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Michelle Thanya’s Chilling Performance in Date Night

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Michelle Thanya’s Chilling Performance in Date Night

Sometimes, rape by a significant other goes unreported because “we’ve done it before” so it can’t be rape.

Date Night starring Michelle Thanya

Date Night starring Michelle Thanya

Michelle Thanya popularly known as a spoken word artist and an ice cream peddler has cemented her name as an actress in the short film ‘Date Night.’ It is a short film produced by Intwasa Arts Festival in association with Plan International Zimbabwe with support from Finland Development Corporation. Date Night was directed by William Nyandoro with Michelle Thanya as the leading lady. Michelle Thanya delivered a chilling performance which was moving and emotionally evocative. Her role was the make or break of the film and she definitely ate it up and left no crumbs. Sis’ acted like rent was due and the landlord was waiting outside the gate for her to return.


Date Night is a powerful movie about sexual violence. It accurately depicts how people get violated mainly by the people who they know. Sometimes, rape by a significant other goes unreported because “we’ve done it before” so it can’t be rape. It goes without saying that consent is on a case by case basis. No is no. Even in marriages, it is possible for a spouse to be raped. 

This short film sparks critical debates around several issues. Leaving us in a cliffhanger really leaves you thinking about those situations. What would you have done as Sphe? What would you have done as Andile? What would you have done as the Sphe’s mother? The film allows us to fill in the blanks ourselves and for young men to put themselves in Andile’s situation and deeply self-introspect. Parents should definitely watch this film and wonder, “If my child is ever molested, can they ever come to me? Or would they suffer in silence in fear of retribution?”

The location, the wardrobe, make up, aesthetics really came together. You could really feel the transition in Sphe’s personality. Sithandazile Dube plays Sphe’s mother and she was a pleasure to watch. You could feel her warmth as a mother and her concern for her child was genuine and believable. Date Night is undoubtedly this generation’s ‘Yellow Card.’ The film includes music by local artists such as Lee McHoney, Mzoe 7, Six Oh and 5iver. This cross-collaboration in the arts is exactly what’s needed to build stronger synergies and a lucrative arts ecosystem in Zimbabwe.

I would have liked to see more about what Sphe could have done and what services were available to her after her ordeal. This film was a teachable moment and everyone in the cast and crew really brought out the story in a compelling way. I can still hear Sphe crying out “No!” It was an unforgettable performance by Michelle Thanya and we can’t see what else she stars and dazzles in next. 

I'm Noni Zulu, editor of iNgudukazi Magazine and I'm proud to say that. This is a magazine that looks to empower the youth. We hope to entertain, inspire and motivate our subscribers and to help make a difference.

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