ZBC on massive content creation drive

By Oleen Ndori & Justin Mahlahla

Viewers are in for a treat as the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) is set to launch new channels by August this year.

The new channels will also feed into government’s digitalisation drive as the national broadcaster leads the way in providing content that appeals to diverse audiences.

With ZBC having been awarded six channels under the digitalisation drive, the national broadcaster is bringing on board new channels and an additional Dream Africa Channel, which is part of a commercial cooperation agreement that also comes with technology and skills transfer.

This was confirmed by ZBC Acting Director Television and Digital Platforms, Ms Merit Munzwembiri.

“The Second Republic is on a mission to engage all communities and you will note, through the digitalisation programme, that there has been licencing of other new players. As ZBC, we were awarded six channels and of these six channels, our mandate is to get them start running. So what we have done is going on a massive content engagement agenda to have the channels start running.

“And on that we have gone into agreement with various stakeholders. I am talking about your independent producers, our embassies, your regional and international broadcasters, because we need content to get these channels up. As an exciting milestone for ZBC, I must announce to you that we will launch our first ever musical channel, which is JIVE TV. It’s currently on pilot; others have seen it, but we are launching it at ZITF 2022, this April,” she said.

She added that the second channel to be launched is ZBC News 24, a 24-hour news channel, which is coming on board in August.

“We have gone into an agreement, a commercial corporation agreement for content production, technology and skills transfer, with Dream Africa channel which will become channel 4 for ZBC.

“The remaining two channels will be a religious channel and an educational channel. We believe communication is important in the national agenda of nationa building and image building for Zimbabwe in the re-engagement and engagement trust by government and therefore we at ZBC we are saying this is our contribution in trying to advance us to get to Vision 2030.”

Earlier this year, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Senator Monica Mutsvangwa met independent content producers in Bulawayo, who form a key part of content generation to map the way forward.

“My call to you today is to join hands with my Ministry so that we work together to tell the story of our collective vision as we work towards the Zimbabwe we want. As leaders and communities, we are agreed that we want to harness and mobilise all our people to channel our effort “Towards a Prosperous & Empowered Upper Middle-Income Society by 2030”.

“The purpose of my visit here today is to ensure that this creative energy is harnessed, by removing the hurdles that have over the years inhibited the development of a fully-fledged creative arts industry in this part of the country. I want to see you producing content that is reflective of the cultural diversity of our country, while also ensuring that you are fairly remunerated for your efforts,” noted Minister Mutsvangwa.

JIVE TV is expected to satisfy music enthusiasts, while also promoting and advancing the Zimbabwean and Pan-African music industry.

ZBC News 24 will balance the global information flow by providing an African perspective, while the Dream Africa channel will be a source of information delivered in a professional and impartial manner.

The introduction of the new channels dovetails with the aspirations of the Second Republic of leaving no one and no place behind.