Introducing the ‘drasofi’: A genre of convenience and context in zimbabwean film production

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The article introduces a contemporary type of video film production in Zimbabwe combining aesthetic norms of drama, soap opera and film production. The article makes the claim that the emergent genre, dubbed ‘drasofi’ (drama–soapie–film) is one of convenience, influenced by the socio-economic and political context obtaining in contemporary Zimbabwe. Situated within an eclectic film services (Goldsmith and O’Regan 2005) and political economy framework, the article presents exploratory arguments that a film is as good (and as bad) as the context in which it is produced, vis-à-vis, the organizational arrangements, networks and technological infrastructure supporting its production. These film services affect the production value chain and, ultimately, emergent themes. The study derives data from field interviews with Zimbabwe-based filmmakers as well as a critical analysis of two post-2000 films Tanyaradzwa (Gunda Mupengo, 2005) and Sinners? (Tawengwa, 2013). The cinematograhic techniques as well as filmic fact aspects of the video films clearly combine cross-genre services and themes to make distinctly local ‘drasofi’ video films – a hitherto unheard-of classification in Zimbabwean film historiography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-164
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of African Cinemas
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Aesthetic norms
  • Cinematic fact
  • Drasofi
  • Film services
  • Filmic fact
  • Zimbabwean cinema

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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