Funding woes hold back Gringo

Rebecca Kabaya Arts Correspondent
Comedian Gringo (real name Lazarus Boora) has bemoaned lack of funding and piracy for the stunted growth of comedy in Zimbabwe.

The actor, who shot to prominence in the early 2000s for his lead role in the drama series Gringo Ndiani, is one other victim of an entertainment sector with limited financial reward.

Gringo claims to have been sitting on content for more than a year but budgetary constraints have stalled his idea.

“I have a full script that was written last year, but because we don’t have sponsors to support us financially, it is yet to be shot. I can, however, firmly promise my fans that if this project comes to life it will be more exciting than my previous dramas,” he said.

The hilarious actor added that piracy is dragging down the industry of arts and culture. In addition to the creatives it also impacted supporting companies like the Zimbabwe Music Corporation (ZMC) which is now less productive and efficient. “Companies like ZMC used to be huge employing over 1 000 people but now piracy has limited the number of workers to nothing more than 10,” he said. Trying other means to revive comedy through performing in schools has also proved strenuous with new rules enacted by the relevant ministry. “We used to perform our plays in schools across the country but the introduction of the new curriculum changed everything, the schools now require a lot of paperwork to be presented before the performance and this is time consuming as it takes long to get the papers to be signed,” said Gringo. He is appealing to the government for assistance to grow local art by passing strict laws that protect arts practitioners.   “Government must support us by implementing harsh laws for piracy. There is also a need to regulate the importation of blank disks on which pirate material is recorded,” said Gringo.

Source : The Herald

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