UK: British-Zimbabwean comedian Munya Chawawa makes Robert Mugabe film

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By I Broadcast Now

  • British-Zimbabwean comedian preps How to Survive A Dictator with Rumpus

LONDON: Munya Chawawa is to meet the friends, family and foes of dictator Robert Mugabe for a Channel 4 documentary, Broadcast can reveal.

Rumpus Media’s hour-long single How to Survive A Dictator will use interviews and archive footage, as well as comedy sketches, as British-Zimbabwean Chawawa explores Mugabe’s life; from his extraordinary fight for independence for his people, to ruling them with an iron fist for nearly 40 years.

Among the contributors are Mugabe’s nephews who have a ‘rose-tinted’ view of their uncle, his former friend Wilf, who cut ties with the dictator after the massacre of 20,000 civilians, Mugabe’s spiritual advisor and some of his many victims. Chawawa will also go head-to-head with a Mugabe ally accused of brutal violence and intimidation.

The late former President Robert Mugabe

The film was nearly derailed after Chawawa’s original plans to travel to Zimbabwe were thwarted at the last-minute when his filming visas were cancelled with no explanation. He subsequently headed to South Africa to make the film.

How to Survive A Dictator was commissioned by head of specialist factual Shaminder Nahal.

It is executive produced by Morgan Roberts and Iain Wimbush, with Chawawa producing alongside Beya Kabelu. He shared writing credits alongside Joe McCardle. Paul Taylor directs, with Hannah Stupple serving as production executive, and Lucy Cartledge and Rebecca Gilchrist managing production.

Nahal promised the single will be a “fresh mix of contemporary history, biography and personal journey, it’s revelatory, eye-opening and plays with form in the unique way only Munya could pull off”.

Roberts added: “Munya’s brilliant ability to blend intelligence, insight, heart and humour with Cecil Rhodes impersonations is a rare and beautiful gift.”

Chawawa said that Zimbabwe is “like a blueprint” for his personality.

“I never fully understood why I had to leave and this documentary, for me, was a chance to uncover that,” he said. “But let me tell you: it’s an emotional rollercoaster, especially after I found out my filming visa was rejected. But in true sneaky, satirist style – we managed to tell the story another way… and I can’t wait for people to see it.”