Popular host and former radio personality Tichafa Matambanadzo, affectionately known in the entertainment industry as "Tich Mataz", has been selected to represent Zimbabwe at the upcoming Jamaican festival, organisers of the show have confirmed.
Dubbed the "Reggae Global and Culture Online", the festival will be held virtually and will run from February 1-27 to celebrate reggae music as part of the Gregory Isaacs Foundation.
Some of the countries taking part at this year's edition include United Kingdom, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana and Jamaica who will each have a representative via Zoom meetings.
In an interview, Kirsten Uhl, the director of African Museum Record Label and Media Ltd which is under the Gregory Isaacs Foundation Ltd, confirmed the developments and said the festival is held every February in Jamaica.
"February is cultural and heritage month in Jamaica and the festival features various reggae artistes from Jamaica and around the world".
"Unfortunately, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the festival will this year be held virtually and we have selected different personnel who will take part in the festival either as host in their country or performers. We have selected Tich to be one of the hosts," she said.
She said that the programme has already set aside dates for each country.
"We will cross over to Zimbabwe via virtual platform where we will have Tich who will be doing live reports and some pre-recorded interviews pertaining to the reggae culture in Zimbabwe."
She said the reggae month is usually held in the Caribbean and United States and the African continent which had been excluded before had now been included to spread the genre's appeal.
"During the festivities, we would love to write history by including African countries that we have access to.
"Reggae fans in Africa do have the right to be involved. The Gregory Isaacs Foundation UK/EU & Africa is standing for inter-cultural exchange, therefore we also have a day called Reggae from Africa.We are very much proud to say that Wyre from Kenya, Rocky Dawuni of Ghana and Afrikan Zimba from Nigeria have confirmed their interviews. Tich will join the list," she said.
Contacted for comment, Tich said was happy to be part of the festival and promised to deliver the best.
"The organisers of the show selected me because of my background in Highfield where I was a reggae fanatic at a tender age. I grew up being a staunch fan of the music. My brothers were in the reggae system. It means a lot to me and I promise to do the best. I host a lot of events, so whenever I get a chance, I play reggae. I guess after a thorough search, they saw me fit the role," he said.
Tich said had started preparing and researching ahead of the festival.
"I will host the show from Zimbabwean side on the virtual platform, having interviews with some of the reggae icons locally and on the playlist," he said.