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Open letter to the Minister(s) of ZBC

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zbc-logoFrom Me.

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Dear Sir/Madam

First let me apologize for not knowing to whom to address the letter to. Slow as I am,  I am still trying to understand the different ministries. Should I have addressed it to the Minister of Information; Sports (I watch a lot of sports), ICT (I mean some channels stream online right) or perhaps it should be to the senior minister ( after all he is senior) or should I have written through my minister of state and Ccd everyone? I sincerely apologize for the faux pas, Honourable(s).

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If there is anything that I have learnt growing up with my siblings and annoying cousins it is that no two people share the same interests. They (the cousins) still shamelessly listen to sungura, dendera, kwaito and ndombolo even though they should listen to pop. I therefore am most grateful for the additional radio channels that now grace our waves. I only wish the same would happen to our television channels. Since everyone is playing chicken I just thought I would come out and say it. We need more varied programming.

I know I am hopelessly westernised but it would be great if I could watch Breaking Bad, Dexter and World News without paying a fortune to some South African corporation. If that is too much to ask, please know that I would be willing to watch any of the local dramas in HD. Perhaps you would be so kind to provide me with popular entertainment from this century to add variety to the mix – really sir/madam anything from 2000 to present day would be acceptable. In case you are wondering: Skippy the bush Kangaroo( 1966), Tarzan(1970s), The Racoons(1985), Conan the Barbarian(1992) were all made well before the turn of the century.

Your Honour(s), a lot of people are deterred from watching ZBC channels even on DSTV because of the poor picture quality and showers. There is this thingy called digital television where you can broadcast high quality signals. It would help people in my rural village to actually see the difference between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time. Right now all they see is a bunch of coloured showers running round with the ball. You should also do online (do people actually watch jumptv) broadcasting it is cheap, not to mention modern. A ZBC App for tablets (no, not medical ones) and smartphones would also be handy. I am still waiting for a Zimbabwean TiVo that I can use to record the Warriors match so I can fast forward to the interesting parts when we are not receiving a thumping.

You should know your honour(s) that I have never been good with Agriculture. I am one of those fellas that still thinks milk comes from supermarkets and not cows. I had a pet pig growing up and no I did not eat him when he died; he was my friend. I do not own any land aside from the vegetable bed behind my house just like the other 3.5 million people or so who live in urban areas. Regular Agriculture lessons about how to grow tobacco and other cash crops seem to be an overkill. I absolutely do not want to learn how to hold a hoe or shuck maize. Perhaps farmers should have their own agriculture channel. An eponymous one named something along Farmers’ Zone would surely do the trick.

There are people who actually live outside Harare and Bulawayo. My grandmother for example lives near Ruwangwe Growth Point in Nyanga in a province called Manicaland. According to the latest census they have more people than any other province except Harare, yet they have no access to the recycled content on Channel 2. Maybe you should let each town have its own local TV station just like you did with H-Metro. It would sure add an interesting twist to all those scandals.

I realise sir/madam that I am in need of constant history lessons so I do not lose sight of my roots and heritage. but to go with the much cliched phrased: All work (history lessons) and no play makes Jake a dull boy. And variety is the spice of life.

Ibhoo Mudhara.

Yours truly,

Born Free Facebook
(Me)


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33 thoughts on “Open letter to the Minister(s) of ZBC

  1. In all fairness we have programs on Agriculture, Entertainment, Sports, History, and Agriculture again as well as History, would it be too mush to ask if we could have one focused on Technology

    1. agree with u, save for the Entertainment bit. Has the latest Gringo movie even aired on National Telly yet? before i even ask about White House Down.

  2. Hahaha good luck! 🙂 In the meantime, please keep making Koos Bekker proud with your monthly subs. He really appreciates the “donations” you make as he knows you are hard pressed for entertainment…..

  3. Funny!

    Though one must remember that:
    1) ZBC isnt independent
    2) It has no money. Improving programming & pic quality has cost implications
    3) It has no money

    1. Where on earth are all those expensive, per-device license payments going? They even co-opted the police into enforcing radio licenses, so they can’t be wanting for revenue.

      1. Lol, now you’re talking plain crazy. What are the “chefs” going to drive, attend conferences and take holidays with if you put all that revenue into programming? :-O

      2. Well, I cant say I know but I did see a ZBC report that toured the stations and the equipment in use there is very very very obsolete. Whether that money eventually trickles to actual programming(and if sufficient), I cant say I know. But what I know for certain is that recent programming is expensive. After the 70% local policy, ZBC lost a lot of sponsors who used to sponsor popular and (at that time) relatively recent programming. So now its pretty hectic to lure sponsors to ancient films and an overload of current affairs.

        Local is lekker but eish…mara no man!

        And then there’s the advertising revenue, which really isnt much by merely looking at who advertises. Licenses are nowhere near to the mainstream revenue that the broadcasting/television industry makes. Its advertising. Now its a chicken-egg dilemma. Without advertising, there’s not enough to purchase broadcasting rights for the popular shows(even old ones…). On the other hand, without popular shows who will advertise?

        Then there’s salaries, maintenance and a whole lot of operational costs….including the “chefs” cited below. If you know anyone at ZBC just ask how it is working there.

  4. Oneday on ZBC an unvisible film started, I wasnt seeing an vivid images on the screens, all I was seeing were shadows, this continued for a few more seconds and I was surprised to hear a gunshot followed by a huge cry – all in these invisible shadows on my screen

  5. And also the ability to watch our National team playing cricket in our own country. We cant even broadcast that! Come on!

  6. “I am still waiting for a Zimbabwean TiVo that I can use to record the Warriors match so I can fast forward to the interesting parts when we are not receiving a thumping”

    Hahaha

  7. In as much as this letter makes a point about variety and as it a good effort at asking for advancement, it asks for the the removal of agricultural education from our television. This will have deleterious consequences in the future.We are not America, our economy and well being actually depends on agriculture, so you, me and our kids are better off learning about agriculture. Some kids in America wish they knew where bread and milk comes from, for them, what you make as a joke here, is a reality for them. They think everything comes from the supermarket. One wonders what kind of future leaders they will and what kind of policies such a misinformed generation will implement. Simply asking for holistic entertainment and education. tatenda

    1. Without any bias the letter is actually asking for a dedicated channel for Agriculture not its removal, read the letter well.

      1. Thank you for responding. I would not have commented unless I had actually read the section on agriculture. So yes. I read it and re-read it and I still do think that having a Farmer’s zone channel or equivalent is not going to attract young viewers to learn about agriculture. Making a separate channel is duplicating another boring and dull ZBC and expecting different results. Why not just make education a part of the mainstream entertainment?. And yes they can still have a separate channel for the extraneous in-depth agricultural stuff. I guess I am just troubled with letting seemingly harmless articles like this one proliferate our mainstream thinking because it can, in subtle ways,lead to misplaced emphasis and interests and lead to vanity. For example where the author says , “I absolutely do not want to learn how to hold a hoe or shuck maize.” In the name of humor he is portraying traditional agriculture like something not to be desired yet a substantial amount of agriculture in Zimbabwe is still dependent on holding hoes. I get the point of the article,its a comic article and I agree we need a better ZBC. However we also need to find balance between humor and futile mindsets. tatenda

        1. I feel what you advocating for is forcing people to watch the Agriculture programs by leaving people with no choice. I do not know where your image about America comes from but I guess you have never heard of the prairies or the Amish or any of the Great farming towns. They export maize and other crops.
          Their secret is specialization those who are good at farming become farmers. Me like a lot of people do not want to be a farmer. The thing with specialization sir is that as little as 1% of the people who are farmers can feed the other 99% due such things as mechanization. Shucking maize sucks; believe me I have been there and in this modern world there is no need to go through these gruesome menial jobs in the age of mechanization. Those good at football to football, farmers should be farmers, scientists should do science etc.

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