Actor, Producer, Playwright
Walter Muparutsa
Walter Lambert Dehwe Muparutsa
BornWalter Lambert Dehwe Muparutsa
(1941-03-23)March 23, 1941
DiedApril 12, 2012(2012-04-12) (aged 71)
EducationSt Augustine's Penhalonga, Mutare, Ranch House College, Harare, Luveve Technical College, Bulawayo
  • Actor
  • Producer
  • Playwright
  • Consultant
Years active1960 to 2012
Spouse(s)Sarah Muparutsa

Walter Mupurutsa was a renowned actor, theatre guru, playwright, producer, director and a consultant. He rose to fame in the early 1980s when he won the Best Actor's award in the National Winter festival as well as for the film Platform Four.


Muparutsa was born Walter Lambert Dehwe Mupurutsa on 23 March 1941. He went to St Augustine's Mission Penhalonga in Mutare, Ranch House College for his secondary education.[1] For his tertiary education he was enrolled at Luveve Technical College. He was married to [[Sarah and the two had seven children.


Mupurutsa began his acting career in the late 1960s. He founded the Chiedza Drama Club in Mbare as a way of trying to launch his career and he adopted plays that were staged by the club from novels and plays.[2] He was also played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Anglican Young Peoples Association in Mbare.[2] The association staged religious plays.

In 1963, he was employed at the Rhodesia Literature Bureau up to 1973.[1] In 1970, he joined Sundown Theatre and this enabled him to have his first professional role as an actor when he was incorporated to be part of the crew that was to stage Wole Soyinka's play, Kongi Harvest.[1] Despite this however, Mupurutsa was not yet a household name. He began to gain popularity after he won the best actor's awards in 1980 and 1983. From then onwards Mupurutsa began to rise from obscurity, clinching awards and directing films.

From 1986 to 1987, he was appointed to be an adjudicator for the National Winterfest High School Theatre Festival.[1] In 2005, he was also an adjudicator for the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe's National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA).[1] He was also actively involved in editions of the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA), the Chimanimani Arts Festival, the Manica Arts Festivals among other arts festivals and events. He founded the Zimbabwe Theatre Association in 2008 and he was one amongst a group of artists who were against the censorship of the the film 'Super Patriots and Morons'.[3]

His Death

Mupurutsa died on 12 April 2012 after succumbing to non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at Avenues Clinic in Harare. He was buried on 15 April at Glen Forest Cemetery. His burial was delayed as mourners were delayed by a convoy of vehicles carrying mourners who were also on their way to bury Tichaona Mudzingwa who was the then Deputy Minister of Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development.[4]

After his death, a public discussion was held at the Book Cafe on 17 May 2012, to celebrate and or honour his life.[5] During the 2012 edition of the Theatre in Park event which is normally held in Harare, there was the official unveiling of Mupurutsa's sculpture. Muchadeyi Masunda who was the then Mayor of Harare officially unveiled Mupurutsa's sculpture.[6] The event was graced by artists, government officials and other designated dignitaries witnessed the unveiling of Mupurutsa's sculpture.

In August 2014, during the 4th edition of the Youth Cultural Arts Festivals (Yocaf), the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Andrew Langa launched the Mupurutsa award on the basis that Mupurutsa contributed immensely to the discipline of arts during his time.[7] On 16 January 2015, the Yocaf, 5th edition was to be dedicated to Mupurutsa. The event is expected to be held from July 30 to August the 1st under the theme, 'I Will Act Now.'[8]


  1. 1980 - Best Actor in the National Winterfestival as adjudicated by RADA Theatre Practitioners from the United Kingdom
  2. 1983 - Best Actor for the film Platform Four
  3. 2002 - Best Actor and Best Script (NAMA)
  4. 2004 - Best Director (NAMA) for the play Wedding Night
  5. 2005 - Winner of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe's Silver Jubilee Award for theatre

Films he directed

  1. The Island
  2. Sizwe Bansi is Dead

Mupurutsa was part of the following film's and series casts;

  1. 1991 - Peak Practice
  2. 1992 - Aristotle and My Freedom
  3. 1994 - Citizen Chii
  4. 1995 - The Power of One, Congo and Everyone's Child
  5. 1996 - Kini and Child
  6. 1998 - Choose Freedom and The Lost Picture which was directed by Kudzai Sevenzo
  7. 1999 - Yellow Card
  8. 2002 - Face to Face[1]

He also acted in a comedy that was entitled Waiters.




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Davies Guzha, Ray Maverera and Elvas Mari Playwright, theatre icon Walter Muparutsa dies, Nehanda Radio, published:14 Apr 2012,retrieved:15 January 2015"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Walter Muparutsa dies, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, published:12 Apr 2012,retrieved:15 January 2015"
  3. Playwright, actor Walter Muparutsa dies, New Zimbabwe, published:13 Apr 2012,retrieved:15 January 2015"
  4. Walter Muparutsa's hearse delayed by late minister's convoy, Bulawayo 24 News, published:16 Apr 2012,retrieved:15 January 2015"
  5. Book Cafe to honour Walter Muparutsa, The Herald, published:16 May 2012,retrieved:15 January 2015"
  6. Tribute to Walter Muparutsa (1941-2012), Writers International Network Zimbabwe, published:30 Nov 2012,retrieved:"
  7. author, Minister launches Walter Muparutsa award, Masvino Mirror, published:14 Aug 2014,retrieved:15 January 2015"
  8. Idah Mhetu, 'Festival to honour Walter Muparutsa', Daily News, published:16 Jan 2015,retrieved:16 January 2015"