. . . ‘Because I’m a woman?’
POLICE spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner, Charity Charamba, has broken her silence on her role in the Paraffin drama series.
It has taken ages for many to realise that she had featured in the cast. Then video clips of her scenes in the drama started circulating on social media before going viral over the last few weeks.
“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.
“I have learnt that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” said the chief police spokesperson.
In an exclusive interview with H-Metro Snr Ass-Comm Charamba, nee Hofa said she sought for permission to act from both her husband and police urging officers who have the passion to act to do the same.
“I have seen positive and negative comments posted on social media following a video clip about me acting in a drama ‘Paraffin’,” said Snr Ass-Comm Charamba.
“I am surprised by negative comments as if it is a crime to be an actress and why it has become a talk as if it was aired this year.
“To be honest with you, acting was one of my hobbies and during my time at school, I was in drama groups.
“It was a hobby and I was not after money and I am the one who approached Agnes Gwatiringa (Paraffin writer) who called me for auditions and I succeeded.
“I started acting dramas when I was still at Chisipite High School after attending my primary education at Makumbe in Domboshava.
“I am not ashamed to be an actress and for your own information, I was already married when I acted in that drama and I was already with the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
“I was a woman patrol officer attached to investigations department at Harare Central Police Station and some of my senior officers are still within the police service.
“There is a saying that every child is an artist and the problem is how to remain an artist once grown up and as for me, I stopped acting after my job became too demanding.
“I did not act in that Paraffin drama only but in four other dramas that included Pfuma yenhaka and others I have forgotten thanks to those still having them in their archives.
“I was inspired by Paraffin and those days Paraffin was the in-thing on television and I later approached Agnes Gwatiringa through one of my brother in-laws.
“Agnes roped me in and I acted in about five dramas and Agnes gave me different roles and I give all the glory to her because she was a brilliant producer.
“I remember one day I left Pockets Hill at around 3am after Agnes ordered us not to leave without doing something to her satisfaction.
“In one of the dramas, I was given a role to act with Paraffin and what disappointed me was to learn that he was already under the weather and I was shocked by his untimely death.
“That drama was recorded in Goromonzi and the clothes used were donated by villagers since the role wanted a real villager woman as Mai Jeni,” said Snr Ass-Comm Charamba.
She said she has a passion in dramas and is not a soccer fan as she took her time to watch movies especially those crime related.
Snr Ass-Comm Charamba dismissed rumour that she is bleaching saying her skin is real and her late father was light in complexion.
“Three quarters of my time I stay in the office and my complexion that time was affected by the sun since I was a patrol officer.
“I would go for acting during my spare time not during working hours. Mukabvunza mhuri yangu vanokuudzai kuti ndirimunhu anoseka seka asi handingazoseka ndichitaura zvenjodzi pamigwagwa kana kuudza vanhu zverufu rwevanhu rwunokonzerwa nevachairi vasina hanya kwete.
“Acting is not easy it demands time, knowledge since you have to read the script and understand it before playing your role,” she said.
Snr Ass-Comm Charamba, who took over from Wayne Bvudzijena, said she rose through the ranks to be at her current position dismissing speculations that she rose after dating senior officers.
“I once conducted road blocks and was assigned to various police sections and departments and once investigated cases of rape.
“It is so pathetic to learn that people are quick to judge especially those who spent most of their time on social media to discourage people who are doing something to earn a living.
“Let people know that there is only way to avoid criticism: say nothing do nothing and be nothing one writer once said.
“Women are ever discouraged and looked down upon as if men are the only ones who can do best but as for me I worked hard and got promoted.
“At road blocks it was a taboo for a police officer to receive a bribe and no one was bribing police officers as well; a thing I wish Zimbabweans must follow to fight corruption.
“I took over my position from Wayne Bvudzijena who I want to believe was not criticised the same way I am being attacked.
Why, why, because I am a woman?
“It’s very bad of Zimbabweans to develop a syndrome of looking down upon women since they are our mothers.
“Some suggest that I rose through dating my seniors which is wrong. Did Bvudzijena rise by being sexually abused as well?”
Snr Ass-Comm Charamba narrated how she was chosen to be part of United Nations as head of operations with a mandate to provide leadership guidance, mentorship, monitoring and advising Liberian police during her duties in peacekeeping mission.
She cited positive reports by Liberian government given by returning contingents on the role she played during her peacekeeping mission in that country.
She recalled how she helped Zimbabwe senior soccer team (Warriors) after they were mistreated in Liberia in a match they drew with Liberia in 2010 as she chronicled her efforts that took her to the position she has held since 2013.
Gwatiringa described Snr Ass-Comm Charamba as a humble and intelligent person with a teachable character saying she helped her in making it in her five dramas she penned.
“Charamba has the character that helped one to come up with a good drama that is why I selected her and she is so humble and is an intelligent woman,” said Gwatiringa.
“After she succeeded in the auditions her character matched well in the roles I gave her in various dramas and she is a good writer as well,” she said.