Thursday, 11 March 2021

ANNE NHIRA MOURNED

ACTRESS Anne Nhira has been mourned by Zimbabweans and fellow actors describing her as a national icon and saying the country’s arts industry has been robbed of one of its treasures.

Nhira, who rose to fame in the hit soapie Studio 263 as Vimbai Jari, succumbed to injuries after being mugged in South Africa.

“She sustained injuries on her chest area, rib cage and back during a robbery on Monday afternoon in Bedford View South Africa,” her brother Juan Nhira confirmed to H-Metro.

Zimbabweans yesterday woke up to the shocking news that Nhira had died at the age of 38, following the incident.

Tatenda Mavetera who played Nhira’s sister Tendai Jari in Studio 263 described her as more than an on-screen sister.

“It is a very sad day in my life today losing a sister on set and off set. For me, Anne Nhira was actually a sister, she was a result-oriented person and where we are today is because of her efforts and she would tell us to work hard,” said Mavetera, while she was speaking to Zimpapers Television Network (ZTN).

She said Nhira’s name is permanently etched in the Zimbabwean film industry.

“Vimbai was an excellent actress. And if you are going to speak about filmmaking in Zimbabwe you are not going to do it better, if you don’t speak of Vimbai,” said Mavetera.

Fellow actor Ben Mahaka, who played Tom Mbambo in the soapie wrote a heartfelt message to Nhira on his Facebook page.

“My dear Anne, Vimbai wangu, I watched you grow from a shy young woman to a national icon in the arts. For years you struggled to reconcile the disconnect between celebrity and poverty, but you fought your way out and into the business world. You were talented, fiercely independent, hot tempered, adventurous — a woman determined to write her own story.

Your story has been savagely cut short, but you live on in our hearts. I am heartbroken. Rest in Peace,” said Mahaka.

Another actor, Denzel Burutsa, Jabu from Studio 263 said he had lost a beloved sister.

“Through every dark night there’s a bright day, I hope and pray the Nhira family finds comfort through this trying time. Rest in peace my beloved sister,” posted Burutsa on his Facebook page.

Yvonne Mangunda who played Sibo, Jabu’s wife on Studio 263 said Nhira was kind when she started off on the soapie describing her as the big sister she never had.

“You were the big sister I didn’t have at home. You were so nice to the newbies unlike other stars on the set who only cared about other stars. You were such a beautiful soul. I wish I had told you how much your kindness made my stay at Studio 263 better until I blended in.

You were not like others who only started giving me the time of the day, when they realised, I was now part of the main cast,” said Mangunda on her Facebook page.

She described Nhira as resolute because she stood for what she believed as evidenced when she got Zodwa Wabantu banned from performing in Zimbabwe in 2017.

“You were never unfazed and stood for what you believed in even when they slammed you for blocking Zodwa Wabantu’s coming to Zimbabwe. You stood for your beliefs in the midst of the social media criticism and insults,” said Mangunda. Chronicle

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