Embrace digitisation to tell the Zim story: Charamba

Mr Charamba

Mr Charamba

George Maponga Masvingo Bureau
Government has urged stakeholders in the film industry to take advantage of the impending switch over to digital terrestrial television to tell the Zimbabwean story as part of efforts to restore the nation’s lost identity.

Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr George Charamba yesterday challenged content producers and film makers to seize opportunities created by digitisation and produce content that fulfils the nation’s hopes and aspirations.

Zimbabwe is expected to switch from analogue to digital terrestrial television at the end of April and all television sets in the country should have set top boxes to be able to receive signals after the switch-over.

Mr Charamba was speaking while addressing hundreds of content producers and stakeholders in the film industry here during a consultative meeting to prepare for the country’s switch to digital terrestrial television.

He said it was disheartening to note that Zimbabweans remained a conquered people even in the post-colonial era owing to failure to become the narrative voice.

Mr Charamba said it was important to use the envisaged 12 new television stations that will be created after the advent of digital terrestrial television and create a Zimbabwean face that depicts own narrative.

‘’We should be the narrative voice so that we are not assigned roles in our history,” he said. “We should use television to tell our own story and reclaim our identity because at the moment we do not exist and we are complicit. Why are we underdogs in the narrative of the day?

“We are a faceless people and we must own the screen (television), use it, possess it to tell our own story. There is no film that is valueless economically, socially, culturally and politically.”

Mr Charamba said there was need to reverse the damage caused to the national mind owing to the nation’s failure to tell its own story.

The nation’s world-view was shaped by what Mr Charamba called “poison’’ supplied by the country’s national broadcaster, ZBC, on national television after being purchased from mainly Western countries.

“Currently, ZBC owes millions of dollars for the poison (programmes) that was bought from countries such as Canada, USA and other countries to teach Zimbabweans not to be themselves but people from those countries,’’ he said.

“The only way we can recover from the damage is through production of local content.”

Mr Charamba said Government had devised a number of ways to bring down the cost of making films, among them importation of cameras and other equipment which could be used by local producers.

Government stood ready to provide transport and food to those who will be involved in film production as part of efforts to kick-start the film and television industry which can be a major source of employment for the nation in line with Zim-Asset, he said.

Mr Charamba challenged local producers to look beyond Zimbabwe’s borders as the film market was inherently international.

Speaking at the same event, Transmedia chief executive Mrs Florence Sigudu Matambo said the migration from analogue to digital television meant that every household with a television set was supposed to have a set top box to access signal.

She said Government was going to subsidise the price of set top boxes to between $20 and $25, so they are affordable.

Acting ZBC chief executive Mr Patrick Mavhura said the major concern of the national broadcaster over the impending switch to digital television was getting adequate and quality content to feed into all the six channels the station will have.

He challenged independent producers to fill the content gap by coming up with programmes that will help the national broadcaster to remain on air on all its envisaged six channels.

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  • Lunga

    Even if I was given these so called set top boxes for free I would never watch any of the poorly produced local content rather opting for “poison” from the west…

  • Department 6

    more of Zvavanhu, Chimurenga files, Murimi wanhasi/

  • Uprop Vocia

    Digitization is a good thing, yet very broad with certain elements of it that could prove disastrous to an emerging country as ours. can we afford digital wars with well set establishments in the global space which local media will have to contend with? there has to be policies in place that regularize this digitization process before more twitter and Herald wars will be realized

  • Judas Iscariot

    What’s our story that you’re dying for us to tell? The fact that our dollar had the same value,as the British pound when we won our independence,today the same dollar no longer exists? We were the bread basket of Africa,exporting grain to our neighbors,like Zambia and Mozambique,now we’re importing grain from the same countries? Our story today is that of poverty,high rates of unemployment,corruption that has forced the gov’t to introduce green cards to help fight corruption. Are you sure this is the story you want us to tell? What about the violence on black against blacks,every election cycle? Be careful for what you wish for Nathaniel.

    • Lux

      Watch rubbish?never!!!

    • Sadombo


  • Cecil Roars

    Imwi vana Charamba muchati netsa. Ko kudya mari dzedu isu vano shanda maka nyarar hamu goni here?

  • Rawboy

    How many households in Zimbabwe have magetsi? And how many will have access to this Digital TV? ….Answers on the back of a postage stamp please!

  • bodo_kwete

    Remove Znau propaganda from local content so that we can feel free to enjoy it. Munofunga takapusa?

  • bodo_kwete

    In the west people really excel and invest a lot to achieve best tv content which you now call “poison”. It is just reflection of their societies. They are the trend-setters in whichever direction you want to take and I say this without fear or favour. I am not brainwashed by anyone, be it Mugabe’s propaganda or the west. You can try to “africanise” some aspects of this product called media but remain trailing to those who started it. You will not learn anything for as long as you don’t even know where exactly you are lagging behind.Thats one thing I hate about all these “false” patriots. Misleading people all the way!!

  • bodo_kwete

    Not bad content but should be directed to the relevant people!! Not kuti tese tese titerere izvozvo.