|Known for||Being An Actor|
Silvanos Mudzvova is an award winning Zimbabwean actor and activist. He staged a one-man play titled Missing Diamonds, I Need My Share, which he said was inspired by disclosures made by Robert Mugabe that the country had lost $15 billion from diamond revenue. On 13 September 2016 he was reportedly abducted by six armed men at his home in Harare and found the next day at Nharira Hills with lacerations all over his body and an injured right toe with peeled skin.
He was selected for a year-long Artist Protection Fund Fellowship programme at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom (UK). The programme was under the University of Manchester’s Department of Arts, Languages and Culture and is focusing on issues related to the safety of artists.
Living In Fear
Mudzvova highlighted that he was living in fear, claiming his home had been frequented by an unidentified vehicle which he suspects belongs to State security agents. He said the Toyota single cab had frequented his home for four days which prompted him to report the matter to the police in his neighbourhood, but claimed the police said they were unable to open a docket on the matter.
Knowing how things are in Zimbabwe, I am now living in fear that something might happen either to me or my family.
He also took to social media platform, Facebook and wrote:
Colleagues and friends just to let you know, this vehicle with number plate ABI 6568 a d4d single cab without back number plate has been coming to my house every morning. So today (yesterday) with the assistance of a brave neighbour we managed to take a photo of the number plate. I tried making a report at the nearest police station, but the officers could not open a report for me. So am left with no option except to let you know of my situation.
In September 2016, suspected State security agents abducted Mudzvova from his Crowborough home. The armed assailants tortured him with sharp objects and an electric gadget which they placed on several parts of his body, including his genitals. Mudzvova told NewsDay from his hospital bed at a private clinic in Harare that the assailants threatened to round up and deal ruthlessly with all Tajamuka leaders. Narrating the incident Mudzvova said:
They came to my place at around 10:45pm. When they arrived, they pounded the door with stones and it ran into my mind that it might be State-sponsored militia. They kept on hitting the door until it gave in. Due to the force they were applying, both the door and the doorframe came out. I was with my family and I realised that if I resisted they would harm them. After gaining entry, they blindfolded me with a sackcloth and dragged me to their vehicle before driving off to Nharira Hills Farm B. I am asthmatic and by that time, I had challenges breathing.
He also said the assailants wanted to know where Tajamuka got its funding but he told them there were no funds to talk about. He said they also asked about information pertaining to Tajamuka's meetings and for the specific places where they met. Mudzvova said that they already knew about Tajamuka's meetings, but they just wanted him to confirm and clarify on certain issues, as they tried to link Tajamuka to many people, including a foreign journalist and the National Transitional Authority fronted by academic, Ibbo Mandaza. He also revealed that during the assault, a group of people showed up and asked what was happening. The assailants injected him before they left.
Achievements and Awards
In 2012 he was named among the recipients of the Human Rights Watch award for his play, Protest Revolutionaries. The award was Mudzvova’s first international recognition. The play has been translated into Arabic, Dutch and Chinese, a move that has won Mudzvova audiences across the globe.
He was awarded the 2017 Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent by Human Rights Foundation. Mudzvova was jointly honoured along with Venezuelan satirical media project El Chigüire Bipolar and Bahraini poet and activist Aayat Alqormozi. He was honored on May 24, 2017 and shared 350 000 Norwegian krones which is about $41 000.
In its citation, The Havel Prize Committee gave plaudits to Mudzvova for his bravery in the face of repression.
Silvanos Mudzvova’s persistence in using art and performance to challenge dictatorship is an inspiration. The persecution of Silvanos illustrates President Robert Mugabe’s cruelty, intolerance, and cowardice.
- Lorraine Muromo, Mudzvova gets UK fellowship, NewsDay, published: January 17, 2017, retrieved: May 24, 2017
- Winstone Antonio, $15 billion diamonds money actor Mudzvova living in fear, NewsDay, published: March 28, 2016, retrieved: September 14, 2016
- Obey Manayiti, Tajamuka activist abducted, tortured, NewsDay, published: September 15, 2016, retrieved: May 9, 2017
- Simbarashe Manahngo, Mudzvova honoured, Standard, published: October 14, 2012, retrieved: May 24, 2017
- Vasco Chaya, Mudzvova wins International Award, Daily News, published: May 9, 2017, retrieved: May 9, 2017