If someone wakes me up from a deep sleep today and ask what’s on my all-time list of problematic things, mumbled trap music will undoubtedly top that list. Bitcoins too. I don’t care how much valuation they have gained. Whatever the case, a lot of folks are using it to buy guns and drugs anonymously, and I feel like when the rest of the mainstream world gets word, bitcoin will go from being a curiosity to a pariah. That’s problematic.
Alcohol, too, will make the list. Screw that for thousands of years human beings have relied on alcohol to assist in courtship, mating, sporting exhibitions, family gatherings, and office parties talk.
Using someone’s culture as a costume is problematic. Xenophobia? Problematic. It’s easier to blame the outsider when things go wrong. We have seen it happen again and again in the past, and I wish it would stay in the past. Homophobia? That too. Believing members of the LGBTQ+ community have a “mental illness” and wanting them to be limited in what they can do or where they can be according to their sexual orientation is hella problematic.
Companies letting items that are out of stock or job adverts remain on the website? Problematic AF. If it’s out of stock, take it off the website. Leaving it up is taunting and rude. The coronavirus? Slut-shaming? Fat-shaming? Skinny-shaming? Jokes about domestic violence? Telling women they should wear less makeup? Oh, and telling women they should wear makeup? All of it is problematic. Just don’t do it.
College Tuition? Yes, it’s up there too. The only thing scarier than worrying about finding a job after graduating from college is calculating how long it will take you to pay off all your debt. Global Warming? You know damn well that the most annoying part of global warming is when people deny it’s happening or that a lot of it is due to human impact. Problematic! What else is? Reading lists on the internet. I miss the days when people wrote mind-blowing and actual articles, not lists and quizzes.
Although my list looks long as a train already, the unfolding of the recent events have shoved me to add other some newfound problematic things. Jah Prayzah saying that he wants to collaborate with Roki when he is not reaching out to the guy is problematic. Dreams have become synonymous with problematic since COVID-19.
New College Central YouTube show series, Wadiwa Wepa Moyo, even though it’s one of the most consistent and enthralling TVs we have had since like forever, is fast becoming P.R.O.B.L.E.M.A.T.I.C!
See, I’m one of those people who gets hung up on the petty things in movies and television shows. Like, I’ll be sitting in a film theatre minding my business watching some varying level of cinematic excellence set in 90-whenever, and an era-specific song will come on to really give you a sense of time, and I’ll be mentally trying to figure out whether the song was released in time to figure into the scene in which it exists. If I deduce that it does, well, then cool, we will all have a good night. If not, though, I will be bothered by it. Forever and ever and ever, amen.
So yes, I’m pretty invested in this new online drama series as everybody else. The drama’s premise is actually pretty dope, yet dime-storish in a way. The synopsis says it’s about two boys from the dusty streets of Harare who have a dream of making it to play for Manchester United in the United Kingdom, but everything changes when one of them falls in love. I can’t lie, and maybe I’m slow, but I didn’t quite understand the drama from the trailer. But once I started on it and I got the story I thought to myself, “Self, wow, this is actually a dope plot.” And who provided and directed that plot? Two young filmmakers on the come-up, Derby Bheta and Ian Msakanda.
Between the music, the way the love story goes through motions, the artistic angle that weaves the entire story together, and so on, I admit that it is pretty dope. So how does it then become problematic?
Episode 9 was a bit underwhelming for me. Things were haphazard.
How are things in Noku’s household after Man Tawa’s skit?
How did Man Tawa just fall back into Noku’s arms without flinching?
Noku is still besties with Chido?
— T A K U N D A (@CallMeBiko) April 15, 2020
For starters, that the show is about a debilitating love affair that screwed up a bright dream should be a red flag. While I have loved to go deep with it, I’ll spare you the plot because you should check it out on your own emotional terms. But the most is obvious Noku (played by Tadiwanashe Bopoto) looks stunning. Somebody needs to write a doctoral dissertation on her glow up and her laid-back vibe. She is 9/10ths of the reason to go see the drama. And I’m not even joking. But don’t fall for the looks, she’s mercurial af in juggling hearts of men. In Justin Timberlake’s words, one day she is screaming that she loves you loud, the next day she is so cold. She vacillates between her past and future at such a jaw-breaking pace. It’s complicated—and it happens all the time in real life.
Man Tawa (Everson Chieza), on the other hand, is a stereotype of a Herculean man whose stature can be exhibited in a museum for the arts-fartsy people to grin at. A dreamer and a man of few words who looks like he needs a hell lot of confidence backup, he albeit comes from the class of the underdogs that sees his single mothered-sister, Shamie and Biko fending for him. Football is all he has to unlock a better future for himself, but what happens when a whirlwind love blows and overwhelm such a dream? In episode 9 on season 1, he is ready to lose his head and all the sense of propriety for the love of a woman. He has some scenes where his facial expressions alone broke my whole heart. What happens to channelling his energy into something else he loves — his friends, family and hobby?
Then there also happen to be two supporting characters, Biko and Chido. Biko (played by Dillon Mafukidze) is Man Tawa’s sidekick and manager who will deliver him to the UK to play for Manchester United, a chorus he sings time and again. Annoying, self-centred, pigheaded, a foodie but considerate and compromising, he is afraid to fall in love even though viewers would want him and Chido to couple up. I’ve decided that this man is a national treasure. Whether it’s charming Sis Shamie for food leftovers or expediently acting nice to Chido so that she could drop a pin on Noku, his scenes are awesome.
Chido (played by Tapiwa Patience Nzira), a high falutin hard to yield damsel with beautiful blackness is Noku’s calculating crony who was raised to believe that women should be able to do all things at a certain age. She did not only find Noku’s “I can’t carry a bucket” confessions snobbish but hoydenish and very unwomanly. That being said, she’s also a custodian of secrets who would, however, give in to her ultra-moral impulses if the situation calls for it. It’s a grand thing, right?
Other cameos or low stake characters in the drama have their fair shares of shenanigans going on. It could be Tendai’s possessiveness, inconsiderateness and cool kid flamboyance. Or Ba Noku (played by Ben Mahaka)’s thoughtful approach to family matters which many suggests signifies that he has extramarital games under his sleeve. It may be Sis Shamie’s hopes that her baby dad who has not changed on his old ways would eventually come to their rescue? Or maybe Mai Noku (played by Afro-fusion songbird Lee McHoney)’s desperate need to tame her adrift daughter.
Anywho, as problematic it might be, this is one of the best shows on the web right now and I like it. Liking problematic things doesn’t make you an arsehole. In fact, you can like really problematic things and still be not only an altruistic person but a good social justice activist. Wadiwa Wepa Moyo is some uncorroborated good TV about Zimbabwean folks living in two different societal strata telling their diverse stories. If you’re rooting for everybody Zimbabwean and its young creatives, this is a drama you should go see. I’m following it.
Check out Wadiwa Wepa Moyo here.