TBB Talks To … Frankie Clarence About New Romantic Musical ‘KuVina’

We don’t see enough romantic musicals lead by a black cast let’s hope KuVina …

Created by actor Frankie Clarence (All About The McKenzies;2020) KuVina is a romantic musical following two natives of African descent, Jason a free-spirited being and Nella a fast-paced cooperative executive who both aim to navigate their very different paths in life, in a modern-day hybrid London, and fall in love whilst reconciling their aspirations.

We spoke to Frankie Clarence to tell us more about the project …

Please introduce yourself …

Hey! I go by Frankie Clarence who is a professional actor since 2010 branching out to additional be a writer and filmmaker Born in South Africa to Malawian parents.

Describe your life right now in a word or one sentence …


Tell us about your latest project and what you have been doing since our last interview …

My latest work is KuVina (pronounced Koo-V-Na) the word comes from the Bantu Eastern African dialect of Chichewa which means “Giving someone positive energy, especially through dancing“.

What’s your role in it?

I wrote, produced and starred in it.

Cast and crew of KuVina

How did it come about, what made you want to write a musical short?

All my work to date is either critical thinking projects or for the liberation of Black Women; KuVina was the motivation to bring positive energy to a turbulent time for all of us. Coming from a comedy background I wanted to showcase that Frankie Clarence isn’t a funny man but a talented actor who so happens to be funny. So instead of creating comedy, I wanted to create peace in the form of Black love even during a pandemic.

Tell us the high points, any obstacles to getting the project completed and how you resolved them.

Highs were when I was able to get the choreographer from Hamilton involved. Lows were the limited timing we had due to lockdown restrictions. Solutions of technology allowing us to connect electronically.

What’s your current plan B?

To pursue an objective that brings me peace and uplifts my people.

What’s made you sad, mad and glad this week?

At the time of this interview, I am visiting home (Malawi) for the first time in 7 years so nothing is sad in my life haha! Mad – at myself for allowing so many years to pass before returning home, raging guilt kicked in. Glad to meet family members for the first time.

Frankie Clarence (Jason) & Jocelyn Manu (Nella) – KuVina

What are you watching right now?

Fresh Off The Boat, Rowan Atkinson interviews and Smallville – Which are all in relation to future projects I’m working on (wink wink).

What are you reading right now?

Bhagavad Gita by Vyasa and Zumbi, The African King Of Brazil by Erick Maia.

What are you listening to right now?

Bossa Nova and Silk Sonic.

The last thing you saw on stage?

House of Flamenka co-created and directed by Arlene Phillip and Karen Ruimy.

Celebrate someone else …

So many to choose from but Adjani Salmon, Percelle Ascott, Jocelyn Many, Bobby Kasanga (Big Ego) and Nathan Byron all deserve special mentions right now.

Where can we find you / watch your project?

If you search on any socials the name @FrankieClarence you will find me. You can catch KuVina here Youtube.


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