I’ve done a number of interviews in the past and whilst I’ve learnt a lot and had a blast with those, I was extremely excited when I reached out to Mukudzei Kandoro more commonly referred to as King Kandoro asking if we could do an interview around Sadza In The Morning – a popular podcast he co-hosts with Nickk Titan– and he accepted.
I was excited because this was an opportunity to learn about podcasting from the guys responsible for what is currently the most popular podcast in our country.
We touched on a number of issues including how it all started, the planning of their podcasts, monetization and the future of Sadza In The Morning.
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Techzim (TZ): How did Sadza in the Morning come to be?
Kandoro (KK): SITM was born out of curiosity, none of us knew what a podcast was, we didn’t know anything about recording, but it seemed like a cool way of spreading personal propaganda. In this case, the propaganda being that even though we didn’t have connecting beards, we were incredibly funny.
TZ: I’ve seen some of the pictures you’ve shared on your Twitter and it looks like you use some really professional equipment. Was this always the case?
KK: No it was not. A friend of ours Farai Pasi used his equipment to record the first 7 episodes and would mix it and master for us, he then ditched us and left for school (of all things) just as the podcast was picking up steam (bastard!), Luckily for us another friend and incredible rapper Soko Matemai took us and allowed us to record in his home studio while we fundraised for our own equipment. We used a local crowdfunding platform to raise $620 which allowed us to buy 4 condenser microphones, a mixer and mic stands.
TZ: A number of people who are thinking of going into podcasts probably want to know how you plan and schedule the podcasts?
KK: The plan is to have an episode out every week, but life sometimes gets in the way, and sometimes it keeps getting in the way, and we are not able to record for 2-3 weeks, but the idea is to always have something out every week. With regards to planning, when the podcast started it didn’t have any structure whatsoever, the downside to that is we would leave a whole lot of other dope stuff we could have talked about, over the episode we then developed segments (and named them after some of our favourite local pop culture references) These segments now allow us to be as diverse as we possibly can from politics, society, music, sports even religion.
TZ: When you started the podcast what were your expectations?
KK: We did not have any expectations at all, and we believe that’s the only reason the podcast has gone on for as long and become as successful as it is.
TZ: At this point, you guys are probably the biggest podcasters in Zimbabwe, how did you grow it? Was there a plan or it was spontaneous?
KK: Not probably, we are the biggest podcast in Zimbabwe. (This is both a flex and a fact) The growth of the podcast has been largely organic, and we owe this mainly to our authenticity, we still sound the same way we sounded in the first episode, raw, loud, and for the most part funny. Another huge reason why Sadza in the Morning is the BIGGEST podcast in Zimbabwe is that to a greater extent everyone feels represented, Kandoro is the loud ghetto yut, who throws stones at Zimdancehall concerts and did his A-Level kumusha while Nick is the kid from the suburbs who doesn’t use makombi and went to Peterhouse from creche
TZ: What are the challenges of podcasting in Zimbabwe?
KK: Hmm the challenge we have suffered isn’t so much a podcast specific challenge but it applies to all creative work, the challenge being the lack of disposable income in Zimbabwe. What then happens is that this lack of disposable income limits the ways in which you can expand your creative work. For example, we have been thinking about doing a LIVE show and selling merchandise but we have to think back to how much we will charge for this and how many people in our audience can afford this because the last thing we want is to alienate the people that have grown with us.
TZ: Do you feel like there are benefits of podcasting specific to Zim?
KK: Oh absolutely! A podcast is an absolutely thrilling way of consuming information and catching up, in the case of Zimbabwe it easily the best way of catching up with all the madness that happens in this country on a weekly basis. The growth of Sadza in the Morning has also seen the growth of our responsibility with each passing week. The podcast has now become a place where people tune in to catch up with weekly happenings, the podcast has become super important in this regard because we are very much none partisan and we try to say things as they’re which is not the case with mainstream media. Pod
TZ: Let’s talk about monetization? Are you guys monetizing the podcast?
KK: Since episode 1 we’ve always had the ‘send us money, we are making you laugh’ attitude, it really started as a gag but people actually would send money, either via PayPal or Western Union. Only recently did we actually start being adamant about it, so we opened up a Patreon and PayPal account. We have also started offering advertising space on the podcast and we’ve had quite a number of people taking up this service.
TZ: I noticed you use your YouTube sparingly. Is that a conscious decision you’ve made? If, yes why did you decide to use YouTube less?
KK: It’s expensive to create the youtube version of the podcast, and we are not really in the business of giving money away
TZ: What is your vision for the podcast going forward?
KK: We want to continue doing what we are doing, inspire a few more people to come on board, maybe inspire a podcast network of sorts, a couple of live shows, sell merchandise, basically the vision is to make money.