Former University of Zimbabwe (UZ) student Shorai Amanda Ranganawa has become the first Zimbabwean to be enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood, USA.
Ranganawa was this year selected to complete a two-year Honours Degree in Acting for Stage and Screen at the Academy. The Los Angeles school also gifted Ranganawa with a partial scholarship to complete her studies. The 25 year-old UZ alumnus who showed her brilliance by winning various awards during her school years, was selected from a competitive pool from all over the continent.
“I’m really excited to have been picked for a program that has produced some of the most brilliant talents. Famous actors like Danny DeVito, Eric Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Coolidge and Kirk Douglas to mention a few,” said Ranganawa. Alumni of the Academy have collectively gone on to win the highest accolades in the entertainment field with over 90 Tony Awards, 150 Grammy Awards and several Oscars.
However, the scholarship only covers $8,000 of the $53,000 required for the course. “I was supposed to start the degree January, but I decided to wait until September so I can try to come up with the rest of the money,” said Ranganawa.
Ranganawa has called on well-wishers to chip in with whatever amount they can to help her fulfil her dream. “I’ve set up a crowd-funding account with Indiegogo to fundraise the remaining balance but I still have a long way to go,” she said. After the completion of her studies, the program will assist her with an agent and manager who will help kick-off her acting career in Hollywood.
Ranganawa graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Theatre from UZ in 2014. The talented actress showed early promise, receiving two awards from her peers that recognized her talent in her second year. In 2013 she was nominated for Best Choreographer and Most Enterprising Student at the Theatre Arts Merit Awards (TAMA) held at the university. The following year she was nominated for the Department Service Award and won the Most Enterprising Female Student Award.
Her acting experience includes roles in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at the Courtauld Theatre in Mutare (2010), Tsitsi Dangarembga’s She No Longer Weeps at UZ (2011), Waiting for Godot at the Women Arts Festival (2013), and her own writing, a play called Young Desires at the Jacaranda Young Women Festival (2013). Ranganawa also directed Holy Maria, a play performed at HIFA in 2014 and Tanyaradzwa at the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) Forum (2013), a play which she also wrote.
She is currently working as a content producer for UNISA Radio at the University of South Africa while studying lnternational Relations and Diplomacy.
If you would like to help Shorai Amanda Ranganawa achieve her dream to study acting in the USA email her on: [email protected]