By Sindiso Dube
Seasoned actor, director, dancer, choreographer and now musician Ishmael “Litshe” Muvingi feels robbed by the national broadcaster ZBC after he was part of a drama production in 2015.
Litshe was the lead actor in a Ndebele drama titled Ezako Mkhakha, which was produced by ZBC and where he featured in 13 episodes.
The actor told Standard Style that his services were invoiced in United States dollars back in 2015, but he never received a cent until he was paid in bond notes this year.
“I was part of a drama produced by ZBC called Ezako Mkhakha in 2015 as the main actor playing the role of Pastor Msindo. I signed a contract with them for 13 episodes and I was supposed to receive US$60 per episode and a total of US$780,” Litshe said.
“We were made to travel to Harare and footed our own accommodation and food bills expecting to be rewarded for our hard work back in 2015, but nothing came out of the venture.
“I made follow-ups for years without any success and they kept on telling me that they would pay what’s due to me, but nothing was done.
“It’s only about four months ago when I received a total of $780 in my bank account from ZBC as payment of the work that I did in 2015 then rated in the United States dollar.
He added: “When I asked why they had to do that, they said that was the rule and it was according to the bank rates. The way ZBC treats content creators is unacceptable, it’s disrespect to artistes and arts as a whole, we expect such institutions to help us live off the craft, but the same kill us.”
The multi-award-winning artiste has worked with globetrotting Siyaya Arts, Iyasa, Sadalala, Amajekete and now plies his trade with Umkhathi Theatre Works.
To top the list, Muvingi has had stints on the world’s biggest theatre stages in the United Kingdom, Germany and United States.
Efforts to get a comment from ZBC head of public relations Rumbidzai Moyo were fruitless as she asked for questions in writing, but did not respond before the time of going print.