Politics must stay out of the arts for the development of the industry, South Africa based Zimbabwean actor Leroy Gopal has said.
Known best in Zimbabwe for his role as teenage footballer Tiyane Tsumba in the movie Yellow Card, the actor told The Inspired Africa magazine last week that artistes must get access to what others were doing in their respective countries across Africa.
“They need to be given access to what other countries are doing and politics must stay out of the arts in order for people to grow,” said Gopal.
The actor said although he hopes to have his own production house in the long run for now he was more concerned with his family’s business as there is nothing he is finding attractive to do currently.
“Been busy more on the family side and in the corporate business spaces. There isn’t much really that I’m finding attractive in SA to currently do. I’m also busy with my own productions in film,” he said.
He said Zimbabwean film and TV sector in particular was in serious troubled waters.
“I think it’s in serious troubled waters. We need to give it the attention that it deserves so that young film makers can make and shoot their content without hesitation,” said the actor.
He added: “Not enough is being done, if anything at all…” to ensure that there is capacity building for the arts sector in Zimbabwe in particular.
The actor also said it was sad that Kwese Tv a new pay TV service provider was facing hurdles in launching its products in Zimbabwe, a country where government intrusion in the arts and disregard for press freedom has become the order of the day.
Winner of the South Africa Film and Television Award for best actor in a comedy in 2013, Gopal has featured in several South African productions and says to date he still finds it difficult to say which project is his best.
He said each character he has played has helped bring the best in him in some way.
Having been in South Africa for the past 18 years and making a break onto the mainstream industry straight from college, Gopal says if at all he were to settle elsewhere, it would be anywhere else but not back in Zimbabwe.
“I doubt if going back home is in my plans. I have been here for 18 years now and this is my second home. My family and base is set up here. If anything I see myself living elsewhere, not home,” he said.