Australia is nicknamed Lucky Country. This is largely due to the high standard of living and the country’s laid-back lifestyle.
For some Aussies, luck smiles on them with little or no effect at all.
But Malawian born actor Pacharo Mzembe continues to soar not out of luck, but sheer hard work.
Mzembe found himself in a predicament aged just five-and-a-half-years when he was forced into exile.
His father opposed Kamuzu Banda’s autocratic role and the Mzembe family fled to Zimbabwe and eventually settled in South East Queensland, Australia.
“I’ve been here since then, but I have visited home on a couple of occasions to rekindle with family,” he said.
Growing up, Mzembe was into sports in which he excelled.
His journey into acting began with a scholarship in his final year to the Australian Acting Academy.
Today, Mzembe is a darling of the silver screen.
“In high school, I was accepted into a programme called the Australian Acting Academy (AAA). From the AAA, I auditioned for the National Institute of Dramatic Arts at the age of 17 and I was selected. The institute’s graduates also include Hollywood stars Mel Gibson and Cate Blanchett. I was inspired by many actors and stories as a child but mainly the storytelling of actors Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx and Forrest Whitaker,” he told Chill.
Mzembe has a crown of theatre roles under his belt, along with various television credits, including roles in Underbelly Razor, Steven Spielberg’s Terra Nova and Australian feature Summer Coda.
“Since graduating from the institute after a three-year course, I have been working in theatre, film and television for eight years building my craft. I hope to enter the same club one day as Washington, Foxx and Whitaker,” he mused.
Mzembe considers the theatrical production of The Prize Fighter as the highlight of his career as it accorded him an opportunity to share a real story.
“I was able to share a real unique story alongside my brother who is my biggest inspiration. To turn up night after night on stage and exchange blows as we boxed and acted was a blessing I’ll never forget,” he said.
Mzembe added: “Most of all the roles that I take on, I try to always find a way to relate with, if not personally, then universally. Acting is an extension of all that we feel as human beings. So, I guess I’ve related to all the roles I’ve played. If I had to pick one, it would have to be a theatre production I completed wherein I played a boxer.”
The Prize Fighter was written by Democratic Republic of Congo native Future Fidel.
“This production really resonated with me due to the overwhelming determination this character exhibited. Both in and outside the ring during the production. My attitude to life is to never stop believing. I felt this more than ever in this character than any other role I’ve played,” Mzembe said.
With over eight professional theatrical productions and awards, including the African Australian Excellence Award for the year 2014, Mzembe’s clout on the film industry continues to grow.
“The current show I’m working on is titled The Tragedy of King Richard The Third. It is about the historical legacy of King Richard III versus the Shakespearian play Richard III. Six actors battle on stage to have their views validated. We also challenge the audience to question their stance on been bystanders as history is formed every single day. It’s an intelligent work created by Australian writers Marcel Dorney and Daniel Evans—directed by Daniel Evans and featuring a very strong cast of actors,” he said.n