The return of Prince “Snake” Zulu…

Many may remember the notorious thug from the popular soap Amakorokoza Snake, a man who made the soap worthy to watch back in the day. He and Teresia made a perfect combination that we all today wish to see again. He carved a name for himself, a high school friend who saw me with Snake on the day we had our conversation about his return told me that he would love to see the man on the big screen again. I smilled, as I sat with a legend who many wanted to see exhibit his art mastery again.

Single but life begins at 40 so I would like to settle down now.

The journey Prince Zulu has travelled is full of many interesting tales, it is also a journey with missed fortunes and the usual confusion that is bought by the arts industry in Zimbabwe. A journey were fame can be the only recognition that you get when you are in the business of the arts. A profession were you can be sidelined or were some man may take advantage of your sweat to enrich themselves.

It is all this turnarounds that Zulu has seen in his career that has seen him tour the world from his debut role in a play titled NO DIFFERENCE, directed by the late Mike Sobiko. Snake opens on his journey and how he rose to fame, he also tells us about his latest production were he again plays the role of a heartless uncle Zama.
Urban Culxure had a rare conversation with Zulu at the ceremonial home of Art Amakhosi Theatre, and below is the conversation he had with Entertainment writer Kudakwashe Takundwa (K.T).
(K.T): Tell us how did it all start?
(P.Z): I have always loved dancing, I was a fan of Pantshula dance I could dance nonstop whenever I got the chance. At weddings I used to cause a stir with my moves. While doing my high school at Methodist Centre I joined Siyaya Arts then known as NASA (Nostalgic Actors & Singers Alliance) and was directed by the late Mike Sobiko then. I started of as a dancer then at times will get roles in plays. It was during the time my skill for acting grew.

I was also part of the  Zimbabwe Dance Company during the SADCC Dance Festival in 2001

(K.T): Then which was your first major break to the theatre scene?
(P.Z): The year 1996 will forever be imprinted in my mind, I got a chance to shine I got a role in the play NO DIFFERENCE were I played the role of Thompson a poverty stricken young boy. It was hard at first as I at times forgot my lines, I shocked everyone on stage when I pulled the greatest performance ever on the day. We premiered the play I acted on that play with veteran director Simon “Mambazo” Phiri, Richard Masuku, and Prisca Mabhena. It was marvelous I will never forget that.
(K.T): Have you ever went on tour?
(P.Z): Oh! Yes I have toured the world it all started with us going to perform in Zambia and South Africa in 1995. Then it became a roller coaster ride as we toured the world we were all over Ghana, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

 

Fact –File
Name: Prince Zulu
D.O.B: 25 December 1975
Schools Attended: Lobengula Primary School
Tobwe Primary school (Binga)
Methodist Centre (Foarm1-4)
Marital Status: Single but life begins at 40 so I would like to settle down now.
Any children: Sasha Juliet Zulu (doing grade seven at St Patrick’s and is following in
My footsteps as she is a dancer and actor).
Favorite Dish: Sadza and Meat

(K.T): With all this tours have you ever thought of not coming back home?

(P.Z): That has never crossed my mind I love my country despite all the challenges we may face. They are no problems which last forever things change. I have seen colleagues who have stayed behind who end up living not so good lives with some ending up seeking asylum, which at times takes away your freedom. Being in my motherland is just wonderful. Home is best.
(K.T): Why did you change to Television?

(P.Z): I have always wanted to take my career to another level so I auditioned for a role in the soap Amakorokoza and I got it and from then I never looked back as more roles came. I acted in the comedy Kings Krall written by Veteran playwright Christopher Mlalazi, I also had a featured on the soap Izolo Yizolo.
(K.T): How did you feel after clenching the 2008 NAMA award?
(P.Z): My brother I was excited, after missing the 2007 award I never thought I will take the accolade. I will also never forget the experience I had as I took that award. It made me understand I was making an impact with my acting.
(K.T): What inspired you take up the arts?
(P.Z): Dancing have always made me want to take art with passion and love. Amakhosi seeing them going on tours before the square was built while they used to do their rehearsals at Stanley Square I love d their development and I wished to be in their feet and when that came I was totally amazed.
(K.T): Besides acting what else would you love to do ?
(P.Z): My brother I have watched too many action movies and I will love to be a stunt man. I want to do the real things.
(K.T): Can you tell us what else do you do in the creative sector?
(P.Z): Am also a music composer I have perfomed with Bulawayo group Go Boyz during Ibumba Festival last year feature in 3 singles done by Producer Mjox of Emafletini studios. I can also compose music.
(K.T): What will be your words to those upcoming in the arts?
(P.Z): Patience if you don’t have it you won’t go anywhere. Have to learn that days I not always the same at times you have shows were you are virtually paid nothing but at times you have shows were you smile all the way to the bank.
(K.T): What will you urge co-operates or business people to do to people in the creative sector?
(P.Z): Companies have often sidelined us you find them doing adverts with people who are hardly known, and that at times jeopardize their brands. Their should work with us in their marketing campaigns. It will make brands be visible.
(K.T): Describe yourself in 3 words?
(P.Z): Quiet, shy and Creative
(K.T): Thank you Prince

(P.Z): You are welcome…

Prince Snake Zulu stars in the film The bicycle thief  and plays the role of  Zama.