thinks she is the smartest of the group who always wants to correct every English word uttered by her classmates.

Tito (played by Kadem the Comic) is the guy who has a comment for everything raised and the school’s hustler who has solutions to every problem in the class, be it examination answers or homework. Tito also imagines himself as the captain of the school’s soccer time; he puts on his captain’s armband every day.

Buju, the Rastafarian in the class (played by Ckhanyiso DatGuy), sits in the corner with his friend Bhumba, they are always up to belittling other students, and the bullies think they control the classroom.

In every high school set-up, there is that character who is known for taking drugs like dagga and aligned to the Rastafarian society — that’s Buju for you.
Bumba is that spoilt brat who thinks his priveleges at home extend to the fourwalled school chambers.

The odd one out not as in foolishness, but age-wise, is Rizla, played by veteran actor Chati Butawo. Rizla is that very old classmate we all had back in high school. That mate who was old enough to be your elder brother, but is in the same class with you and even performing dismally.

Rizla claims to be a liberation war hero and is always threatening to use his war skills to discipline his younger peers who constantly refer to him as Sekuru or Khule.

The confusion and foolishness exhibited in the classroom is supposed to be controlled by a teacher, played by Doc Vikela, who is the series producer. Instead of bringing order into the classroom, the Professor also adds his fair share of foolishness and all he has to say to his students is “Imi vapfanha imi?” which means “you lads”.

His role can be equated to a blind Moses trying to take blind Israelites to their promised land. Never a day he has ever conducted a single lesson, all he does is bark instructions that fall on hard rocks.

Doc Vikela told Standard Style that they were preparing for season two of the series.

“We are almost done with season one and our last consignment will be episode 12, which will be a double episode. From there we start shooting for season two. We have approached ZBC TV and they said we should correct a few areas,” he said.

“The second season will be more intimate and will explain why each and every individual acts that way,” he said.

Doc Vikela also stressed on the financial challenges they are facing.

“As we know, it’s hard to sustain the project on a low budget, so we are looking for partners and advertisers to engage with us so that we can take the project further and to great heights. Interested parties are welcome for engagement, they should approach us personally. We are ready to work,” Doc Vikela said.

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