Shaina, the Zimbabwean television film has covered it all and through the characters of Stella, Shaina, and Faro we see how the world changes if you’re not under the protection of your parents.
For Stella, things had never been easy. With two mouths to feed after the death of their parents, being the big sister she had to take the responsibility. Stella had to choose the hard way of being a prostitute to make ends meet, but it all made her susceptible to catching infections like Chlamydia (a Sexually Transmitted Infection) and HIV. Though the majority of her customers agreed to use a condom, many didn’t agree.
I am impressed with the amount of awareness they have tried to spread along with showing an engaging story. Be it Tuberculosis, STIs, or pregnancy-related health issues, everything has been included in a sensitive yet educating manner.
Shaina, the main character of the film is a young 16 year old girl who is handy with electronics. The first scene of the movie was about her creating a drip irrigation system that reduces the waste of water. Zororo, her friend and crush showed her a pamphlet of an engineering competition which was offering to pay for the higher education of the winning student as a prize.
Living with her grandmother, the child was surrounded with love and positivity until one day she passed away suddenly. Some people tried to harm this little girl who was desperate to earn money to pay the examination fees for her finals.
Faro, another girl of the same group lives a different lifestyle as her mother is rich and owns a store. She fell in love with TK and as they didn’t use protection, she was pregnant. The boy refused to take responsibility and she was left all alone.
Through the experiences of these girls, you’ll feel close to the story as things that happened with them are something we’ve all seen or heard of. All their stories were heartbreaking, but what matters is they came back stronger.
Shaina’s grandmother used to tell her the story of a donkey which will inspire the audience as well. This is about a donkey who fell in a hole and the farmer didn’t have the means or the money to save him. So, he thought it would be rather convenient if he buried the donkey. As he started covering the hole with soil, the donkey instead of sinking into the hole, climbed up. So, the soil that was being thrown to kill him was used as a ladder. This is the same thing with life as if instead of crying up the problems we’re stuck in, we can use them as opportunities to grow.
In my opinion, Shaina is a great film and an excellent example of how you can still make great movies with a low budget. What does a good title require? It is not big stars, exemplary sets, or a big budget, It requires writers who want to bring meaningful content to the screen and actors who are ready to give their all.
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