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Norton Actor Breaks Into Bollywood

Norton has added another gem in the national treasure, this time in form of Tafadzwa Fazenda whose star is shining on South African screens.

It’s been over a decade since he joined the great trek to South Africa, where he found his pastures greener on stage and on television.

He has not only put Norton on the big screen but Zimbabwe as a whole, being one of the first Zimbabweans, if not the first to feature in a Bollywood production.

Nhau caught up with the rising star and here is what he had to say:

How did you get into acting?
I got into the arts professionally in 2012 after forming Poetic Justice-a poetry group with some friends. We wrote, directed and performed plays with poetic dialogue, an art form we coined “theatrical poetry”. With Poetic Justice, I got an opportunity to perform on Corporate stages, arts festivals, open mic sessions as well different theatres around Joburg.
After Poetic Justice was dissolved, I had accumulated enough professional experience to get an agent as a professional actor and later on I got my Drama training with the University of the Witwatersrand. As they say, the rest is history.

Describe your journey to where you are today?
I have to be honest, it has been a rough journey (still is). I spent a lot time doing free shows for “exposure” in order to gain experience and sharpen my craft. I have had to say no to other opportunities because of my love for performance art. This means I have been broke many times than I can remember.
Right now, I am at a position where I get paid for anything artistic I do, be it Mceeing, voice overs or acting. However, I haven’t made it yet. I still struggle to get certain gigs or projects. That being said am grateful for the progress thus far.

What can you say was your TV breaking role?
I am still yet to get my tv breaking role. I have done small roles on shows like Binnerlanders. However, I am praying for contract on any of the popular tv shows.

What projects are you currently featuring?
I recently shot an International project, an Indian feature film titled Kakababu Protyaborton where I was playing the role of a Kenyan hotel manager, Philips Kikuyu. It was shot here in South Africa. The film will be available in Cinemas across India soon.

What/ who inspires you and in what way?
Black people inspire me. We have gone through so much as a people, from slavery to colonialism to apartheid, yet we always find a way to be gracious, funny, talented. We are in a space were black people are reclaiming their glory and it is beautiful to watch. I can only be inspired by that.

What are your greatest aspirations as far as art is concerned?
If I can get to a point where my talents are showcased on a global level, I will die a satisfied man.

How do you view the local film industry?
The South African film Industry is growing though at a slow pace. We just need more investors to believe in the value of telling our own stories and how lucrative it can be.

Do you have any plans to ignite acting in Zimbabwe (or Norton)?
I think I would be exhibiting an overblown sense of importance if I would say I would “ignite” acting in Zimbabwe considering there are brothers and sister already making strides in telling their stories despite how unfriendly the environment is. We can speak of Cook Off the Zimbabwean film directed by Tomas Brickhill which gained international recognition is not on Netflix. That alone speaks of the talents and work that Zimbabwean artists are doing. Nhau/Indaba

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