Tafadzwa Zimoyo Senior Arts Reporter
The revolving doors at popular local soap “Wenera” have once again pushed some actors out!
The soap which is aired on ZBC TV has been hit by mass exodus of actors seeking greener pastures in the television industry, citing unprofessionalism and lack of payment.
More are set to leave the production as working conditions continue to deteriorate amid a coterie of allegations with embezzlement of funds being the major one.
In an interview the director and soap writer Edmore Ndlovu confirmed the resignations of several actors.
He however, said he would soon replace them.
“Some actors that we started with from Season One didn’t make it into Season Two. The same applies to other seasons, but it is nothing new.
He added that there was nothing wrong in actors leaving for greener pastures.
“One thing you need to know is that some actors are not permanent. They are free to seek greener pastures,” he said.
However, some sources in the camp, who commented on condition of anonymity, revealed that there was more to the saga than what meets the eye.
They alleged that the executive team was embezzling funds meant to pay the actors while peddling falsehoods on the social media that all was well in the camp.
Some of the sources accused the director, Mr Ndhlovu of failing to cater for the team’s welfare and diverting funds for the project for his personal use.
“We last got $50 in December and he promised us more in line with our contracts.
“We have no time schedule to shoot the episodes and we are called in as and when he wants. He is also (Ndhlovu) using equipment bought with ZBC funds for his personal business.
“While we feel it is fine, since he also needs to survive but he is infringing our contracts by diverting the money to his personal business.
Some of the members alleged that they were not allowed to join other productions making it difficult for them to make ends meet.
“Because there are no proper schedules for shoots, we are not able to plan for other things, let alone spend time with our families,” said the source.
More actors are set to leave the production, as actors and management team failed to reach an agreement.
“More actors are set to leave the production as they are talking about it. Ndlovu doesn’t allow us to enter for awards selection because he said has the veto power to choose who enters,” said the source.
Some of actors who left the soap last month include Fatima Makunganya, joining Edmore Sandifolo, Lorna Niasher, Tariro Chingozho and Foster Ndaona who left the soap last year, citing unfavourable working conditions. Jefferson Muserera also left to pursue his new ministry.
In the coming Season 5, Tanya’s role that was played by Fatima will be replaced by a yet to be named actress.
Mr Ndlovu however, could not be drawn into commenting on other allegations, and instead accused actors of prying into his personal life.
“My relationship with actors is far different from what it should be. I see them as family and that’s why we are called ‘Family that Matters’. We are still together and pushing with half the cast we started with. They however, have no right to interfere in my personal life,” he said.