The Sunday News
Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday Life Reporter
VETERAN actor Aleck Zulu was left counting his losses last Sunday after a mysterious fire gutted a room that had all his belongings, leaving him with nothing but the clothes on his back.
Zulu, who resides in Mzilikazi, was in church at the time of the inferno. Artistes in Bulawayo and other well-wishers have since come together to mobilise financial support for the actor who lost everything except the clothes that he wore to church on the day in question.
Zulu has played some of Zimbabwe’s most memorable characters, both on the small screen and on stage, earning critical acclaim for his portrayal of abrasive, sometimes characters that have left an indelible mark on audiences.
On the small screen, Zulu first grabbed the attentions through his portrayal of Godogodo on Sinjalo, providing a perfect foil for the comedy’s two protagonists, Folomani and Sakhumuzi, as a tribalistic uncle who is too stuck in his ways. His major follow-up role, as Snake in the blockbuster series Amakorokoza, was no less impressive, as Zulu brought the character to life, portraying a gangster in such a vivid way that left many believing he was one in real life.
Recently, Zulu has reunited with fellow Amakorokoza cast member, Zenzo Nyathi for a series of comedy skits flighted regularly on social media. However, the actor now finds himself at a crossroads after last weekend’s fire.
In an interview with Sunday Life Zulu, a devout Roman Catholic, said what had seemed like another normal Sunday took a turn for the worst while he was in church.
“Everything seemed normal and I wouldn’t have known that the day would end that way when I woke up. I always go to church on Sundays and that’s what I did again last week. I went to church and we had a burial which we attended in the morning. We only returned to the diocese at around 2pm and at that time I didn’t know things had gone horribly wrong at home. At 2:30 we had a wedding to attend and while I was there that is when I got a call from someone that my house was on fire,” he said.
In a state of panic, Zulu said his immediate thoughts were on saving his belongings but he had given up all hope when he heard that the fire brigade was already at his home.
“I was thinking I would rush over and save what I can but when they told me that the fire brigade was already there, I gave up all hope. It takes a while for the fire brigade to get there so I knew there wasn’t much I could do,” he said.
Zulu said the cause of fire was a mystery as he did not have any electric appliances in the room that housed his belongings.
“At this point I don’t know what caused the fire because there were no electric appliances of any sort in the room. The only thing I would say is electrical was the switch for turning the lights on and off. I didn’t cook in the room so it couldn’t have been anything related to a stove or anything like that. At the moment, I can’t say I know what caused the fire,” he said.
Zulu appealed to well-wishers to come to his rescue, although artistes and other concerned citizens were already mobilising support for him.
“There has been a lot of help coming from artistes and other interested parties and I want to say I am grateful for their support this far. I would like to appeal for help from anyone who can provide it,” he said. Zulu can be contacted on 0773472094.