10 May 2018
Timmy and Bonzo Series co-actor, Timothy Tapfumanei, has slammed arts regulatory chiefs for paying a lip service over the plight of local artists.
Timmy made the remarks on the sidelines of the burial of his late friend and fellow actor Lawrence “Bonzo” Simbarashe who succumbed to high blood pressure and diabetes.
“We have come to a point where we have actually lost hope on whether we as artistes would one day take pride in arts regulatory bodies we have in the country.
“This is not just my personal cry but this is something I feel bothers every artiste in country since nothing is being done for our welfare.
“This is a very sensitive issue to us as artistes because we have little to show of our talents because of how we are neglected by these bodies.
“As artistes we are paid after doing a particular job and after that payment that’s the end of it that is why you see with all the fame we have as artistes most of us are living in poverty.
“The relevant authorities should advocate for a system whereby we get some form of pension, just like any worker we will get to a point where we will retire and without such things in place we will having challenges as artistes,” he said.
“We are also surprised that the Nations Arts Council of Zimbabwe did not send any representative as the funeral considering the role that Bonzo played in the arts sector.”
Meanwhile, fellow actors and workmates of Bonzo gave their colleague a befitting send-off.
Veteran actor Elijah Madzikatire described the late Bonzo as a versatile artist who excelled in different artistic fields.
“Most people know Bonzo as an actor but us who have walked with him for years know that he was a multi-talented artist.
“We grew up together in Mbare and there he was famed of playing his guitar.
“He also went on the public spotlight when he became a broadcaster at ZBC and from there, that was when he then started acting where he would act on commercial adverts and local dramas,” he said.