Comedians and actors must find ways of transmitting messages of their productions in a constructive manner that will unite and empower the people towards the development of the country, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.
She said this after meeting comedians, actors and content creators for different media platforms at her offices in Harare yesterday.
Minister Mutsvangwa said as a ministry, they were familiar with the work done by comedians, actors and content creators, adding that she hopes they shall continue interacting with the Government to strengthen the bonds of cooperation, always bearing in mind the national development trajectory and the expected output.
“First, I need to acknowledge that your work and my ministry’s work are interconnected. What you do is a critical component of my Ministry’s information ecosystem and value chain. As a Government, we are interested in content that instils important values about our collective future and heritage as Zimbabweans,” she said.
“Zimbabwe is bigger than all of us. We come and go but Zimbabwe lives on! Our independence should live on, our culture should live on, our civilisations should be passed on to the next generations to come.
“No one and no place should be left behind as we, through National Development Strategy 1 and 2, build our country brick by brick, stone upon stone.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said humour has always been a part of society from time immemorial.
“Comedy and humour lighten the national mood, smoothen the rough edges and allows us to look with ease on our foibles and shortcomings as society.”
She added that comedy was therefore a necessary aspect of the actors’ communication as humans, as it provides the grease that eases friction and awkwardness of social interaction.
“In so doing, comedy allows us to admonish, warn and advise about or against any wrong doing in our midst. It also enables us to keep in check society’s excesses especially on heavy matters that require a lighter atmosphere to convey.
“And so, our creative industry ought not to be vacuous and destructive. We need to find ways of inculcating messaging in our productions that speak to contemporary issues of the day in a constructive manner that unites our people, while allowing us to provide solutions to our collective challenges.
“Your work must enable us to build resilience and project a positive outlook for our citizens even in the face of despair. That said, we also need to work together to enhance the commercial appeal of your products, so that our artists are properly remunerated for their efforts, especially in the mainstream media,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
In the context of NDS1, comedians and content creators are at the forefront of shaping the future, said Minister Mutsvangwa, adding that the skits they create do not only inform, educate and entertain, but liven up the work of entrepreneurs, industry leaders, public officials and policy makers.
“So my call to you today is to join hands with my ministry and that we work together to tell the story of our collective vision as we work together towards the ‘Zimbabwe We Want’. As leaders and communities, we agreed that we want to harness and mobilise all our people to channel our efforts, ‘Towards a Prosperous and Empowered Upper Middle Income Society by 2030’.
“His Excellency (President Mnangagwa) made a clarion call to all of us when he said, ‘under this New Dispensation, my Government is working towards building a new Zimbabwe, a country with a thriving and open economy, capable of creating opportunities for investors and employment. As such my Government will leave no stone unturned in transforming Zimbabwe into a knowledge driven and industrialising Upper Middle Income Economy by 2030’,” she said.
The minister invited them to partner with the ministry to mobilise the critical base of supporters of Vision 2030 and the strategies espoused in NDS1.
Minister Mutsvangwa informed the actors that the ministry has recording studios, which they can use to record their craft and that the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) can do capacity building for them in the areas they need strengthening.
The ministry also has lighting equipment and better sound recording, which actors can book and that they also had an NDS1 Communication Strategy, which they can use to understand the ministry’s thrust and strategies in communicating NDS1 programmes.
The event was also attended by Deputy Minister of Information Kindness Paradza, some senior Government officials, actors such as Mai Titi real name Felistas Murata and Madam Boss, whose real name is Tarisai Cleopatra Chikocho.