Senior Lifestyle Writer
“Perfection only exists in babies and pastries.”
That is what they say, right?
But whoever said progress is slow was not talking about the new baby in town, Zimpapers Television Network (ZTN) Prime.
The eventful birth of ZTN Prime that took place on a wintry Thursday night was characterised by pomp and fanfare, as invited guests revelled at the pot pourri of events that marked the launch.
Next Tuesday, history will be made when ZTN Prime goes live on DStv Channel 294.
The official launch that took place at Country Club in Newlands, which attracted the who’s and who’s in business and commerce, politics and showbiz sums up what viewers should expect once ZTN Prime goes live- pure bliss!
Guests were treated to a red carpet affair, where some had photo shoots, while others stood outside chatting, marvelling at the décor and the ambience at the venue.
ZTN presenter and reporter Takudzwa Chihambakwe and marketing researcher Marian Shaba flawlessly interviewed guests at the red carpet.
It was indeed a television affair as everything went according to the script.
After being “vetted” and scrutinized by the ZTN fashion team on the red carpet, guests had to pass through the cocktail tables where they had an opportunity to mix and mingle, enjoying their wine and champagne, while being entertained by a live musical band.
Despite the chilly weather, the selected 300 guests were dressed in tuxedos, ball gowns, while others accessorised their evening gowns with boleros of all shapes and shades, creating a scenic view.
Inside the venue, good lighting as well as the lucite chairs and tables that were nicely arranged-leaving space in between to allow free movement- added to the aesthetics.
Hosts of the night Howard Musonza and Nonhlanhla Tutani affectionately known as Miss V Candy took guests through the short programme, as they warmed up the guests to the event.
The guest of honour Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa who wore a beautiful black designer dress with a pair of nude-coloured heels, unveiled an amazing trailer.
Cheers of approval and applause could be heard among the invited guests as they marvelled at some of the programmes to be premièred this coming Tuesday.
Drama series “Brooke Triad”, “Pink Diaries”, “Simply Gents”, “Soul Mate” and “Exclusive Interviews” are some of the programmes that viewers should look forward to.
Minister Mutsvangwa, paid tribute to the Zimpapers Group saying the launch of ZTN Prime, was exciting and a clear testimony that Zimbabwe was not only open for business, but for broadcasting services, as well.
“This is a phenomenal trademark of the Second Republic. This constitutional benchmark of this dispensation also makes Zimbabwe an optimal destination for capital.
“Therefore, I task ZTN to tell the authentic Zimbabwean story. ZTN is there to chart a new chapter of digital broadcasting. In the domain of broadcasting, it will strive to salivate the hunger for content for a nation which is blessed with so much talent.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said she remembered well when President Mnangagwa was inaugurated and some journalists asked him what he would want to be remembered for by future generations.
“President Mnangagwa said he would like to be remembered as a reformist. A reformist who changes people’s lives, who makes sure he won’t leave anyone behind or any place behind,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
“This is in line with this bold pragmatic pronouncement that we are witnessing here today. We are excited. It is a day to be very excited, we are witnesses the sincerity of that bold move which the President took when he took over in this New Dispensation, which we refer to as the Second Republic,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the Government was excited about opening up the airwaves to more television channels.
“What it means is that content creators will then have a chance to really do a good job and to be rewarded well for the job they do. This is a big achievement. Zimbabweans at home and abroad will have a chance to show their talent to the global world,” she said.
After launching the television station, Minister Mutsvangwa was handed a portrait of herself.
Zimpapers board chairman Mr Tommy Sithole said the launch was a milestone in the lives of Zimbabweans as there were some who were born, grew up and passed on knowing the existence of only one radio and television station.
“Things have changed over the past three years. This is an incredible development within such a short time. The Government has done incredibly well by not just talking about the liberalisation of the airwaves but by doing it,” he said.
Zimpapers Group chief executive Mr Pikirayi Deketeke said the launch was the culmination of a long journey.
“A couple of years ago we decided to diversify from mono-media business to a multimedia one because we were beginning to see the movement of audiences from purely print formats to new formats. We realised that there was a lot of interest in video, radio and digital. We have done radio, digital and the final leg for us was video. Now that we have a partnership with MultiChoice, we believe our content will be able to reach as many audiences as possible,” he said.
Multichoice Talent Factory director and former head of content strategy for Southern Africa, Ms Nwabisa Matyumza, said the deal was struck with ZTN Prime as they were the only partners with the “best” content.
“We have worked so hard with the ZTN Prime team. The quality of the content people are about to see is nothing that Zimbabwe has seen before. The guys really worked hard to ensure the quality meets international standards. That is what people should be geared to see and will be very proud,” she said.
Great musical performances by some of the seasoned artistes including Agga Nyabinde and Mbeu Selmor Mtukudzi, Jah Signal, Anita Jaxson and Tammy Moyo, were also part of the highlights of the night.
Moyo made a great entrance on stage, while being escorted by motor bikes that were being ridden by two-love stuck young men.
Indeed true to the slogan for ZTN Prime which says, ‘Get the picture’, the invited guests got the right picture.