Directed byMichael Raeburn
Written byMichael Raeburn
Produced byRory Kilalea
StarringDominic Makuvachuma, Sibongile Nene, Oliver Mtukudzi
CinematographyJoao Funcho Costa
Edited byJustin Krish
Music byBhundu Boys, Thomas Mapfumo, Ilanga, Lovemore Majaivana, Oliver Mtukudzi
FilmAfrica/Gavin Films, London
Distributed byLes Films de l'Atalante, Northern Arts Entertainment
Release date
  • 1990 (1990) (Zimbabwe)
Running time
98 minutes

Jit is a Zimbabwean film made in 1990, written and directed by Michael Raeburn. It is about a young man, nicknamed UK, who lives in Harare with his musician uncle, Oliver Mtukudzi, who plays himself. UK is knocked out when he falls out of a taxicab and then falls in love with the woman he gazes up at when he regains consciousness. He determines that he must marry her, but her father insists on a "bride price" in the form of an expensive stereo and cash. UK sets out to obtain these things, but has to appease his jukwa (ancestral spirit), who is visible only to him and wants him to give her beer and earn money to send to his parents in the countryside.[1][2]

Much of the film is set in the beer garden at the Queens Hotel in Harare, which at the time was the epicenter of the style of popular Zimbabwean dance music called jit, also known as jit-jive, from which the movie takes its name. Certain aspects of the film satirize Shona beliefs, including the jukwa's incessant craving for beer.[3] Jit was the first Zimbabwean feature film to attract international attention and be enthusiastically received by local audiences.[4] Upon its release the film played to full houses for two months.[5] According to Raeburn, the film "explores the conflict between rural and urban life and it celebrates determination."[6]


  1. ^ "Jit | Jonathan Rosenbaum".
  2. ^ Holden, Stephen (20 March 1993). "Reviews/Film Festival; A Quirky Ancestor And the Road to Love". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  3. ^ McCrea, Barbara. The Rough Guide to Zimbabwe. Rough Guides, 2000, p. 377.
  4. ^ Schmidt, Nancy J (April 1994). "African Filmmakers and Their Films". African Studies Review. 37 (1): 175–181. doi:10.2307/525118. JSTOR 525118.
  5. ^ Rayner, Jonathan. Cinema and Landscape: Film, Nation and Cultural Geography: Film, Nation and Cultural Geography. Intellect Books Limited, 2010, p. 78.
  6. ^ Thompson, Katrina Daly. Zimbabwe's Cinematic Arts: Language, Power, Identity. Indiana University Press, 2013, p. 211.