Image Via: Gazette Live
|Born||Julius Masimba Musodza|
March 29, 1976
|Education||Avondale Primary School|
|Alma mater||St Mary Magdalene's High School|
|Parent(s)||Samuel Musodza (father) and Catherine Muramba Musodza (mother)|
Masimba Musodza is a Zimbabwean born screenwriter and author known for his collection of short stories The Man Who Turned Into A Rastafarian. He is based in the United Kingdom. Masimba is a devort Rastafarian. Musodza touches on the theme of horror, science-fiction and fantasy. His novel MunaHacha Maive Nei? published in 2011 is the first ever science-fiction novel in Shona and the first work in that southern African language to appear in digital format first before going to print.
Masimba Musodza was born Julius Masimba Musodza on 29 March 1976 in Harare at the cusp of the emergence of the new Zimbabwe, the eldest son of a senior civil servant in the Ministry of Lands. He was born to Catherine Musodza and Samuel Musonza who passed on in 2014. He has a brother Tawanda Musodza who is known in rap circles as Twan Afriqa. The Musodza family are of the Buja people of Mutoko , north east Zimbabwe. Reading was encouraged in the Musodza household.
Masimba attended Avondale Primary School for his primary school education from 1983 to 1989. He then went to St Mary Magdalene's High School in Nyanga from 1990 to 1993 for his secondary school education. Masimba then attended Vision Valley, Film, Video & Television Institute in Harare where he attained a Diploma in Screenwriting & Directing. He is also studied at the Teeside University in Middlesborough, United Kingdom for a BA (Hons) English with Creative Writing. He trained as a screenwriter, selling his first screenplay to Media For Development Trust in 2002.
Masimba once wrote a story that appeared in the magazine The New Generation. While still at school, he submitted a manuscript to Macmillan Publishers in the United Kingdom for their Pacesetters series, a spy thriller about a South African Bantustan that had nuclear weapons. Although enthusiastically received and described as a “good, pacey read”, he was asked to rewrite it. Unfortunately the Pacesetters series was discontinued and the novel never saw the light of day.
He also honed his screenwriting and directing skills with Edgar Langeveldt's Nexus Talent Agency where he got a part in play No News which premiered in 1997 in Theater-in-the-Park and directed by Dominic Kanaventi. He played the role of the racist antagonist, Panganai replacing Willom Tight. Apart from working with Nexus Talent Agency he also worked with Zimbabwe International Film Festival, the African Script Development Fund and Raindance Institute in the United Kingdom.
Musodza's first professional writing gig was with one of Africa's largest production houses, Media For Development Trust. He also worked for UNESCO - Zimbabwe Film & Video Training Project for Southern Africa in Harare, which was housed in a Government building, attempts to censor his political voice occurred until it reached a point where he was threatened and had to leave to the United Kingdom in 2002 where he sought asylum.
He wrote his first book The Man Who Turned Into A Rastafarian which is a collection of short stories. Musodza owns a small press, Belontos Books.
- The Rapture of Pastor Agregate Makunike, Chitungwiza Musha Mukuru: An Anthology From Zimbabwe's Biggest Ghetto Town, Mwanaka Publishing, Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe, 2020
- The Witch of Eskale Hall, "Creep" anthology, ed. Jay Chakravarti, Culture Cult Magazine, India, 2019, ISBN 978-1073442454
- The Interplanetary Water Company, AfroSFv3, 2018, StoryTime, ISBN 978-9198291339
- MunaHacha Maive Nei? (2nd edition), 2016, Belontos Books, ISBN 978-1-908690-24-1
- African Roar (Anthology, contributed Yesterday's Dog, a short-story) edited by E. Sigauke/I.W. Hartmann, Lion Press, 2010, ISBN 978-0-9562422-8-0
- Shavi Rechikadzi, 2015, Belontos Books, ISBN 978-1-908690-24-1
- Here be Cannibals, Jungle Jim #23, Afreak Press, Cape Town, 2014
- When the Trees were Enchanted, Winter Tales, Fox Spirit Books, ISBN 978-1-909348-88-2
- Chishamiso, Bookends, The Sunday Observer, Kingston, 2012
- Uriah's Vengeance, Lion Press, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9558082-5-8
- The Village Idiot, Trends, Bulawayo, 2006
Masimba Musodza's professional acting debut was in Edgar Langeveldt's play, No News, which premiered at Theatre-In-The-Park, Harare, in 1997. He also appears in a short film, Vengeance is Mine (2001) by Tawanda Gunda. However, it was not until he settled in Middlesbrough that he began to pursue acting more seriously. He appeared in a short play, To Be Or Not To Be, written by compatriot Dictator Maphosa, as part of the Middlesbrough Council-sponsored Boro Bites short plays (August, 2010). In 2011, he joined the Arc Sketch Group, an extension of the Writers Block North East workshops, which put on themed sketch shows at the Arc Theatre, Stockton-on-Tees until it disbanded in 2012.
Since then, Masimba Musodza has been a film and TV extra, appearing in such productions as Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands (Episode 11), where he plays a Vani warrior. He can also be seen in the festival teaser and UK trailer for Ken Loach's I, Daniel Blake. He has also appeared in Make! Craft Britain, which was aired on BBC4 the 9th of June 2016. His most recent appearance has been in the short film I Need help (Ben Stainsby,2018), where he plays 'The Wise Man'.
- Masimba Musodza, Biography, masimbamusodza.co.ok, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: August 21, 2015
- Sarah Dale, From Zimbabwe to Middlesbrough: One man's story about seeking asylum in the UK, Gazette Live, Published: October 10, 2014, Retrieved: August 21, 2015