Terrence Howard

Hollywood actor Terrence Howard is expected to visit Zimbabwe after he expressed interest in developing that country's film industry, which, he says, has potential to grow.

Howard, who recently met young Harare businessman Chamu Chiwanza in London, said the revival of the film industry needed the support of everyone.

Chiwanza indicated that there were plans to bring Howard to Zimbabwe for a working visit.

"We discussed the revival of Zimbabwean film industry and Terrence (Howard) indicated that he was happy to assist us in developing local films.

"He is an accomplished actor and besides film, he also said he would want to come and invest in Zimbabwe. As we speak, plans are afoot for him to come to Harare and partner local business people. To get an actor of Howard's calibre is really both an honour and a huge endorsement," he said.

Chiwanza said he was also impressed by the efforts being made by Zimbabwean filmmakers.

He said so far, there were a couple of outstanding films that were produced this year including "Lobola", "City of Dreams", "Think", "Long Night" and the latest "The Gentleman".

Chiwanza, who is one of the major sponsors of "The Gentleman" which premiered last week in Harare, said he was enthusiastic about the talent in Zimbabwe.

"I was impressed by the latest film called ‘The Gentleman' and that is the direction that we want to continue with in future," he said.

"The Gentleman" stars South African actor Presley Chweneyagae of the hit movie, "Tsotsi", Big Brother Africa reality series star Munya Chidzonga as well as flamboyant businessman Philip Chiyangwa, in his big screen debut.

Other actors on the cast are Precious Makhulumo (Amakorokoza actress), Patrick Mabhena (Izolo Yizolo actor), Willis Wataffi (musician), Charles Muzemba (Estate Blues actor), Tonderai Hakuna (Lobola), Elijah Madzikatire, Sithandazile Dube ex-Miss Matofotofo as well as Amakhosi theatre students Moreblessing Majola and Mthandazo Moyo.

The action movie has generated a lot of interest since it featured a cross-section of Zimbabwe's A-listers in film.

The film is a sweeping story of love, corruption, deception and social degradation. In the movie, Chiyangwa plays the role of Mr Rogers, a Zimbabwean businessman based in South Africa.

Munya plays the role of twin brothers, with one staying in South Africa and the other in Zimbabwe. Rufaro Kaseke, Lillian Chidavaenzi and Batsirai Masvinge produced the movie.

The movie was directed and written by Joe Njagu and edited by Charles Mawunga.

According to Chiwanza, Howard is likely to bring a lot of experience to filmmaking and acting especially when he teams up with the likes of Njagu, Kaseke, Chidavaenzi among others.

Howard was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Anita Williams (née Hawkins) and Tyrone Howard.

According to his biography on Wikipedia, his matrilineal great-grandmother, Minnie Gentry, was a stage actress, as were his mother and uncles. Both of his parents were biracial, of African American and European American descent; he experienced racism throughout his childhood.

"At the age of 18, he moved to New York City to pursue an acting career. Howard first entered the entertainment world when he portrayed Jackie Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream, an ABC mini-series, now frequently shown as a feature-length movie.

"Three years later, he made his big film break in 1995's Mr Holland's Opus. He continued being cast in television and movie roles and co-starred as Greg Sparks in the late-1990s television series Sparks, with James L Avery Snr and Miguel A Nunez Jnr. Howard also appeared in 'The Best Man' in 1999, in Ashanti's music video for her 2002 single 'Foolish', and in Mary J Blige's video for 'Be Without You'".

Howard also made an appearance on the TV series "Family Matters" and "Hustle and Flow.