Power couple Munya Chidzonga and Adiona Maboreke Chidzonga are the ultimate celebrity couple success story, and can trace a sizeable measure of their fame to MultiChoice.
Each gained a strong spotlight through reality TV: for Adiona it was Idols Africa, while for Munya it was Big Brother Africa. These two shows have made a major impact on television audiences around Africa, not the least in Zimbabwe, where viewers gave massive support to these two young Zimbabweans representing themselves and their country on a continental platform. Now together as a married couple, they still have celebrity status, Munya through film-making and Adiona with her singing, as well as with her recent stint as host of Zambezi Magic channel’s My Perfect Wedding Zimbabwe series.
Their joint DStv heritage has framed them as a couple and they feel their exposure gave them the boost they needed in their career paths.
Said Munya: “ Big Brother Africa certainly changed my life. Growing up I always dreamed of being a household name. My time on BBA gave me that and it seems my performance in the house struck a huge chord around Africa. Even more so in my home country, where I was awarded $300 000 after I came home and so many people had believed I should have been the winner that year.”
“It also thickened my skin and taught me how to handle high-pressure situations. It also taught me that as Africans we have more similarities than differences. It cemented my passion for Pan-Africanism. Since that experience I firmly regard myself as a Pan Africanist. And I believe the future for all of us on this continent is Pan-African.”
Munya feels that reality television has placed script-writing responsibilities into the hands of performers and of the viewing public.
“The result of this is that more people are interested in television than ever before. This is as true of Zimbabweans as anyone else. I do think we need to create more content that speaks to a uniquely Zimbabwean audience and I support all efforts in this regard. Content is king and in this day and age people are more concerned with content they can identify with and relate to,” he said.
Munya looks forward to a career as Pan African actor, producer, director, film exhibitor, distributor and entrepreneur.
“ I feel I have many more stories to tell and boundaries to break. I have always believed the film and television industry is a blank canvas for a true artist to explore and make a mark on, so I would like to direct and produce more,” he said.
“My dream is to fix Zimbabwean distribution challenges so we can unlock the true potential of this amazing country. My vision through my company, Ivory Pictures and Ivory Cinemas, is to create 50 screens across Zimbabwe by 2027. My strategy is to start in high density areas then move to low and medium density areas. Using Zimbabwe as my blueprint the dream is to then apply the same model across the SADC region and then across the continent.”
His dream is as much for Zimbabwe as for himself. “The hope I have for all these endeavours is to make a positive financial impact on Zimbabwe. As a nation we need more business-minded artistes to take our industry to the next level, so that it all becomes sustainable and profitable.”
Adiona Maboreke became a household name through Idols Africa, reaching the top five and gaining favourite status among hundreds of thousands of viewers, not just in Zimbabwe but across Africa. Her show career before and since has included large measures of exposure on stage, on radio and television, through recorded albums and in various live performances. Now married to Munya Chidzonga, she remains in the public eye, partly as a result of being Our Perfect Wedding Zimbabwe show presenter in the inaugural series of the show that has become a hit on DStv’s Zambezi Magic.
“I was not after fame or fortune but career satisfaction and success,” she said.
“I want to make a difference, bringing my talent to the public and also showing other people, especially young women, that they can make it if they push hard enough.”
Over the years her efforts and her achievements have helped give her a special place in the Zimbabwean entertainment industry, and as a wife and mother she will continue to seek success in the industry. In a world where gender equality is still not a perfect reality, much also needs to be done to give female entertainers that same status as males and ensure they have equal opportunities to reach goals. By doing and not by talking, Adiona can lead by example.
“I enjoyed the presenter’s role in Our Perfect Wedding Zimbabwe, not just because it was a great ‘role’ in a great show, but also because it brought me into contact with a great many young Zimbabwean couples, people also wanting to make their mark somewhere, somehow and people with the same kind of dreams and ambitions as mine. It was moving and exciting and energising all at the same time,” she said.
As role models for young Zimbabweans, Adiona and Munya have an equally important ‘performance’ to give, showing that local talent is as good as anywhere on the planet, and that perseverance pays, working towards goals gets results and having a dream makes life that much more worthwhile.
MultiChoice Zimbabwe is proud of Munya and Adiona’s success, and wish them all the best in their careers. Following their example, and through the various local talent initiatives MultiChoice Zimbabwe has implemented, the broadcaster hopes to make the dreams of many other Zimbabweans come true.