Struggles, Sacrifices, and Success: The Inspiring Tale of Vusa "Blaqs" Hlatshwayo

The Inspiring Journey of Vusa "Umsebenzi Ka Blaqs" Hlatshwayo, a Rising Zimbabwean Video Director, Cinematographer and Editor.

After the heartening news broke about Themba Gorimbo's journey to America with just $7 in his bank account, more influential Zimbabwean entertainers are coming forward to share their inspiring stories. Among them is Vusa "Blaqs" Hlatshwayo, a talented video director born in Kwekwe and raised in Bulawayo. Blaqs has directed music videos for top artists like Jah Prayzah, Takura, Ammara Brown, and EX-Q.

The Inspiring Tale of Vusa "Blaqs" Hlatshwayo
Vusa "Blaqs" Hlatshwayo

Vusa "Blaqs" Hlatshwayo, also known as Umsebenzi Ka Blaqs, took to Twitter to narrate his remarkable journey: "I arrived in Harare on July 3, 2016, with only $20 in my pocket. Out of that, $15 went for bus fare, $2 for airtime, $1 for food, and $2 for emergencies. I was on a quest to meet a man I had never encountered before. After an exhausting 8-hour bus ride, I finally managed to reach him, but to my dismay, he had left for Mutare that very morning. My phone's battery was at 12%, and I had only $1 left."

Despite facing setbacks, Blaqs was determined to find a way. He quickly conducted a Facebook search and found another person who had mentioned the numerous opportunities available in Harare. Blaqs reached out to this person and was graciously invited to his place in Eastlea.

Blaqs then embarked on a journey to Eastlea, where he arrived, took a shower, and patiently waited for further developments. 

Around 6 pm, Blaqs received a call from his contact, informing him that he was now in Harare. Eager to meet this person, Blaqs headed back to town, specifically Copacabana, to rendezvous with him. However, upon arrival, he was informed that the contact had moved to Dzivarasekwa.

With only $1 left, Blaqs managed to find a Kombi (minibus taxi) to get to Dzivarasekwa. Unfortunately, when he tried to make another call, he discovered that his airtime was depleted. Nevertheless, he persisted, roaming around the shops, hoping for the contact to call him.

Eventually, he received a text from the contact that read 'Silver Benz.' In a sea of seven silver Benzes, Blaqs approached each one, but luck was on his side. From a distance, he spotted Alexio Kawara and decided to say hi. To his astonishment, the man he was looking for, Moses Matanda, was with Alexio. Moses, who is now the General Manager of NRTV Zimbabwe, was the one Blaqs had been searching for.

Moses offered Blaqs the chance to edit his movie, and Blaqs bravely accepted, even though he had never worked on a movie before. In the end, he managed to complete the job to Moses' satisfaction, proving his skills and determination.

As they waited for payment, Moses offered Blaqs the use of his equipment for any project of his choosing. This is when Blaqs remembered meeting EXQ a year earlier. He sent EXQ pictures of the gear, and on the same day, EXQ came over and told him about a song called "Bhachura" that he had done with Ammara Brown.

EXQ played a significant role in Blaqs' journey. Before and after the release of the "Bhachura" video, Mr. Puriri took it upon himself to become Blaqs' marketing manager. Thanks to his efforts, doors were opened, leading to Blaqs' association with Military Touch Movement as a visual partner. Subsequently, Blaqs got the opportunity to work on his first project with the renowned artist Jah Prayzah, which was titled "Dzamutsana."

In an interview with The Herald in January 2017, Blaqs expressed his contentment about shooting ExQ and Ammara's "Bhachura" video on a tight budget of less than $100. He clarified that while the video cost about $1,200, he invested all the money back into the project, receiving less than $100 for his work. Blaqs' standard charge was $1,000, but he didn't disclose the exact amount he received for the "What You Want" video.

Vusa "Blaqs" Hlatshwayo's journey is a testament to the power of determination and talent. Despite facing financial challenges and starting with meagre resources, Blaqs' dedication and skills allowed him to overcome obstacles and thrive in the competitive world of video directing. His inspiring story continues to motivate and encourage aspiring artists and filmmakers to pursue their dreams relentlessly.

Whether behind the camera or in life, Vusa "Blaqs" Hlatshwayo proves that with passion, resilience, and creativity, one can rise from humble beginnings to achieve greatness in their chosen field.

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Mungwadzi Godwin

twitterinstagramI like sharing positive stories about Zimbabweans at home and abroad. I also write articles on Personal Finance, Fashion, Music, and Tech. Let's connect!

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