Moralistic and educational or not? Good piece of art or not? Vimbai Zimuto’s latest video “Handigone”, featuring seasoned actor Leroy Gopal, has set the social media afire and left more questions than answers.
It has certainly ruffled the feathers of the conservative and redefined what has changed, or not changed, between culture and the modern way of living as the world becomes a global village.
That it is classified as No Under 18 speaks volumes of the intention to break the norm of what artistes from our motherland normally produce, yet it plays up to the adult world, which is a taboo in our society.
South African-based Gopal, says it was a unique experience working with Vimbai on the video.
The video sees Vimbai philandering and cuddling with Gopal, and both are semi naked.
Many think it is not suitable for the local market, given our conservative nature and also considering that Gopal, is a family man while others saluted the artistes for job well done.
It is a crack at attracting Hollywood’s attention, and indeed they outdid themselves in that respect.
Most of our fans crave for erotic music videos from international stars like Beyonce, Ciara, Usher Raymond and Rihanna among others.
Should our artistes remain rigid or be prisoners of culture?
Who then determines what is right or wrong and how then do we compete and put ourselves on the international map, considering the creative business is growing fast beyond our borders?
For a fact, Vimbai is well known for such scenes and roles in her showbiz catalogue, and that is what makes her tick.
Gopal is a renowned television actor and such raunchy scenes come with the package of acting.
In that regard, some said that they are safe when it comes to art because it has no limits.
In 2000, Gopal became famous in local production “Yellow Card” and again he turned heads and left some speechless after he kissed Ratidzo Mambo in the film.
It seems there was nothing wrong with the film as it portrayed what happens in real life. The same can be said of Vimbai’s video as it portrays what usually happens when two people are in love.
Gopal said in an interview there was nothing wrong with the scenes as there were both acting.
He said it was a unique experience.
“Shooting was not easy at all. We spent a lot of time making sure we are ready which literally took close to seven hours on costumes, camera, lighting locations, then another six hours to do the actual shoot which came with a lot specialised shots as both Vimbai and I are very pedantic when it comes to shots, so we discovered on set,” he said.
“It was a lot of fun as you can imagine the comments flying between us and the crew. Overall, it was a unique experience working with Vimbai, very professional and she knows what she wants to portray in her work.”
Gopal said a lot of people were asking them how the two met and their chemistry.
“Just a little under a year ago, I hosted the NAMAS in Harare and my opening joke was, ‘It’s not on here but we won’t be taking off our clothes we can leave that to Vimbai Zimuto’ and this got her attention because after the show, someone told me that Vimbai was looking for me.
“So I immediately thought of how I was going to explain myself, but she loved the joke and we got talking about our different projects that we were busy with. We spoke of this project for a good four to six months before we shot it.”
Gopal said such scenes are not new to him as he has acted likewise.
“Yes I have acted in such a manner before. I think it is more intense actually. I did a film called “Siren’s Feast” which was based on Greek mythology of food and sex. I will leave your imagination to what that set was like and a couple of other theatre productions too.”
He added that people have their opinion, but one should remain focused and know their goal.
“I knew this will cause a lot of noise here and there, but I think it’s a well stylistically done video that tells a story that we don’t often tell or share. Some will appreciate and some will hate. Which is what life is about,” he said.
The “Yellow Card “actor did not want to talk about his wife and how she is responding to the video.
“I can’t comment on that”, he said.
On the lockdowns, Gopal said he was spending time with family.
“I have been spending most of my time with my wife and my kids and we discovered new things about ourselves as a family through games and watching movies together.
“My wife helped build my studio and paint it. I learnt a lot of patience from my children as I had to home school them. So creativity is key,” he said.