Tafadzwa Zimoyo Senior Herald Reporter
Local news and entertainment channel, ZTN Prime, is scheduled to launch today at a glitz and glamorous ceremony set to attract a number of influential people from Government, celebrities, artistes and the business community.
The channel will then start to be available on DStv Channel 294 from May 24.
It will be accessed by DStv Premium, Compact Plus, Compact, Access and Lite bouquet customers.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando, are expected to attend the launch.
Information Ministry Permanent Secretary Mr Nick Mangwana, foreign ambassadors, socialites such as Madam Boss, musicians and corporate executives, are also set to grace the occasion.
The event is a red carpet affair and guests are expected to dress the part.
Zimbabwe Newspapers Group Chief Executive Mr Pikirayi Deketeke has said was feeling nervous and optimistic about the launch.
“The big day has finally come. We are bringing this to stakeholders and corporates and we are excited and at the same time nervous. We will breathe freely after next Tuesday when we are certain that Zimbabweans are switching on to DSTV on 294. We then have one feeling, the feeling of success,” he said.
“We have put the investment in all the talent and good equipment for the television.”
He said the event is only for 300 guests who include bankers, diplomats, political friends, artistes and celebrities among others.
Chronicling the television journey, Mr Deketeke, said they took their time preparing for the big event.
“When we started the journey into electronic media from the print business, our vision was to ensure we have our content, storytelling on radio and we have achieved that by setting up Star FM, NyamiNyami and Capitalk FM,” he said.
“Next was television which we had been planning for a couple of years. We tried a lot of things, in fact we got the license to do the satellite distribution but it was a daunting task. We even tried negotiating to work with Kwese TV but later settled for Dstv.
Now we have the license on linear and today we are celebrating the talent we have both on and off air. I would like to thank the people that also made this possible besides Zimpapers staff, thus include the bankers, DStv and the talent,” he explained.
ZTN general manager Nomsa Nkala has indicated that they were excited to partner MultiChoice in bringing a fresh and unique approach to Zimbabwean storytelling into the market.
“ZTN Prime will be a Zimbabwean news and entertainment channel with an international perspective. Content will include lifestyle, sport, business, entertainment, news and current affairs, children’s programming, drama, and soap operas,” said Nkala.
Some of the exciting highlights to look forward to on ZTN Prime include local sports and shows — Days at Ekasi and series Soul Mate.
Nkala added: “ZTN Prime will be home to up-to-the-minute results from across Zimbabwe’s sports arena – covering live boxing, top-tier rugby matches, big rivalries in school sport, and live Premier Soccer League action on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
“The channel will also go wild with top sports personalities on Happy Hour as their lives intertwine with musical artistes live in the studio.”
Sports fans should look forward to The Couch, a television ride laced with unfiltered spirited commentary on topical football issues while Ultimate Sports Show collates trending stories from different sports genres.
The day-to-day lives of ordinary citizens will be showcased on Days At Ekasi, a show which will explore Zimbabwe’s townships, unearthing rare street lingo, dress codes, and tastes that set each “ghetto” apart.
ZTN is a subsidiary of Zimbabwe Newspapers Ltd (1980), the country’s largest and oldest integrated media company with eight newspaper titles, a commercial printing facility, and four radio stations.