AFRO-POP ace Majahawodwa Ndlovu aka Jeys Marabini has recorded a song with an inmate, Maurice Peterson and a prison officer-cum-artist, Tare Kwangwari.
The trio recorded a song titled Crime and Strings, which is going to be used as a back track on a 13-episode series drama they are recording in partnership with Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) Montrose studios.
In an effort to get a full appreciation of this project, B-Metro caught up with the project director, Kwangwari who said they started recording this project sometime in 2020, but the outbreak of coronavirus later forced them to suspend the whole process.
“We started recording this drama series sometime last year but due to lockdown regulations it meant that we could not continue with our project and this affected the smooth sailing of the drama.
“So when we got the news that the Covid restrictions had been relaxed sometime last month we immediately invited Jeys Marabini to be part of this project as we wanted to record a back track for this drama series,” he said.
Kwangwari said the back track was more of a summary of the 13-episode drama series, which is meant to be an educative programme about life behind the prison walls.
“Since the transformation of Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS) into a rehabilitation centre a lot of people out there are still trying to understand our operations as an organisation so for them to have a full appreciation I decided to author a story that tells how inmates are benefiting from the transformation.
“I hope this drama series is going to be more of an eye opener to a lot of viewers who are still trying to understand our new operations in terms of rehabilitation activities. From that full appreciation we hope the community is going to be able to identify areas, where they can chip in and assist in making this process complete so that we try and create a crime-free society,“ he said.
Kwangwari said they invited Jeys Marabini to be part of the project as he represents the community so that his followers might listen to the track and grasp the process that one goes through once incarcerated in terms of rehabilitation activities and other issues involved.
“The song that we recorded with Jeys and Peterson is already on YouTube and I am happy to announce that the song has attracted a lot of followers and we are actually urging more people to listen to the song so that we see how far we have gone in terms of educating people out there,” he said.
Kwangwari said the film project was likely to be on the big screen as soon as they completed the filming and editing of the series and this project would involve both inmates and officers, who are under the rehabilitation section.
“In identifying actors I did auditions with the assistance of ZBC and from this process we managed to get the best officers and inmates who could portray the picture that we want people out there to have about the prisons that you might visit next to your place in any town or city of Zimbabwe.
“The reason we did this project was also to correct the line of thinking among a lot of people on prisons as most of the people out there believe that going to prison means the end in terms of progressing as an individual, “he said.
Jeys said it was an honour to be identified by Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service for such a great project as it gave him an opportunity to spread the word of hope to inmates.
“When the director of this project approached me for collaboration I liked the idea because I thought this was the right time for me to at least send some words of encouragement to my fellow brothers and sisters who are in different prisons countrywide.
“So I fell for this beautiful project and in the process I met the most talented up and coming musicians who happen to be Peterson and Tare,” he said.
Jeys said he really enjoyed working with Peterson.
“I really would like to work with Peterson in future. The guy is talented, such that recording an album for him would be one of the best things that I can do for him considering that he is behind the walls,” he said.
Jeys said from this project he got a totally different picture about the operations of Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service as Peterson was moved from Khami Remand Prison to Bulawayo city centre for recording of the back track.
“I never thought someone like Peterson could be brought to the city centre for recording and from that day I really understood the issue of rehabilitation in prisons and how it assists an inmate despite the fact that he wronged the community. So with that in mind I would like to urge the community to join hands with prisons in rehabilitating these guys as a way of creating a crime-free society for development to take place without any challenges,” he said.
Peterson could not hide his excitement.
“I discovered that I had a serious passion for music soon after being incarcerated but I never thought this talent would make me work with the likes of Jeys. I am really happy to be given such an opportunity and I hope more collaborations will keep on coming my way as an up and coming musician.
“I really would like to thank my Officer Commanding for having confidence in me and affording me such an opportunity to be involved in this project as an inmate currently benefiting from these programmes on offer,” he said.