Actress Gladies Dzaputa says it is challenging and brutal being a woman in the arts industry as vultures will always pounce on them once they are in the limelight.
She believes that what protects women everywhere is determination and discipline.
Gladies also dismissed the perception that artists do not produce good marriage materials and called for such stereotypes to stop.
“I am a pretty woman but I am not stupid. I am not easily approachable, so I have been told. It works to my advantage I guess.
“Being a woman is very challenging, it’s brutal, because the minute you are in the spotlight, vultures start coming your way, a lot of them wanting to take advantage of you.
“If you are not careful and you fall for it, it becomes the dead end of you. It needs you to stay focused, put, determined, and disciplined.
“When you find people that want to work with you without trying to take off your pants it’s a blessing.
“I have been lucky enough to find genuine people like Admire Kuzhangaira, with good intentions of wanting to nature and groom talent.
“Even off the workspace, you still come across men that want to date you for your name, typically use you, and shove you out the window.
“It’s not easy being a woman in this industry. You just have to be firm, stand your ground, be principled, know what you want, and learn to say no to some things,” she said
Born and bred in Mbare, Gladies has been a lover of arts since the school days.
“I discovered I had the talent during my school days and as I grew up I then made a decision to go to school for it so that I could fully equip myself.
“I studied a Diploma in performing arts at Afrikera Arts Trust, and then also studied Physical theatre at Zimbabwe Theatre Academy in Harare.
“I have worked with notable artists like Admire Kuzhangaira popularly known as Bhutisi doing skits on social media.
“This made a huge impact on my acting career. I have also performed at HIFA, performing under Afrikera, working with Zvishamiso arts, performing music, dance, and acting.
“I have worked with women empowerment organizations advocating for women, addressing issues that affect young women like gender-based violence.”
She said, her character is different from the roles she takes.
“My character on stage is always based on what the character is supposed to portray.
“I embody the characteristics it requires me to and off stage I would like to think that I am a nice person but I do not want to be provoked.
“I am naturally short-tempered but I know how to control my temper.”
On marriage, she believes it’s not a major issue despite the perception put females in the arts.
“That is the least of my worries, marriage is not an achievement. I have been married before so it’s not something that I prioritise in my life.
“I experienced what I experienced but I am not saying I won’t get married again. It’s a shame to those who think because you are an artist, you do not carry the qualities of marriage material.
“What is a marriage material even? I honestly think it’s utter nonsense, labeling who and who doesn’t meet the standards of marriage based on their career.
“These perceptions that people carry about artists, painting everyone with the same brush.
“It’s ridiculous, people are of different characters and they carry themselves differently.
“You can be a doctor, teacher, or whatever and still not meet those so-called marriage qualities.
“Just because you have seen one artist carrying themselves in a not so ‘marriage material manner’, as perceived by the society it doesn’t mean every single one of them is the same.
“We are also humans, we deserve love too and we can love and be loved. These stereotypes must just stop.”
To her credit, Gladies has collaborated with Simba arts in performance projects.
“I also did some work with Ellisium (Hilary Indie), also in music, arts and dance performance.
“The biggest highlight of my career was being cast on The new Mukatoda drama series which airs on NrTv .
“Thanks to Bhutisi who identified my talent and my potential when I was still in school.
“We had first started working on a project, where I was playing as Tanaka, a slay Queen.
“This birthed so many project ideas. He then discovered that he could portray Mukatoda and decided to make me play Katarina.
“We did several skits on that and they were received well.
“That is how the idea of then re-doing Mukatoda came about, my character then changed to Amai Phineous, which I would like to believe I embodied so well.
“I am currently working at Victoria Falls Theater Company (Simunye), in Victoria Falls in the Front of house office department,” she said.