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By Kundai Marunya
It all started as a dream to spice up local comedy, harnessing individual talent, with a goal to diversify from the usual “skits” that had dominated the industry of late. With just six episodes on, circulating on social media and via their YouTube channel, hitting over 35 000 views per episode, low-budget comedy series “Special Class” seems to have struck the right chord.
Banking on the nostalgia of high school experiences, the production has been cracking humour on issues around love letters, civics days and computer lessons among other themes that takes one back to their classroom.
The characters befittingly embrace all the typical high scholars.
There is the overzealous “snitching” class monitor Constable, played by Tinaye Wayne. He possesses a know-it-all and tell-it-all persona that makes him both a pariah and a fearsome character in the class. His ignorance on many extra-curriculum activities, including fashion and the dating scene, makes him susceptible to bad advice, resulting in silly tendencies.
Then there is Rizla, a veteran who is utilising a chance to go back to school after war.
Played by veteran actor Chati Butawo, famous from his role in the television drama series “Gringo”, Rizla is the elder of the class respected by all, something he uses to make crazy overtures.
Other characters include Buju (played by Ckanyiso), Saru (Melinda Shumba), who is the slay queen of the class, Petronella the gospel girl, Rudo (played by Maya Banks) the cry baby, Tito and (Kadem), an avid fan of everything sport.
The great mixture of stand-up comedians and witty actors gives “Special Class” the oomph that has been lacking in local television since the days of “Gringo” and “Mukadota”.
“Special Class” is shot in a single classroom. The cast is given creative licence to write their own lines but in the end converging them into a meaningful and hilarious script.
It airs every Tuesday, but the producers, Doc Vikela and College Central, have been under pressure from fans to make it at least twice a week and make their episodes longer.
“We have already grown our episodes from five to 10 minutes. Producing two episodes per week is, however, not sustainable as it costly as we hire almost everything we use,” said Doc Vikela.