'I want to translate stories from the Zimbabwean tradition into modern imagery.' Tsitsi Dangarembga knows what she wants to achieve with her films. After studying filming in Berlin she returned to Zimbabwe. She believes no one in Germany is waiting to hear what she has to tell. She is a soft-spoken woman with a mission. 'I believe it is important for Africans to see themselves on screen.'
Dangarembga's film Kare Kare Zwako (Mother's Day) was shown during the African film festival FESPACO in March 2005. In this short film about a family during a period of famine, the mother overcomes the cruel oppression of her husband.
Dangarembga: 'It is a story that I was told when I was a child, and what I always remembered about it was how strong a woman can be.'
In addition to putting African stories on screen, Dangarembga devotes effort to the position of women in the African film industry. Two years ago she started organizing the International Film Festival for Women in Zimbabwe, for female African cineastes. She also established scenario training for African women. She has great ambitions. In a few years she hopes to start similar training programs in other countries in southern Africa.
According to Dangarembga, women still have far to go in the African cinema. 'Just look around you: there are almost no female film makers here. But, who knows? Maybe my students will be showing films during the next edition of FESPACO.'