Tafadzwa Zimoyo Senior Arts Reporter
National Arts Merit Awards 2019 nominated television production Tunga has not been stopped from airing on ZBC TV and will continue on its regular Friday slot.
This comes at a time when the social media rumour mill has been feeding people with information that the television series has been banned over some scenes involving nudity.
The popular series has been nominated for the first time under the Outstanding Television Production category together with Muzita Rababa and Kuchina.
When the production failed to air last Friday viewers quickly bought into the rumour that nudity in some of the production’s scenes could have been the reason for the “pullout”.
Now in its sixth season on air, the last episode 73, had an interesting twist as it emerged that Mudani (Grives Chengeta) was being investigated by Mabori (Cuthbert Jenami) who is the king’s advisor.
Tunga’s director and writer Willard ‘Slimaz’ Magombedze dismissed the allegations as malicious and unfounded.
“I have not received any communication of the ban from ZBC. I don’t know of any nudity scenes in the production.
“Tunga is an epic television production that is based on local traditions. It features a cast that is dressed in cultural based designs that some may deem as half naked,” he said.
He added: “When I started Tunga there were talks of half-nakedness but people got used to it because it’s part of our culture as Africans. Our designs are not sexually suggestive. Apparently I design the outfits and hairstyles myself based on creative mind.”
Magombedze added that technical difficulties were the only reason they failed to air episode 73 last Friday.
“ZBC communicated with us that they had some technical difficulties airing Friday’s episode but will screen it this week instead. We are still shooting as scheduled and people should just understand and know social media better,” he said.
An unnamed ZBC official also denied the rumors and said there are proper procedures to be followed when a production is to be banned.
“If it was to be banned we could have communicated with the producer, first raising our concerns and if the concerns were not addressed then ban it. All this will be done using proper channels, nothing like that happened,” said the source.