Hollywood speaks about the death of Steven Kanumba
By Paul Owere
The Entertainment Editor
Dar es Salaam - A Hollywood executive has spoken about fallen soap star Steven Kanumba and for the first time gave inner details of projects that the Tanzanian actor had bagged before he met his tragic end.
In an exclusive communique with The Citizen’s ‘Beat’ magazine, the executive – Prince Richards -- who is based in Miami, Florida, revealed Kanumba died some 10 hours after signing a two-year contract that could lead him to international stardom.
He said the actor had won a lead role in two Hollywood made feature films and another Ghana-East Africa film that would have kept him away from the country for the remainder of the year while on cast. This would have turned him into a millionaire.
“I am proud to have been able to help him in his quest to achieve greatness in the international film arena. I am saddened that we were just scratching the surface before he was called “HOME”. I write in tears just imagining the possibilities. I miss him dearly, I wish we had more time,” wrote Mr Richard in an email to The Citizen. Other than moonlighting for Hollywood, Mr Richard who is a US citizen of Ghanian origin also works as an executive for a major multinational company.
He spotted Kanumba’s talent during the Zanzibar International Film Festival (Ziff) in 2010 where Bongo movies were shown for the first time, and through ‘the beat’ which wrote about the festival, contacted the actor.
The late Kanumba and two other Tanzanian actresses were later invited for successful auditions in Ghana late last year. The two women, Ms Rose Ndauka and Ms Lucy Komba, were already in Accra and according to a travel itinerary reproduced in ‘the beat’ (Page 20) were to be joined yesterday (Thursday 12th) by Kanumba to start work on one of the three films.
According to Mr Richard, the trailer of the Hollywood film, ‘Bleeding Sunshine’ featuring at least four prominent US actors was released on Monday, a day to the burial of Kanumba. The Citizen today carries an exclusive shot from the trailer and when it was being made.
“The Hollywood trailer is out but sadly he’ll never get to see it. I was waiting for him to arrive in Accra to enable us hold the formal screening,” a devastated Richard wrote. He, however, noted that this particular film would unfortunately carry on without a Tanzanian involved.
He explained that even though their plans for the other two films, one of which Kanumba was the lead actor have been thrown into disarray, they will also be completed after a recast to find a replacement. Earlier travel arrangements for Kanumba indicate he should have left the country as early as March 30 but he wanted to first complete the shooting of ‘Ndoa Yangu’ which will now be released posthumously for his local audience.
Kanumba was also set to fly to San Francisco to attend the city’s 2012 film festival and negotiate the inclusion of Bongo movies in next year’s festival.
The Hollywood executive said Kanumba was pleasant to work with and had overcome back-stabbing to succeed and live his dreams.
“Kanumba has contributed immensely to uplifting the image of Bongo Movies and Tanzania than anyone has done in recent times. He loved his fans, his friends and his family. He even loved those who hated him for his achievements. We are bombarded by condolences of grieving fans across the world who are still stunned by this loss. He was the Michael Jackson of Bongo Movies,” wrote Mr Richard.