Fall 2019: J. M. D. Manyika Fellow
Rumbi Katedza is a filmmaker and writer, who has lived in the USA, Japan, Italy, Canada, the UK and Zimbabwe. She produces corporate and independent narrative and documentary content through her production company, Mai Jai Films, a company focused on pioneering a new generation of Zimbabwean films and filmmakers through creative co-productions.
She has directed numerous music videos, films and TV shows, including the award-winning short film Asylum, TV drama Big House, small house and feature film Playing Warriors. In 2011, her documentary about survivors of election violence in Zimbabwe, The Axe and the Tree, was launched at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg.
Rumbi is a former Festival Director of the Zimbabwe International Film Festival. She is also a voice-over artist and writer. Her articles and short stories have appeared in several publications including Vertigo, AV Specialist, Hype!, Illuminations, Women Writing Zimbabwe and Our Stories – Winners of the BTA/Anglo Platinum Short Story Competition. She was a member of the editorial teams at leading Zimbabwean publication, Parade Magazine, and Ogojiii, a magazine focusing on African innovation in design, enterprise and current affairs.
In the aftermath of a military takeover in Zimbabwe and the subsequent resignation of long-time President Robert Mugabe, an unprecedented number of women gained prominence as they campaigned for positions in the country’s male-dominated legislature. Against the backdrop of a highly polarized political landscape, they bravely fight for change in a ‘new Zimbabwe’. In her documentary, Katedza follows a number of independent female candidates over the course of a year, as they campaign without the backing of political party machinery, in a country where revolutionary parties, established during the colonial era, have dominated government and power for almost four decades, since independence.