Q&A with Tari Mtetwa

Who is Tari Mtetwa?

Tari Mtetwa is a Zimbabwean artist working on various media. A visual artist, poet and filmmaker. Studied Film and Television and also English and Communication. I currently live in Harare and apart from personal film productions I lecture Film Studies at the Film and Television School of Southern Africa. I’m passionate about all things art.

What kind of work do you produce?  

“And The Beat Goes On…” is a 73 minute documentary that explores the life and music of Zimbabwe’s music legends late and alive with children who are also pursuing the art. It features the music of Willom and Gary Tight, Andy and Ammara Brown, Leonard Dembo and sons (Tendai and Morgan) Elijah and Safirio Madzikatire and Mechanic Manyeruke and son Guspy Warrior. In cases where the artists are late we interviewed people who worked with them for instance Sam Mataure covered for Andy Brown, Raphael Makwiramiti (L.Dembo’s manager) for Dembo and Chibhodhoro for Mukadota.

How did you come up with this idea?

The idea came after I realised the trend of so many children of artists following their parents’ trade. My question was whether they were really talented as their parents or just something they were forcing. With that background I put together a team and started working on the project.

Four of us worked on the project, Obey Marimo Cinematography and Sound, Thobekile Sibanda – Voice Artist, Kudakwashe Masoka – Editor and myself Producer/Director.

What sources did you use while researching for this work?

I got much of the information from the National Archives of Zimbabwe where I got videos of the artists in the film, their songs and footage of television programmes in which they featured. The artists themselves helped with information they had archived personally. I also interviewed some people who are experts on Zimbabwean music such as Bob Nyabinde and Musa Zimunya (a lecturer and writer)

What challenges did you face?

The biggest challenge was that the National Archives did not have all the footage I would have wanted and the artists themselves at times could not help.

The project was also self-funded so there were budgetary constraints but nothing too big to stop the work from going on.

We also couldn’t secure interviews from some artists we would have loved to include in the project.

Where do we watch your work; Youtube? ZBC?

My work is coming to the small screen soon, on some pay television. I’ve just concluded that deal and that restricts me from uploading it on sites like youtube but as soon as the contract’s bond period is over I’ll upload it.

What more should we expect from you besides documentaries?

From now I’ll be working on more of Zimbabwean art luminaries. Expect to see work on Zim literature at some point.

The End.

From now I’ll be working on more of Zimbabwean art luminaries. Expect to see work on Zim literature at some point.

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