Actor to Represent Zimbabwe in Hollywood

Harare — A young Zimbabwean scriptwriter and actor is set for his Hollywood debut next month.

Donovan Takaendesa aka “Don Claude”, will represent the country at the 21st World Champions of Performing Arts (WCOPA) which have been dubbed the “talent Olympics”.

He is set to depart at the end of next month for Long Beach California and will be part of Team Zimbabwe 2017, which will participate in US from the 30th of June to the 9th of July. WCOPA is widely regarded as the Olympics of the performing arts. For three weeks, all the finest aspiring performing artists from over 50 countries meet and stage their various acts culminating in grand finale Competition – a live global webcast staged at the beautiful Terrace Theatre in the Long Beach Performing Arts Centre.

Takaendesa is going to compete in three categories which are Television, Classical and comic acting through live and solo stage competitions. Takaendesa’s interest in theatre can be traced back to his formative years. In high school (Victoria High School) he wrote his first movie (The revenge sower) which was a very intriguing story but due to little knowledge and lack of facilities, his efforts did not bear much fruit.

After he graduated high school, he then wrote his first movie The Zimbabwean Warrior. He was the main character and director too and he sold the video in different parts of the country but was badly affected by piracy. He also wrote short films like Mafia and Critical and now the young artist is working on the Zimbabwean Warrior Two. “I will finish it after I come back from Hollywood and I promise it will be thriller. I hope for it to be suitable for commercial use and will be screened on one of the popular channels worldwide,” said the Masvingo based Actor.

The artist was born in Gweru but grew up in Masvingo and did his primary education at Rujeko Primary School before proceeding to Victoria High School for his Ordinary Levels. He then went to for his Advanced Level where he did Art subjects. His passion for Arts started to manifest at the age of nine while in grade two when he did poetry, but his dream were shattered because arts was not taken seriously at the school he was at.

He then started to reclaim his dreams when he went for Advanced Level at Paramount College in Masvingo where he started his own drama club in 2010. Here Takaendesa wrote his scripts, directed them and was also part of the acting crew. The drama club was involved in competitions and in 2011, they tasted their first triumph at the YOCAF where they won the best newcomer award. Takaendesa’s career blossomed when featured in the famous ‘A bed of foreigners’ a play by Mike Banda done by Masvingo Drama Circle in Masvingo and also worked with NGO companies like World Version, National Aids Council (NAC), and BHASO doing edutainment.

The young artist who has always wanted to be a Hollywood Star hopes to finally meet well-known actors such as Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Jean Claude Van Damme in the US. Takaendesa is going under the Zimbabwe Champions of Performing Arts (ZICOPA) which is owned by Jessica Nyarayi Tandy who is the founder and also the National Director for Zimbabwe for the WCOPA. In an interview with Jessica confirmed that he would participate, alongside 27 youngsters vying in other categories. “We have this talent and stand a chance to go big and shine as long as we have the right funders onboard,” said Tandy.

– CAJ News

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