In this exclusive interview, our Online Editor Winston Mwale (WM) speaks to Brenda Mselu, one of the country’s up-coming actresses.
WM: First, tell me a bit about your background, Brenda.
I'm the firstborn in my family. I was born on the 9 March, 1986, and started acting in 2000. So far I have been featured in movies like “No More Tears”, “Lilongwe”, “Nyasaland”, and “Submerged”. I was named as the best actress in 2016 at the Shungu Namutitima International Film Festival in Zambia. Meanwhile, I have a certificate in acting from FAMA acting training.
WM: Why did you decide to become an actress?
I decided to become an actress because it's what I have always wanted to be: growing up watching movies played a part in inspiring me to pursue that route. Acting has always been my goal since I was young.
WM: What is your best movie?
“Lilongwe” by Joyce Mhango Chavula.
WM: What happens if people don't seem to enjoy your movie?
I doubt that people don’t enjoy my movies. As a writer, I can confidently say that everyone will love my movies as they are beautifully made. But if someone would still find fault with my movies, I would encourage them to say what I should do right or improve so that we can do better next time.
WM: What makes your movies unique and different from other movies?
Everything about my movies is unique and different.
WM: Do you like movies that may offend people?
It depends on how the movies offend people because some might be offended and others not –so I can't really say much about this.
WM: And what's the worst response you have ever received from a movie? What happened?
I have never received a negative response towards any of my films that I have been featured in. I have been receiving positive responses, unless there’s any that I’m not aware of.
WM: Do you make a living out of this?
Not entirely yet. I do get paid for my roles, but not so much to cater to all my needs.
WM: How can you describe the reception of the movie industry by Malawian fans?
Malawians love watching Malawian movies, I must say, and they love buying them, but our managers are not doing a good job for us. We also need good policies to regulate our market.
WM: What was the happiest and saddest moment in your film career?
Am so happy that my first movie has been shortlisted at Shungu Namutitima International Film Festival in Zambia. And my saddest moment was when my trip to the USA to attend a film workshop was canceled.
WM: Tell us about your movie “Submerged” that has been shortlisted in Zambia. What is it about? And how do you feel about the news?
It’s a story that depicts the selfish part of the world. It depicts how other people never want anything good for their friends, but want everything good to be themselves. In the movie, two good friends make a deal to destroy another person's happiness, but in doing so, they end up betraying each other leaving a trail of blood, hate, regrets, and disappointments. Being my first movie, I am so happy that the movie has been shortlisted and selected is huge for me.
WM: Do you have anything you would like to say before you “close shop”
Yes, people should expect a great movie that was well-made and attention-grabbing to be premiered very soon, and they should all come support us. As they say “charity begins at home" so I believe my fellow Malawians will come to support our home film industry.