Spotlight on Performing Arts with JOHN KAPESA
MANY times, many people want to believe actors are only suited to telling stories in the theatre and movies. But verily, they add up too as among the premium in noble advertisements.
Looking at our many television channels, the countless advertisements involve scriptwriters, players, and directors. In fact, the producers of these adverts look for moderate actors.
This is why, today, I felt one such advert that has caught many viewers’ eyes on television involves Sweddy Jackson Mwanza who Trades Kings has found handy and useful. He has made most of the adverts sweet and well-meaning with bearable entertainment and information.
So where has this man, Sweddy Jackson Mwanza, materialised from?
Born in 1952 at Clinic One in a mining township of Kantanshi in the border town of Mufulira, this man’s inert theatrical talents were seemingly implanted at birth with a baritone natural voice he sings with, his fingers can strum a guitar with skilful delight while acting is part and parcel of him. It is in his blood, as the proverbial saying goes.
Spotting notable marks of grey hair and a long discoloured beard, Sweddy is now popular as Mr Milkit, an advert he features in along a small mixed race girl Meegan Fere. In the advert, Sweddy plays the successful livestock farmer whose milk is nourishing to drink to the elation of his assumed granddaughter.
In the other advert, Tiyende Pamodzi, a rendition song made popular by former President Kenneth Kaunda, Sweddy sings in vibrancy entertainment – the song calls for unity talking about how Zambia has benefited from the coming together of various tribes.
As a boy, Sweddy attended various primary schools in Mufulira: Central School, Horatio Field, Butondo and Kankoyo Upper primary schools before completing his form five at Mufulira High School. He then left for the United Kingdom where he trained and worked as an instructor fighter pilot.
Now settled in Chibombo, unforgettable in his memory, Sweddy told me, was his theatrical stint at Mufulira Little. Theatre, Lowenthal Theatre in Ndola and Chingola Arts Society.
Much earlier, he played Robin Hood, the ‘thief’ who stole from the rich to compensate the poor; a role he said he recalls with nostalgia.
Sweddy is abreast of local theatre and feels Zambia has great potential to turn round the creative industry into a money spinner if only the corporate world can highly invest in it.
He says industries that advertise various products should not give miserly payments, but help the creative industry to grow and create employment to contribute to the gross domestic product.
“In my view, the film industry will one day mature into a worthwhile industry with incomparable levels on the continent,” says Sweddy.
He says support and investment in the theatre and film industry should be a priority, with Government also putting in some input.
John.firstname.lastname@example.org – 0955-0977-710975.