BY KENNEDY NYAVAYA
Off set, red-hot comedian Cathy Chapungu, aka Dhafu, longs to live her best life after breaking into the limelight over the last year, but society’s high standards and scrutiny of luminaries in show business are forcing her to blend into a deceitful character of perfectness.
In 2020, Dhafu gained popularity for effortlessly bringing hilarious characters to life in skits crafted by the Naiza Boom production company.
In an interview with Standard Style, the Chitungwiza-bred actress conceded that the new-found fame came with high expectations that she feels are unfair for those within the arts sector.
“When you are in the limelight, you have to be perfect yet everyone is human and can honestly make errors, but famous people in the entertainment industry are heavily scrutinised, which is wrong,” said Dhafu.
“As an ordinary person, I used to just do everything that I wanted and no one would mind, but now every step I take has to be calculated as they say celebrity life has no mistakes. When you make one (mistake), people will use that against you forgetting all the good you have done.”
The married mother of three, a caterer, detailed how she traded utensils for the script in 2018 when she met Naiza Boom director Michael Machiona at a music video shoot.
“I started acting in 2018 after Naiza (Machiona) reached out to me during a cameo appearance in a music video he was shooting,” she said, adding:
“It took a lot of convincing because at first I did not believe him, but he pushed me until I realised that I was talented as an actor.”
Without any advanced acting education to talk of, Dhafu insists that apart from drawing motivation from her mother, the witty antics are a result of determination, hard work and the genius of her scriptwriters.
“My inspiration comes from my mother because she is someone who does not easily give up and fights for all she does to happen. Then when it comes to my scripts, it is all up to the director whom I can say is full of jokes, so that is where it all comes from,” she said.
While her career is still in its formative stages, where she considers meeting and working with other locally renowned comics “great achievements”, the ever-smiling jester has dreams to crack ribs on an international scale.
“What I aim to achieve is to be recognised on an international scale, I want to raise the Zimbabwean flag high so that people may know that there is a comedian like me to uplift the name of our country. If I get there, my heart will be fulfilled,” revealed Dhafu.
However, that will take more than just talent and while lack of funding threatens to derail their works, she has vowed to use what is at her disposal to inspire more female voices in the creative sphere.
“I want to be a person that will empower gifted women in different genres of art so they can stand up, have courage and faith in themselves.
“We want women to be everywhere in the industry. I might not be able to give them financial assistance, but through advice I can impart some knowledge,” she said.
Meanwhile, she also added that people should expect more outstanding work from her this year as she will be sticking to work ethic and hunger to achieve more.
“People should expect a lot from me because more is still in the pipeline, so I thank God because I believe there are a lot of surprises coming and I am promising fireworks as I will keep on working hard.”