Renowned local filmmaker Vickson Hangula last night premiered his latest film ‘Zula Boyz’ at the National Theatre of Namibia.
Zula Boyz is a comic piece depicting ‘Denbanbille’ and ‘Boeta’ in their day-to-day life, using different strategies (Zula) to survive. However, they also find themselves on the wrong side of the law when they get into trouble.
The screenwriter, playwright, producer and director told VIBEZ! the idea about the film came about eight years ago, and he want to make it into a television series about housing as a theme.
“I looked at the (housing) situation around the country and thought to myself to come up with a comedic approach to this very serious problem we are facing. The premiere of the movie last night is actually a pilot to enable me to shop around and source sponsorships to the tune of N$ 2.7 million to have a 13-part TV series.”
The project started three years ago, but production stopped when Covid-19 hit in 2020.
“Funding became a problem because some sponsors I had lined up did not want to take the risk going forward, as things started going haywire. We only started shooting again at the beginning of this year. I really love how everything worked out, because the cast was so amazing.”
The cast consists of Mervin Claasen, who won the Ma/Gaisa Star competition earlier this year, while veteran actors Norman Job and Armas Shivute also landed roles in the film.
Claasen plays the lead character called ‘Denbans’, also known as ‘Denbanbille’.
“I got a call sometime back; don’t even remember the exact date. The director called and shared information regarding the movie. He sent me the script and asked me to audition for the role to see whether I can do it. I was already excited since comedy is my line of expertise. The director simply loved what I was bringing to the table and I got the role,” he told VIBEZ!
The upcoming actor feels the film was an absolute adventure and like being surrounded by people who love the art.
“People went an extra mile to make the movie a reality. The amazing people of Okahandja – our gratitude is overflowing to them. These adventures took place in Okahandja’s business area, location and Five Rand constituency.”
Hangula’s noticeable films include ‘Fish out of water’, ‘Joseph’s Dilemma’, ‘The girls in their Sunday dresses’, and the ‘Once we were hunters’ documentary.
“All my movies are unique and special in their own way. I still want to do my feature film called ‘Nangula’ next year. It is very close to me as it takes me back to my childhood growing up in the 80s, sleeping to the soundtrack of gunshots, not understanding what was going on in the north where the war was on.”
Another project which he is eyeing is ‘Kalahari Olympians’, which is set in the Kalahari with San people working on competing in the Olympics.
“I am really happy about the awards we have been winning recently. We now have a chance to go to the Oscars. The world is ready for Namibian films. This is our chance now, if we can get more corporates on board, government and the local TV stations to come together.
“We really are sitting with the ideas; we know it’s costly but we can juggle budgets and make things work. We have hope to tell stories of the liberation struggle, the resistance, the Mahareros, Witboois and Marengos. It’s time we buy in - from corporates to government - to take the film industry seriously,” he concluded.