Zimbabwe playwright Stephen Chifunyise dies

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Prolific Zimbabwe playwright, Stephen Chifunyise has died at the age of 70.

He was a huge figure in the arts in Zimbabwe and served for some years as permanent secretary for education, sport and culture.

Also an actor, director, musician and choreographer, he started his career in exile in Zambia during the 1970s, returning to Zimbabwe after independence in 1980.

According to Amazon, he wrote 73 plays, 63 of which have been performed on stage, radio and television in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Sweden, South Africa, Malawi, India and the UK.

A CV posted on Unesco’s website from around 2010 shows that many of his scripts in 1970s were broadcast on Zambia Television and from the 1990s, produced by Rooftop Promotions theatre company in Zimbabwe.

He was the co-founder of the Children’s Performing Arts Workshop (Chipawo) in 1989, which honed the talents of many stars such as Black Panther actress Danai Gurira.

One Zimbabwe tweeter called him “a real Zimbabwean hero”

Another tweeter called him, “a library of knowledge”.

 

 Christopher Ojilere