Media personality Zororo Makamba has made his directorial debut in the short film Miracle Money. The Tonight with Zororo host is also credited with writing and producing the film that was shot in Los Angeles, California.
The film is about Tatenda, played by aspiring actor William Slanger-Grant, who is asked to participate in an elaborate scheme at a local church that requires him to fake his disability, so that the pastor can perform a “miracle” in order to make the congregation believe in his power of healing and deliverance.
Speaking about the inspiration behind the film, Makamba said, “Every so often a video or an article comes out exposing false prophets, so I thought it was important to visually tell the other side of the story. The Bible warns us against false prophets, and it’s unfortunate that in some circumstances church goers are misled and taken advantage of.”
The film was shot at SpiritWorks Center for Spiritual Living and starts off with Tatenda, asleep in a beat-up car. He receives a call from his sister who has been looking after his three-year old daughter, and he promises to pick her up that evening. He then notices a flyer on his windshield, and it’s a casting notice inviting actors to come for auditions. Tatenda arrives to find that the audition is at a local church and he soon meets George, a cocky, know-it-all usher. George tells Tatenda that he will be given US$500 if he walks off a cane, when the pastor tells him to do. Tatenda who is behind on rent, contemplates misleading the congregation by faking his disability because he desperately needs the money to avoid eviction. After taking the money, Tatenda returns it, decides against Georges request, shame’s him and walks away from the church, still broke but with his integrity intact.
“Depending on where you are from, religious leaders are the rockstars, they have the fame and following of celebrities and because of their status, one could be easily manipulated and swayed to participate in dishonest schemes,” Makamba said.
He added that he will soon be directing a documentary on street performers who frequent the famous Hollywood Boulevard. He will also produce another short film, collaborating with a filmmaker in the Los Angeles area.
His work behind the camera comes sooner after his TV show Tonight with Zororo got picked by DStv and will be showing on Zambezi Magic in November on channel 160.
Makamba is currently in America doing his masters and working on several media related projects.