“Zuba” the humble woman
By Janet Ngule
The African continent has seen it stride to improve its filming industry over the recent past, with new technological advancements influencing development in this arena.
It can be told from the upgrade of graphical interface of the widely watched Nollywood graphics as well as acts and Zambia is no exception in this case. Trying by all means necessary Zambia is striving to make it to the top in advancing its filming skills.
Last year Zambia’s first ever telenovela hit the screens “ZUBA” which means “The Sun”, it being the first ever telenovela everyone was expectant of what they were going to be looking out for… Anxious to see ZUBA.
The telenovela got from behind the scenes to introduce to the world the wonderful acts in the telenovela.
Get ready as we take you on a journey of unwrapping the amazing Zuba.
Mwaka Mugala famously known as Zuba was born and bred in Lusaka on 19th December 1991, her being the first born in the family of two with her brother Mwaaba Mugala.
Mugala says she has always valued her family because of the way in which she was raised by her parents who always made sure family came first at all times.
“I have always been close to my brother and parents as my dad always made sure we spent every moment besides school and work together. We always had breakfast and supper as a family, ate out on occasions and went to church every Sunday as a familyduring school holidays my brother and would always visit our grandmother along with our cousins, aunties and uncles, that’s why I always value my family,” Mugala said.
For her Pre-school Education Mugala attended class at Vineyard and went to Rainbow Primary School for her Primary classes all the way until grade seven. After Primary school completion Mugala went to St Mary’s girl’s secondary school where she completed her Senior Secondary studies.
And at tertiary level Mugala enrolled at AIBT were she did a short Computer course while waiting to be enrolled at the University of Zambia were she was later accepted to do studies in Mass Communication and Psychology.
Describing herself, Mugala looks at herself as an ambient, although more on introverted side, an observer more than a speaker and a creative being, who comes out on the open more around people she’s acquainted with.
“I have always had a passion for acting watching movies as a child, I always knew I wanted to be on screen as an actress or news anchor, thankfully I did both. I officially started acting in primary on stage and since then I fell in love with the theatre, even in high school as well as church. I was in the drama club, where I played various roles such as Mary in the nativity play,” recollected Mugala. “I have always had an eye and passion for the arts-visual and performing, acting was always an important thing to me, I’ve always had it in me to one day be able to be seen on the screens.”
Citing her daily inspirations and motivation, Zuba sees her father as her greatest inspiration in whatever she does , she says her father is a Media Guru in his own right and she’s inspired by that plus many more.
“I’m inspired by many things. Poets such as Maya Angelou, Actresses such as Meryl Streep and so on, However my biggest inspiration is my father, who also mentors me in in every way career wise and spiritual growth, the fact that he is in the same industry as mine and has been practicing for years makes it even easier for me to seek advice from him,” Mwaka said.
It is without a doubt that clearly an opportunity, once used intelligently to broaden one individuals capabilities will open more doors for them but if used for the wrong things, the opportunity can go sower real quick and that wasn’t the case Mugala who took advantage of the opportunity at her disposal….. Indeed the Zuba experience is one to be desired for.
“It has been an eye opening experience,there are a lot of things about the local film industry I thought I knew that I only came to learn through experience but it has opened so many opportunities for me which have allowed to me work locally as well as internationally,it has been bittersweet for me,” she said.
“Being Zuba has also brought other opportunities for me such as working with other local celebrities as well as international ones on various television projects, Endorsements for big brands such as Multi-Choice Zambia and I also got to meet the president of Zambia more than just once just to mention a few and most important It has also helped me to grow as a person,” Mugala explained.
Because there are always two sides of the story and the coin , a disadvantage and an advantage Mugala’s journey hasn’t been an easy ride , it’s been harsh , it’s been everything you could ever imagine , sweet or bitter , a roller coaster , but she still holds on because when you know what you want it’s not easy to give up.
“I also face some challenges, sometimes I forget that am a public figure and just want to be myself in public but I cant. I always have to look presentable as well as be ready to be approached by fans, dealing with negative social media regards comments as well as false rumors,” she Mugala. “Other challenges with regards to the industry is having to work with people who are still growing in the industry thus it can be frustrating when things don’t progress as fast as they shouldhowever there’s hope for growth.”
Sometimes even actors themselves face challenges with the role they are given, sometimes it’s a walk in the park but other times one really has to do all their best to make sure that the character comes out perfect as the director wants it…When asked how she managed to incorporate herself into the Zuba character she had this to say.
“The role of Zuba mirrors with that of mine, so much that it was not difficult to slip into her TVrole, there are similarities between Zuba and me in a way that we are both quiet people and she is soft spoken just like me,” she explained.
Mugala added that Zuba is not the only movie she had acted in having done a small production for financial literacy week in 2015 and Zuba being the biggest production that she had ever featured in.
For this beauty this is the start of the journey and nothing is stopping her, she hopes to become a writer or director in the near years to come and from the look of things the sky is not the limit for Mwaka.
She also added that acting is not just her only passion but also has interests in painting, drawing, sculpting, cooking and baking and interior decoration among other things.
“In whatever you do always remember to stay humble, always work hard for what you want and leave the rest to God. Nothing ever comes to you if you just sit and wait,” said Mugala. “For those who want to be part of the film industry whether as an Actor, Producer, Writer or Director and so on, you have to be really strong. If you are genuinely passionate about it, you will find that you are better able to face the challenges that come with this career.”
Mugala thanked her fans, friends and family that have always stood by her side with the overwhelming support she has received in her daily endeavors.
Until people see their uniqueness as a virtue only then will they know peace , Mugala found her peace in the filming industry , young actors can work and be persistent and passionate , willing to go an extra mile to make sure that their dreams becomes a reality… Embrace ZUBA.