ZIO MWALE, Lusaka
FAMOUSLY known for being the first Zambian film producer to be honoured by President Lungu, film producer Nasho Mapulanga is passionate about growing the Zambian film industry.
Raised in Lusaka, Mr Mapulanga did his basic education at Kabwata Primary and later moved to Kamwala Secondary School where he completed his secondary education in 1996.
His passion for the film Industry stems from childhood when he used to perform plays and poems in his school and at home.
‘‘I was always creating things when I was young, I remember performing sketches and reciting poems to my parents at home, we would also create sets and act out movie scenes,” he explained.
Further, he pursued media studies at Evelyn Hone in 1998 and in 2000, he left to pursue other Media studies in South Africa. In 2005, he went to National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA) were he pursued a diploma in management studies.
In 2007, Mr Mapulanga got a job at Young and Rubicam Advertising Agency where he is still working as a client service director.
“I couldn’t go directly into opening my company because the film industry in Zambia has its own challenges, so I needed to get a job first,” he shared.
After two years of sarving money, he managed to register Every Moment Connections in 2009, a film production company that has today employed over ten staff members.
“I had challenges with finances and finding the right people to run the company when I was not around was not easy,” Mr Mapulanga said.
Through his company, he is today known as a filmmaker who is changing the country through movies. He produces entertainment movies that inspire and accelerates social change.
“I realised that young people love watching movies, so through my passion, I dedicated myself to producing movies that can carry positive messages to the young people,” he explained.
In 2014, his company produced Chimfya Zambia’s first ever animated movie. Like the name, Chimfya is a local word meaning to overcome, it was a story about a group of young dance who refuse to give up in life but instead use their God given talent to overcome their challenges.
Out of the movie was born The Victory Inside Project (VIP) which Mr Mapulanga and his team are running in Kalingalinga where young people use dance to empower themselves to go back to school.
“We develop dances with the young people, they then perform at corporate events and the proceedings go towards their school fees,” he said.
Mr Mapulanga shared that the project also allows him to share positive information with the youth.
“In this project, we help the young people realise their potential, we make them understand that alcohol and drug abuse is not a way to enjoy life,” he said.
His other works are also seen in Mufaya, a movie which has made history in the country and earned him a recognition award by President Lungu on Independence Day.
Mufaya is a movie about a young man struggling to find redemption in a changing world, while drawing attention to the ills of alcohol and drug abuse.
The movie got the honour for helping to fight the alcohol and drug problem in Zambia. It was timely produced at a time when most youths have taken to alcohol and drug abuse.
“You know the moment the insignia was pressed on my jacket by President Ian Seretse Khama of Botswana, I felt like my vision is slowly being fulfilled, I realised that people are seeing our works in the film industry,” he explained.
In 2016, Mufaya’s trailer was one of Zambia’s most anticipated movies, those who saw the trailer at Sterkinekor in Lusaka and at the Kitwe Little Theater were left mesmerised by the high level of acting portrayed by the cast.
Since the movie aims at mitigating the challenge of drug and alcohol abuse in the country, part of the proceedings from the movie where donated to Chainama Hills Hospital for victims of alcohol and drugs.
The movie has a power packed cast with actresses like renowned musicians Maureen Lilanda (who plays aunty Grace) and Adora Mwape (Ms Mufaya). It has Zodwa Kumalo (who plays Mufaya’s girlfriend), Thandiwe Kamanga (who acts as a shabeen queen) and Binzwell Mudenda (Mufaya).
Others are Jean Riley, Mwansa Mwanakaoma, Pricilla Steenhaut, Fretina Zulu, Mapalo Mulenga, Memory Mwaba, Angela Kangwa, Lissy Yambayamba, Betty Chuulu, Wanga Zulu, Theresa Mbesuma, Alice Milambo, Cynthia Bwembya and Eneless Chilonda.
“On Mufaya, the company was able to contract a cast of close to 40 and crew of 20, we employed 60 people during the making of the movie,” he explained.
Mufaya scooped the Best Feature Film of the year award in the 2016 Sotambe Documentary Film and Arts Festival (SOTAMBE DFAF) which took place from September 20, 24 at Kitwe Little Theatre.
This year, it won best movie of the year at Zambia Film, Television and Radio Awards (ZAFTA).
“We saw a new demand for quality content and as a producer I made an extra effort to ensure that I create work that meets international standards,” he said.