Tafadzwa Matamba Awarded Canadian Grant To Produce Own Film

Canada-based Tafadzwa Matamba carries stories from Zimbabwe wherever he goes, often recalling his rural humble beginnings where he learned how to play Mbira and his heritage from communal farming from his family. 

Tafadzwa Matamba has been trying to share those stories with his new Canadian community for almost ten years and now has the opportunity to feature them on screen. 

Tafadzwa Matamba Photo by Philip McLachlan/The Discourse

Tafadzwa Matamba was recently awarded a $20,000 grant to produce his own film. The grant is part of Storyhive’s Black Creators Edition, in partnership with the Black Screen Office, which aims to bolster the work of 30 Black creators across Canada. 

This project will be a culmination of Tafadzwa Matamba’s experiences as an African storyteller in Canada, the history of his ancestors, relations, and folk stories from Zimbabwe. It will feature a mix of live acting and animation.

“I came to Canada as a storyteller,” Tafadzwa Matamba says in an interview with The Discourse. “The film will be geared for all audiences and will also include some journeys through time and space,” he says. “I’m so fortunate that I wasn’t sold but we know slavery happened so there’s going to be some time-traveling to show that history,” he continued.

This opportunity came just at the right time for Tafadzwa Matamba, whose life and that of his family changed last fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic that brought on hard times forcing them to relocate and abandon a property which they named Little Zimbabwe Farm where they sold chicken, beef and vegetable pies for a living. “We left our farm; we lost it,” Tafadzwa Matamba says.

Looking to turn their attention to other opportunities, Matamba and his wife Amy looked for acting jobs leading to Tafadzwa landing himself a role as a background actor in the Netflix television show, Maid. “Growing up, I wasn’t often in the background. I’d play roles like the prince or the king. But sometimes you have to eat your humble pie,” Tafadzwa says with a laugh. 

Tafadzwa has also starred in music videos for Mbira Spirit, the band he formed with his wife.


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