At least 22 women are raped daily in Zimbabwe, a sign that more effort is needed to stop the “evil” practice in the country.
To fight sexual abuse especially on children, local content creator Elliot Moyo took it upon himself to script a 10-minute short film which featured at this year’s edition of Intwasa Arts Festival Ko Bulawayo.
The Hen That Came Home to Roost is a story about Grace (character), who comes back home after having been away for years to confront her mother and uncle about her childhood trauma and how it is now being extended on to her niece as well.
The film was produced by Early Entertainment with support from the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust and it is available on YouTube.
The advocacy film comprises a four-man cast with a fusion of veteran and young breed of actors including Memory Kumbota, Precious Makulumo, Bonakele Agnes Ncube and Stacy Matarise.
Chipo Mawarire, Thamsanqa Mlalazi, Matesu Dube, Raisedon Baya, Tsungirai Kumutsana and Grace Mudzova were part of the crew behind the scenes.
B-Metro showbiz caught up with the script writer Elliot Moyo and he shared on what inspired the film.
Q: What was the inspiration behind scripting the short film?
A: It is a story I have heard too many times and I have always been moved by the silence around sexual abuse in general, despite it being so common.
It was just shocking to me how many people I interact with daily have traumatic experiences like that in their past and carry it around every day in shame and having no one to share their issues with.
By putting it on a public platform like this (short film), I hoped talking about it would be normalised and help the survivors to heal, as well as give others the courage to come out and address the issue at hand.
Q: Child (sexual) abuse is common in Zimbabwe and beyond, what moved you to discuss specifically issues surrounding the topic?
A: I think it is sad that a lot of us know of these stories and yet surprisingly not a lot of them are talked about because of taboo and avoidance of family scandals.
I wanted to explore the torture that the survivors go through because of the silence culture, and how it can affect one’s mental state.
That is why in the film, the car scene all happens inside Grace’s head as she already has the two perpetrators of her abuse in the trunk of her car at the same time.
Q: Covid-19 lockdown saw the rise of child sexual abuse in Zimbabwe, what is your message to the victims and perpetrators of child (sex) and domestic abuse?
A: I don’t know if I am even the right person to tell them anything because I cannot even begin to comprehend what they go through. But I wanted to do my part in letting them know that we see them and that they are not alone.
They should never feel ashamed about being abused because it is not their fault.
As hard as it could be to accept it and love themselves again, I believe talking about sexual abuse with other people can help in finding healing and even reduce the prevalence of abuse because rapists and abusers thrive when they are never called out or held accountable.
Q: How was it working with veteran actors fused with a young crop?
A: It was an amazing challenge. I knew that I could not under serve the veterans and that I also needed to have the younger actors live up to them. But the experienced were helpful and dedicated as everyone else.
They showed up on time and put in the work in the same way as the script required and I could not be more grateful. It was like working with a well-oiled machine.