This past year has been a busy one for MultiChoice Zimbabwe. Not only has the broadcaster supported multiple local media and film initiatives in an effort to proactively build these sectors, but also brought the very best in world-class entertainment to Zimbabweans through community-oriented broadcast events.
One of the biggest highlights of the year was the launch of the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) for the southern region. At its heart, the MTF wants to ignite Africa’s creative industries, transforming the film sector. Recognising that skilled and experienced professionals in this industry are scarce, MTF aims to be part of the solution by growing the skills base while uniting the African film sector into one formalised, professional industry. The initiative plans to identify the skills gaps, and address these through exposure to technical skills, workplace experience and the production of local content.
MTF also provides internship opportunities on local productions to production houses, saving on crew expenses, while industry players in hub countries benefit from masterclasses focused on key skills, including cinematography, audio and scriptwriting. This will not only ensure a pool of highly trained and experienced young creatives is made available to the industry each year, but will also significantly enhance the quality of local content productions.
Seven southern African countries are participating in the initiative, including Zimbabwe, with MultiChoice Zimbabwe supporting two bright young stars for the next 12 months at the Lusaka-based MTF academy. These include Nobert Mapfoche of Bulawayo and Rutendo Mahofa of Harare.
Over and above skills development in the film sector, MultiChoice Zimbabwe also worked hard this year to promote various platforms to showcase local talent and productions. Among these were the Zimbabwe International Film Festival; the Women’s International Images Film Festival, which featured five films from Zimbabwean filmmakers; and Harare’s popular Shoko Festival, Zimbabwe’s fastest growing international festival hosting everything from live concerts and comedy nights to cutting-edge presentations on technology and new media.
Also on the media front, MultiChoice Zimbabwe sponsored the Photographer/ Visuals Journalist of the Year Award in the National Journalism and Media Awards (NJAMA) this year. Media practitioners are required to undertake their work in an ethical and professional manner, and these important awards – organised by the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists – are held annually to honour journalists who have excelled in their reporting fields.
This year’s awards theme was ‘Supporting media for effective nation building’, and the winner in the MultiChoice-sponsored category was Business Times photographer, Tafadzwa Ofumeli. MultiChoice Zimbabwe’s publicity and public relations manager, Liz Dziva, presented the award to Ofumeli at a colourful ceremony held in Harare.
MultiChoice’s sponsorship of these awards and its support for the programme’s ideals of nurturing an ethical media force, reflect the broadcaster’s broader objectives of building strong local communities, of shaping its business to respond to local communities’ needs, and in delivering greater value to the communities within which it operates.
To this end, MultiChoice Zimbabwe also held a number of customer-oriented events in 2018. These included an activation around the greatest sporting spectacle on earth – the 2018 FIFA World Cup. An event was held in Glen-Norah, where the community was treated to entertainment by one of Zimbabwe’s top flash mobs groups led by Basil Chirengedure and live music, followed by the live screening of a World Cup game. The community also had the opportunity to interact with Zimbabwe’s top female sports anchor, StarFM’s Yvonne Mangunda, while some lucky sports fans walked away with giveaways courtesy of DStv.
Other popular screenings held in 2018 included the royal wedding, where customers had front-row seats to the wedding of the year between Britain’s Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle, and a pre-screening of the highly anticipated action-packed 3D movie, AQUAMAN.
DStv collaborated with StarFM again towards the end of the year to send one lucky listener to the DStv Delicious International Food and Music Festival in South Africa, which DStv has sponsored since 2013. The winner, Forbes Mubaiwa of Mufakose, was treated to return flights as well as a VIP experience for him and a partner at one of the biggest and most popular food and music festivals in South Africa, which draws around 40 000 people each year.
MultiChoice Zimbabwe will continue to build on the success of 2018 next year, with further events and initiatives aimed at uplifting, engaging and igniting Zimbabwe’s communities and film industries.