ZedMan was her first feature film but 22 year old Shakirah Phiri is slowly becoming a household name as she continues to light up the small screen. In ZedMan, Shakirah plays the role of Samba, a teacher with a passion to educate the children in the poverty stricken and criminal infested Zambia compound. Samba is also Zedman’s love interest.
Shakira who describes herself as a lover of things creative owing to the fact that she loves being in creative spaces, says working on ZedMan was a dream come true. She worked with some of Zambia’s top actors like Yombwe Cosmas Mbuyisa, Clive Mwape, Henry Joe Sakala, Tommy Lungu, Betty Ngulube and of course not forgetting the director himself Frank Sibbuku.
“Working on ZedMan came at a point in my life when I really needed a chance to test my art. The role of Samba was exciting and the rest of the cast and crew were supportive. Everyone made ZedMan their baby and wanted to see it grow into the beautiful art that it is,” she said.
Apart from acting Shakira is a model, voice over artist and TV presenter. She started acting in grade 7 and was dubbed Drama Queen of the year 2007.
“Professionally, my first appearance in a movie was actually ZedMan,” she revealed. A revelation that many who watched her in ZedMan would find utterly unbelievable looking at the way she handled the role of Samba. One would easily have thought she has been acting for a long time.
So how did she prepare herself for the role of Samba in ZedMan? Any secrets that she can share with fellow actors out there?
Surprisingly, Shakira has not secrets at all.
“I have many personalities in me so I just get to pick one that matches the role I’m playing. Some people may call this being bipolar but when it comes to my world, it’s very handy with my art and making the role mine,” she explained.
Shakira is inspired by Uzo Aduba from the popuar TV series Orange is the New Black and Academy Award winner Halle Berry.
Uzo Aduba makes crazy look artsy and good. She’s super talented too. Halle Berry makes me want to work harder and to put in my best to make sure that the roles I play come out accordingly and are set apart. Halle Berry always aces her roles,” she said.
Shakira continues working hard and building her own following and soon she will have her own castle and be declared the queen of the Zambian movie screen!
ZedMan is a Zambian Super hero movie written by Henry Joe Sakala and Sydney Moleshi and directed by Frank Sibbuku. It revolves around the exploits of Zakeyo Banda (Belton “Bulz-Bay” Chishala) as he fights against criminals and struggles to win the love of his life Samba (Shakirah Phiri).
The movie premiered on Zambezi Magic DSTV Channel 160 on 28th July, 2018. In case you missed it, look out for repeat screenings.