Asians on TV 唐人做電視

Chipo Chung in Camelot

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When I was young, I was for a while really fascinated with the Arthurian legend and pursued more information on my own since it was never addressed in any English or literature classes. But I don’t remember too much about it, other than Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot.

Lately, there have been a crazy number of promos for Camelot since it will premiere on CBC September 13. And when I finally paid attention to one, I noticed that Joseph Fiennes, whom I last watched in the unfortunately short-lived FlashFoward series, will play a large role. Fiennes stars as the wizard Merlin–oh, I recognize that name too from the Arthurian legend–while I cannot say that I recognize any other name on the cast list.

One name stuck out, that is of Chipo Chung. I haven’t seen anything she’s been in either and I was intrigued by how she could be written into the storyline. Apparently her character, Vivian, is a descendant of people brought to Britain as slaves and she is an indentured servant.

Chung, born in 1977, is a Tanzanian-born Zimbabwean actress currently living in London. She is half-Chinese and spent her first two years in a refugee camp in Mozambique to escape the war in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia). She graduated from Yale with a double major in Theater Studies and Fine Art. Her lineage is also interesting: her mother is Fay Chung who trained in racially-segregated Zimbabwe to become an educator and eventually became the Minister of National Affairs, Employment Generation and Cooperatives. During her term, Zimbabwe achieved a 95% primary education rate.

Perhaps by watching Camelot, I can finally learn the Arthurian legend?

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