Phillip Gadzikwa Mushangwe, better known by his stage name Paraffin, was a household name in the early 1990s for his starring role on the hit TV show “Paraffin”. Paraffin could always find the funny side of any situation, and his natural charisma endeared him to many. Considered one of the best actors to come out of the post-Safirio “Mukadota” Madzikatire era, Paraffin’s career was relatively short but left a lasting impression and he’ll always be remembered as one of Zimbabwe’s most talented actors of his generation.
Paraffin’s talent for improvisation was unrivalled, and it was this skill that made him one of the most popular actors of his generation. He often used street slang to add humour to his act, mixed with catchy phrases to suit any situation. On-screen, his chemistry with co-star Rhoda Mtembi (Mai Sorobhi) was so palpable that many fans believed that the two were married in real life – their scenes together crackled with tension and electricity. They were known for their sharp wit and savage banter, which endeared them to audiences.
Sadly, Paraffin died at the peak of his career on the 29th of June 1997. Though he only appeared on television for a short time, Paraffin left a lasting impression on Zimbabwean popular culture and will be remembered as one of the country’s most talented actors. While many comedy characters come and go, Paraffin’s enduring popularity is a testament to his talent and charisma.