Harare – The production team involved in putting together the remake of the classic film Neria have big shoes to fill as the work they are recreating forms part of Zimbabwe`s screen heritage.
Neria, released in 1991, is Zimbabwe’s highest ever grossing film with its star-studded cast and moving tale of the place of women in a patriarchal society.
Big names who starred in the original included music icon Oliver Mtukudzi and screen legend Jesesi Mungoshi, as well as Emmanuel Mbirimi and Kubi Indi.
Rawsoot Studios is now trying to remake Neria with a more contemporary touch.
They recently released a trailer of the movie that follows the story of a widow who suffers prejudice at the hands of her in-laws.
Kudzai Chengedza, who has been cast as the lead, told The Southern Times that she could feel the weight of expectation.
“This is an exciting opportunity that I find requires a great amount of focus and hard work. I feel really honoured and humbled to be playing this immense role, and I am giving it my best shot,” she said.
Jesesi Mungoshi played the lead role in the original, and she is a tough act to follow.
Explaining what went through her mind when she was approached to reprise Mungoshi’s role, Chengedza said: “I was excited and nervous. Excited that the producers had seen potential in me. Nervous as I wondered if I could fill in the shoes of such a big role. I, however, felt confident that I would put my best foot forward and give it all I have.”
Innocent Kufakunesu, a product of Oliver Mtukudzi`s Pakare Paye Arts Centre, will play the same role that his mentor played.
But not everyone is excited about the remake.
“Once y’all done with letting us down with this #Neria reboot (cause it’s always unwise to rehash classics), can we talk about the many amazing pieces of Zimbabwean literature that deserve movie adaptations?(sic),” said one person using the Twitter handle @Iam_So_Acarne.