Zimbabwe: Film-Maker Chibhamu Invited to 'Nollywood'

Senior Arts Reporter

Renowned film-maker and financial analyst Leonard Chibhamu, who has been selected to be on the panel of the second edition of Nigeria's "Nollywoodetal" to talk about film and funding, has thanked veteran actor Stephen Chigorimbo for linking him.

The webinar discussion, which will run under the theme, "Content Monetization: The Brand Placement Option" is slated for June 24 in a bid to provide and manage a robust and profitable online film mart where standard and premium content will be publicized with the aim of attracting interested users for right acquisitions.

According to the Nollywood et Al, it is a platform to showcase Nollywood contents at various production stages and those that are market ready for content aggregators and distributors in Nigeria and globally for possible deals.

This time they have invited film-makers around Africa to talk about the best way to develop the industry.

Chibhamu said in an interview that he was happy to take the opportunity to share skills and ideas.

He said Zimbabwe was rich with talented film makers who were not being given enough platforms to showcase their talent.

"I would like to express my utmost gratitude to veteran actor Stephen Chigorimbo for being generous as he helped us with links to various film industry social platforms on the African continent.

"Chigorimbo is also my role model and I can say that now Nollywood is about to know me. We have a lot of talented creative producers who are sometimes lack opportunity and support. The opportunity I was given has enabled me to interact with creatives from the length and breadth and of Africa."

Chibhamu, who is the executive director of popular drama series "Village Secrets" airing on ZBCTV, which cast the late Gringo, said he will share his expertise on finance and content creation, as the two were intertwined and inseparable.

"As the agenda embraced by most industries in Africa is to see creative products living up to their potential, the debate has been on how to monetise the creative products,.

"Out of such debates, I contributed much around my area of expertise; that of financing matters of the film industry.

"I was then discovered as having unique attributes that may help in the shaping of the African film industry agenda.

"I am quite grateful to represent my country at such a forum and this is a clear endorsement of brains coming from Zimbabwe. This is equally a great motivation to my home community in Chivhu who supported me to get the practical knowledge that has helped me blend with my academic exploits to be counted on in the African landscape.

"I am happy to see myself realise my dream that I believe will see improvement in the context of the film industry, representing a voice from my country. I am also grateful to all the institutions of higher learning who nurtured and supported me, not only to become an academic, but someone who contributes to society.

"I promise to represent my country with great distinction. Remember, we are living in a global village, where our decisions not only call to think outside the box, but without the box."

Chibhamu said he would be limited to the topic on content monetisation focusing on brand placement, but hoped doors will be opening to broaden the scope of the debates.

"Coming from Zimbabwe, obviously I have to be in constant reference to our beautiful country, proposing the possible route that Africa should take in the monetisation of content by creative.

"I have financial innovations that I have developed; some of global magnitude which I feel with knowledge from other countries will certainly be meeting global standards."

Chibhamu said a lot needed to be done locally to meet some of the regional and international film and television standards.

"We are only a sector that is pregnant with potential, but less is happening towards realising the envisaged potential,.

"Recently, we had the launch of Cultural and Creative Industry Policy (2020-2030) being a great positivity, but this remains only a dream as long we don't shift from principle to practice.

"The creative people in the industry are doing all they can, but funding remains a challenge. I thank the crafters of the earlier policy for including funding, financing and investment as one of the key pillars."

Turning to "Village Secrets", Chibhamu said it was a 10-year project that he was working on as it helped him study the survival strategies in the sector.

"The good thing is if you look closely, we are more than two years on television, providing fresh content on a weekly basis despite the terrain largely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Prior to each season we retrace, re-imagine and re-engineer fresh strategies in a bid to improve. The project has been gradually improving our slot on ZBCTV from odd hours to prime time, which is a clear measure of our strides."

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