There is always something special about young love, the ups and downs and the growing pains of balancing all that with the harsh realities of life against youthful dreams. Many grown-ups look back with fondness and even amusement on some of their youthful adventures, whilst the young and restless are probably experiencing the moments right now. The dynamics of such a setting create an irresistible story and that is exactly what College Central decided to do when they created the hit web series Wadiwa Wepa Moyo.
The show has taken over the country by storm and in keeping with the spirit of teamwork and friendship evoked by the series, our Person of the Week feature pays tribute to the whole team behind the online show that has won the hearts of many home and abroad.
Phrases such as ‘Hesi’ or ‘ndezve bhora here izvi?’ have become part of the urban vocabulary on the social media streets thanks to the show. Set in a throwback period, the story revolves around two soccer crazy friends, with Man Tawa (Everson K Chieza) being the talent and the ever hilarious Biko (Dillon Mafukidze) fronting as his manager and ultimate wingman with a vision to get Man Tawa signed by Manchester United to go and play under Sir Alex Ferguson. Everything seems to be going smoothly until Noku (Tadiwa Bopoto) enters the picture as Tawanda’s love interest, setting off a number of dramatic events as the story progresses.
The talented cast which also features veteran actor Ben Mahaka, songbird Lee McHoney and Monalisa Tenderere among others has won plaudits, but just who makes up the crew behind the scenes on this production? College Central is a film and television company which comprises of Ian Msakanda, Derby Bheta and Kudakwashe Jani who are no strangers to producing hit web shows after the success of another popular web series called Special Class in partnership with Simuka Comedy. The team seems to have struck gold with ‘Wadiwa’ proving to be the breakout success of the year so far.
The month of April came with a number of cliffhangers in the plot and an emotionally charged episode 10 as the season finale left fans gripped with suspense on what season 2 of the captivating series will bring. Director and co-writer Derby Bheta shared some light on the goings on behind the show.
“We wanted to create a story which could connect with the audience and we believed a love story could do the trick. We wanted to bring audiences back in time so the story is structured around the 2006-2013 period, hence Biko’s reference to ‘chitima cha Ferguson’ who was the manager of Man Utd at the time. The web series has two seasons but the dates of season 2 have not yet been realised because of the Covid-19 pandemic, with lockdown conditions in place,” he said.
The simplicity of the production and heart-warming plot has been a hit and College Central have the numbers to back it up as the show has raked up over 2,7 million accumulated views on YouTube despite the data challenges most people face. Every new episode of has featured on the trending list and their appeal across social media platforms and communities have even attracted corporates signal a demand and profitability for home-grown talent and content.
“The response to the show has been very overwhelming to be honest, we are really proud of the cast and crew who all work very hard. We initially targeted around 35 to 45k per episode but our first episode now has over 465k views and this is a clear picture of an answered prayer. We thank the Almighty God, our Executive Producer David Mpofu for believing in us and everyone who has been watching and sharing #WadiwaWepaMoyo and corporates who have supported us to make this a success,” said Bheta.
The College Central team have come a long way with captivating productions with Things We Do For Love winning the best short film award at the Zimbabwe International Film Festival in 2017. They have also been nominated at the NAMA’s in 2017 and 2018 for best short screen production. As their devoted followers patiently wait for season 2, Bheta sent out a word of encouragement to aspiring creatives in the industry.
“Our message to anyone who wants to venture in filmmaking is to really give it a try and never give up. It’s going to be hard and won’t happen overnight but if you keep pushing it will happen.”
Wadiwa Wepa Moyo has been a refreshing production for viewers as the film and television industry continues its resurgence by embracing digital platforms for distributing their content with consistent professionalism and quality. The production house is currently working on their first feature film called Organised Crime which is expected to premiere later this year and judging by the previous works, film lovers will be in for a treat.