By Kundai Marunya
Renowned theatre practitioner Tafadzwa Bob Mutumbi has left for the United States to further his studies in physical theatre.
Mutumbi will be attending the Dell’arte International School of Physical theatre to further his studies from his last year’s Professional Training Program, pursuing a Masters in Physical Theatre. His travel was made possible through a tuition scholarship from the school and travelling and living expenses from Almasi Collaborative Arts through the newly established Walter Mparutsa Fellowship.
In an interview with Spiked Lifestyle, Mutumbi said, “I’m grateful for the help Almasi is giving me, recognizing my talent and skills with a fellowship that bears the name of one of our greats. Without their support even with the scolarship I would not have been able to travel and pursue my studies.” He received $15,000 to cover his expenses adding on to the $5,000 he had raised through a crowd-funding initiative online.
Mutumbi has grown around theatre from his childhood, then high school before attending Theory X under the mentorship of Zane Lucas. He has featured in many local plays performing at different venues including Theatre In the Park, UZ Beit Hall, Reps Theatre and HIFA. His work includes the Gospel of Othello, Black Jesus and a radio play Kuziva Mbuya Huudzwa with the late legend Walter Mparutsa among many others. “Walter Mparusta was my mentor and he taught me so much to shape up my career in theatre to where I am today,” said Mutumbi.
The he fellowship is a new initiative meant to benefit artists in theatre to nurture and improve their careers and Mutumbi is the first beneficiary. Artists can apply at any time of the year while the awarding of the fellowship is based on merit.
Meanwhile, Almasi has employed a new managing director Mushandisi Kahari. “My plan of action is to spread our work to other provinces of Zimbabwe and we are already consulting with various stakeholders on the best way to implement this,” said Kahari. He added that he is in talks with ZiFM Stereo to bring back theatre on the radio. “Radio reaches almost everyone who cannot be physically available to watch live theatre. It is also accessible to many through various mobile devisees thus inclusive of marginalized communities.”