By Brian Sigauke
September 02 2017 – THE Zimbabwean home entertainment scene has been dealt a severe blow by the denial of a operating for Kwese TV by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ).
Currently Zimbabweans have two options, ZTV, which is free and government owned and DSTV which is paid per view and privately owned.
But the problem is that DSTV is expensive, arrogant and insensitive to local needs since it is foreign owned.
In addition to this it gobbles up the much the country’s much needed foreign currency because it insists on payment in US dollars or South African Rands , which is not only very inconvenient but insensitive to customers.
The Dollar has virtually disappeared after the introduction of the equally scarce Bond notes by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
Herein is the irony of the denial of Kwese Tv an operating lisence- they are locally owned (a subsidiary of Econet) and would have accepted Bond notes as payment for it services.
This would have exposed DSTV’s expensive pricing and possibly find itself stripped off, of the lions share of its market (they are a monopoly in pay TV market).
Whereas Kwese had advertised a cheaper service and it being owned by a Zimbabwean, would have been sensitive to the needs of the Zimbabwean market.
Yes, Kwese is in business and like all capitalist organisations, they are in it for profit hence they would have probably become another DSTV had they been licensed.
Econet is a prime example, they had the people’s sympathy when they started because of the way they got their license, but once they gained a foothold in the market they became so distant and aloof to their customers’ s concerns .
Therefore my pleas are not for Kwese to come and ride roughshod over us but to come in and buy content from us the creative artists.
Ztv according to ZAMPS a local survey group is popular for its Newshour programme and nothing else, since ZTV, which thrives in cannot absorb all the creative content being churned out
And even if they tried they do not have the wherewithal to succour the content creators and capacity to develop it.
But here is the problem.
The stagnation of the arts industry in Zimbabwe.
As a writer i am very frustrated by the current situation in Zimbabwe .
No country buys creative content of foreigners at the expense of its own nationals. The content on DSTV clearky testifies to this.
Suffice to say, Zimbawe has always been a small segment of DSTVs market as compared to Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia. Therefore, if the content is not from South Africa then its from the these countries.
Kwese’s entry would have mitigated aginst this as we stood a great chance as creative artists to have our productions flighted on Kwese TV.
They would have had to bring on board local productions besides the employment creation opportunities that would have been created.
Absorbing scripts from writers like me not only benefits me but producers, actors, make up artists, camera men and a whole load of downstream industries would have been created.
How many jobs would be created besides the obvious agents and installation tchnicians?
Zimbabwe is crying out for job creation and liberilisation of the airways will create a huge chunk of that employment. An example is Nollywood, they make many movies a year and yet our own industry is comatose. We are failing to make a single movie in a calendar year showing that the film industry is actually dead and a resurrection act is urgently needed.
In conclusion, since BAZ says it will not licence any new operators since 10 year licenses were already issued out a few years back, well before Kwese was formed, the only remedy is for the public to lobby government.
BAZ falls under the Ministry of Information and Publicity.
Minister Mushowe please consider our plight. BAZ is denying Kwese’ way out, that of partnering with Mr. Dish.
Those of us who cannot afford DSTV and find ZTV too boring survive on free-to-air channel but up to a point.
They are Christian channels and ultimetely repeat progrogrammes outside their live broadcasts on Church service days. Where do non Christians resort to? Buy movies?
I suppose we all will end up social media addicts!
Brian Sigauke is a Teacher of the Word, Bible Lecturer, Christian writer and soon to be author. He can contacted on Twitter, @ngonisiga or on his blog www.briannsigauke.wordpress.
The views in this article DONOT reflect this news website ‘s editorial policy and are the personal views of the writer.