After a unique popularity garnered by his exceptional acting prowess, it is pretty clear that given quality, creativity and a good dose of hype, one Malawi thespian is making a bold step in his career.
Always loud, hilarious and at times a childish buffoon who brings various contrivances to everyday life, sometimes ignorant and at times inconsiderate, Winiko is Mr. know it all.
Some of the jokes are scatological and the canned laughter track can be a bit too insistent. But the cleverness of his comedy lies in Winiko’s ability to connect with his fan base by mining humour out of everyday situations and anything.
Now, having made a name through stage drama, advertorials for different institutions, educative and informative television comedy as well as acting for arguably the country’s top soapie, Tikuferanji, the actor is now being featured in a movie.
This is a different challenge altogether for Winiko, born Bon Kalindo, as all the years he has been around, he has been synonymous with one language, acting in Chichewa.
“It’s a big challenge honestly. It’s like going back to class to learn or a toddler making first steps. Butbelieve you me, I am trying and people will definitely be surprised to see that I can actually act in English,” he said.
Other than that challenge, Winiko believes shooting a movie is very challenging than what he is used to doing.
“You must study the script very hard, everything is double what you do on set for comedies and the like. So, it is also a learning curve for me but I must admit, I like it very much,” he said.
He will play the role of Pastor Madalitso, a man who was converted after losing his job as a manager at Gotv Malawi. His sacking was followed by the death of his wife and two children who died on the spot after their car was involved in an accident.
“That is not all as I also lost my wealth, including all my qualifications in a fire accident. And my biggest challenge will be to convert a westerner into Christianity…” he explained.
Winiko’s side-splitting drama has conquered both the entertainment and theatrical worlds. As such, that was too much to resist for Lilongwe based young movie maker, Pascal Bagaluza, but to enlist the thespian cum politician for a role in his fifth movie.
“I admire the guy. He is humble and kind despite all his credibility and I believe that if he finds a good director he can be better than he is. That’s why I have to involve him in the movie industry to add value to my product. I am sure he has also seen some change in himself like the difference between TV comedies and real movies. Other than that, I featured Winiko just to boil the story line,” said Bagaluza in a separate interview.
He is a founder of one of the Pentecostal churches in the country under his own name.
“To achieve his dream he has to move up and down reaching out to people in their homes, streets, market among other public places. He is one of the much respected pastors in the city of Lilongwe. His challenge comes when he has to convince an old European man, Santos Henry, played by Peter Kepkay from Canada who does not believe in God at all to acknowledge the existence of the creator,” he explained.
Titled Christmas Dress, the movie features different nationalities, including Europeans, Indians, Nigerians, Congolese, Chinese, Tanzanians, Kenyans, Zimbabweans and Malawians who are in majority.
“Christmas Dress holds many classical and cultural elements. This includes the prejudice that the local culture has against the trades.
The view of the trades in Malawi is seen as secondary or a minor career choice and the trades are not held in high regard. Skills and trades are what have driven most modernised cultures to the forefront.
It shows that skills and persistence can overcome vice and laziness.
“I am seeing the Malawian flag outside of the continent through this film since it involves different nationalities. The movie will have a production casting of 150 actors excluding crew of 27 professional film makers across the country to help producing a classical distinguished local film to reach the standard of international based market,” stated Bagaluza.
Kalindo is also a member of Parliament for Mulanje South.