|Years active||1986 to present|
|Known for||Acting: Studio 263|
Stephen Chigorimbo is a Zimbabwean born actor writer and film director who rose to fame with a popular Zimbabwean soap opera Studio 263 in which he played the role of John Huni.
Chigorimbo was born on 5 April 1951. Before taking film full-time, Chigorimbo worked in the insurance industry and was one of the first training managers in the industry in the 1970s.
Chigorimbo was one of the assistant directors for a movie called "Cry Freedom" which featured international actors such as Denzel Washington. He also featured in a movie called "Odium" in 2014 which was directed by ex-mate at Studio 263 Ben Mahaka who played the role of Tom Mbambo. He also featured in a movie "King Solomon's Mines" directed by actress Sharon Stone. He also featured in a movie "Forbidden Fruit" in 2013.
Chigorimbo rose to fame in the local movie industry when he featured in Studio 263 as John Huni, a central figure in the movie who influenced the flow of every episode. It was in this production where he worked with the likes of Anne Nhira and Tatenda Mavetera who became influential figures in the local film industry. Studio 263 was a launch pad for most actors’ careers, yet Chigorimbo was actually marking a third decade in the arts industry when he joined the soap.
His experience in the industry involved being Denzel’s assistant director and taking a prominent role in one of the most successful films to be shot in Zimbabwe titled King Solomon’s Mines. King Solomon’s Mines also had its own Hollywood stars that included Sharon Stone, Richard Chamberlain and Herbert Lom. It was indeed a sweet period for the Zimbabwean film industry as the top stars came to rub shoulders with our own Fidelis Cheza and Simon “Mutirowafanza” Shumba who took part in “King Solomon’s Mines”. (May their souls rest in peace).
Chigorimbo recalls how he showed Denzel around Harare as they did “Cry Freedom” and how they built a “city” near Snake Park to shoot “King Solomon’s Mines”. “I began as a stage actor and that role exposed me to good networks until I got my first film role in ‘The Albino’ (also titled ‘Whispering Death’) in 1974. The director was from Germany and there was a problem of accent clarity between him and the cast. I had worked with a number of whites and I could understand him better, so he ended up giving me the role of assistant director,” Chigorimbo recalled.
“That role was the beginning of my roles directing movies. When the makers of ‘King Solomon’s Mines’ came in the early 80s they had heard about me and I was engaged as a second assistant director. The movie did very well and I became popular with international filmmakers. We built a city we called Tongoola in Somerby near Snake Park and that is where most scenes were shot.
“I visited Britain just after the movie and that is when I met Donald Woods the author of ‘Asking for Trouble’, which is based on his interaction with Steve Biko. There was a plan to make it into a film titled ‘Cry Freedom’ and I immediately got involved in the project.”
After “Cry Freedom”, Chigorimbo did many other projects that saw him touring many parts of the world. He did various local dramas and he developed a close relationship with the late “Studio 263” producer Godwin Mawuru. They mooted the idea of the soap together and joined hands with Aaron Chiundura Moyo in the early days of the production. Because of his busy international schedule, Chigorimbo joined the soap later and became popular as John Huni or Jena of JH Constructions. He was also one of the directors of the soap until he left in 2006. Currently Chigorimbo is a film consultant and is working on an online television station that is likely to be complete by the end of the year.
Chigorimbo founded African Sun Motion Pictures Private Limited in 1986, a company which he still is working with in South Africa. He also worked for Moonlight Pictures as a line producer from 1996 and 1999. He also worked as a partner at Secure Tec Australasia Private Limited from 2008 to present.
- Studio 263
- Forbidden Love
- King Solomon's Mines
- Cry Freedom
- , Stephen Chigorimbo,Stephen Chogorimbo Facebook, retrieved:7 Apr 2015"
- Y. Karengezeka, Chigorimbo Stars in a new Film,The Herald, published:31 Jul 2015,retrieved:7 Apr 2015"
- T. Sibanda, Chigorimbo stars in short film on forbidden love,Standard, Published:25 Aug 2013, Retrieved:7 Apr 2015
- Godwin Muzari, , The Herald, Published: 18 November, 2016, Accessed: 10 July, 2020