7 December 2013

Zimbabwe: Artists Ditch ZBC, Promote Works Online

THE coming in of new Information Communication Technologies has greatly harmed the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) with artists now resorting to ICTs to market and reach out to their audiences , a celebrated comedian has revealed.

"We have since resorted to using Facebook because it reaches out to a wide number of our audience at a cheaper price," said Carl Joshua Ncube.

"I imagine, I just go on Facebook and post my work to four million people using only $1.This is far cheaper than going to ZBC where they charge me huge amounts of money for airing my works and for the interviews."

Ncube was speaking at a high level Online Film and Television Distribution workshop organized by the Media Diversity Campaign on Thursday. The campaign is an initiative which was sponsored by Hivos and the Royal Netherlands.

Besides charging exorbitant amounts for airing programmes produced by local artists, ZBC has over the years lost both listenership and viewership because of poor programming.

Artists have also accused the state broadcaster of not remitting royalties for their intellectual properties.

Nigerian film-maker Chike Maduegbuna urged African filmmakers to forge synergies when producing content that tells the true African story.

"It does not make economic sense that one flies all the way from Nigeria just to take some footage in Harare while there are other film makers here in Zimbabwe," he said.

"We should create partnerships and collaborations which enable one to be assisted by a Zimbabwean film maker here with the shots send through the internet.

"He just uploads them and I download them and by so doing we would have saved money and promote collaborations through acknowledging our works," advised the Nigerian film maker.

The workshop was aimed at building the capacity of creative professionals, across the disciplines of film, television, design and computer science so that they are able to produce and distribute local content using digital technologies.

Some of the high profile panellists at the event included Rumbi Katedza a critically acclaimed filmmaker writer and former Festival Director of the Zimbabwe International Film Festival as well as intellectual property lawyer Brenda Matanga.

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