Former Studio 263 actress Benhilda Marume’s indomitable spirit will inspire future generations to remain resolute in the face of challenges, the cast members of Zimbabwe’s first ever soapie have said.
Marume, who acted as Tamara and was easily among the best on the Studio 263 cast, passed away last weekend.
Grief-stricken former Studio 263 actors told the Daily News that the former actress prevailed over huge obstacles to become one of the most loved Zimbabwean showbiz personalities.
Pretty Xaba who acted as Muvengwa’s wife in the soapie mourned the loss of a strong, prayerful and God-fearing woman.
“I was saddened by her death”, said Xaba.
“I knew Benhilda and her family before she joined Studio 263. She was a strong woman who feared God and worked hard regardless of the fact that she was disabled.
“Although she was physically challenged she worked hard and was a constant source of positive ideas during meetings”.
Xaba added that the late actress’ strength mirrored that of her mother.
“Marume was a strong woman just like her mother. I was challenged because when I attended the funeral her mother comforted us; we thought she wouldn’t be able to withstand the pain of losing her daughter”.
Xaba also praised the late actor’s charitable disposition towards fellow physically challenged people.
“She recently donated a wheelchair to a physically challenged boy from Mutoko only recognised as Elliot. She had a giving heart to those in need”.
Director of Studio 263 Godwin Mawuru said the late actress was a complete opposite of the character she portrayed in the soapie.
“I met Marume when I was director of This is Life, a talk show for the handicapped. During the talk shows I figured out she was an open-minded and strong woman determined to overcome being physically challenged.”
“After being impressed by her, I did not hesitation give her the role of Tamara, Tom Mbambo’s sister who was despised by her brother for being handicapped. In her role she fought against the discrimination she faced from her brother.”
“The character demanded an open-minded person with a strong personality like Marume,” said the Studio 263 director.
Tatenda Mavetera, who acted as Tendai Jari in the soapie, described Marume as a confident, down-to-earth and loving woman.
“Her death shocked me. We have lost an incredibly gifted actress. Marume was a hardworking woman who gave a deaf ear to people who undermined her because she was physically challenged,” she said.
Mavetera said Marume was involved in an accident when she was still a school girl that made her physically challenged.
“She was still at school then and ever since she has been having problems with her body system. She required medical attention because she could not move herself,” she said.
Former Studio 263 heartthrob Denzel Burutsa, who made a name for himself as Jabulani Jari in the soapie, said he had lost much more than a fellow actor.
“Marume was a loving person who respected and loved everyone. We have lost a focused artiste who was a real sister to me,” he said.
The late Studio 263 actress Benhilda Marume aka Tamara Annie Nhira acted as Vimbai Jari in the soapie was part of the original cast.
Pretty Xaba who acted as Muvengwa’s wife in the soapie was devastated by the news of Tamara’s death.
Denzel Burutsa, who made a name for himself as Jabulani Jari in the soapie, said he had lost much more than a fellow actor. – Kaleen Gombera