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Anne Nhira: “Life is Too Short to be Anything but Happy”

Anne Nhira, the actress who died in March, in Johannesburg, aged 38, was a local showbiz jewel. The late entertainer volleyed to eminence in...

Anne Nhira, the actress who died in March, in Johannesburg, aged 38, was a local showbiz jewel.

The late entertainer volleyed to eminence in 2002, depicting the character of Vimbai Jari, an attentive lead actress in Zimbabwe’s soap opera, Studio 263, aired on the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).

By @Comic24Derick

One of the most successful local productions to date, Studio 263 premiered in 2002, fixed on Harare’s fast lane lifestyles. The soapie is one of the few locally produced series to be aired on M-net.

Funded by an NGO, the production raised awareness on HIV and AIDS towards youths. Away from the glare of cameras, the acting crew engaged in outreach programmes. 

The soapie run for four years, accruing millions of fans during prime time, five times a week. Due to contractual disputes, it was pulled off air in 2007.

When 263 ceased airing, Anne surfaced in South Africa a year later. Across the border, she embarked on a singing career, releasing a single 

“The One” in 2013, taping inspiration from her siblings Ju-Wayne, Mambo Fletcher, and A-Swag, singers in their own right.
The Late Anne Nhira aka Vimbai Jari in Studio 263
The affable plus versatile performer launched a comeback to the screens, featuring in a South African film, The Rapist as a leading actress. 

The same year, she appeared in a joint production between Zimbabwe and South Africa, Ndafunga Dande, interpreting the lives of Diasporas in a foreign land.

In 2013, she was a Miss Zimbabwe/South Africa pageant judge, followed by two more roles in Zabalaza and Mutual Friends, both South African productions. Anne Studios International, her company, specialises in talent scouting and training.

Anne treasured her country. In 2017, she petitioned the minister of tourism to bar South African raunchy dancer, Zodwa Wabantu to perform in the country. 

“In this case, Zodwa dances with no panties and posts pictures on social media. How does that qualify her to be a Zimbabwean national tourist attraction and to attend a function of the highest stature this year,” queried Anne?

“We have one of the highest unemployment rates and whatever Zodwa, a South African provocateur who is not even one of the top socialites in South Africa is getting paid could have gone to another young Zimbabwean woman who has worked tirelessly and does so decently.” Annie’s wish was granted.

A Facebook post by her brother, Juan Nhira on March 11, alerted the world about Anne’s passing. 

“My Sister. My Friend. My Icon. My Superstar. My Mentor. Gone too soon. May your soul rest in peace Anne Nhira. The African Queen Diva,” he wrote.

Five hours later, Juan updated Anne's shocked fans. “A Beautiful Flower Ripped From Us Way Before Her Time Yet Again. Does Death Ever Stop?? Armed Gunman Took Her Life Away. Dear God. Is There An End To This??”

According to media reports, Anne died from injuries she sustained during a robbery. On her Instagram account in December 2020, Anne admitted life was too short. 

“Be silly, be fun, be different, be crazy, be cool. BE YOU. Because life is too short to be anything but HAPPY.”

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