Zambezi Magic (channel 160 on DStv) recently unveiled one of their exciting plans for the coming new year. They are looking for five new film concepts that depict the authentic African experience and reflect the nuances of the Southern African region. The call has been made to producers in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Namibia, and Eswatini. The deadline for submission of proposals is December 31st.
Ahead of this submission, local Film and TV content producers were this week invited to a forum that seeks to devise strategies to respond to the Zambezi Magic call for content. The event was pencilled to take place in Gaborone, at the AFDA premises. Speakers for the event include AFDA Director, Tsholofelo Ntshingane, Tshepo Maphanyane, PR Specialist and Media Practitioner and Thembile Ndzinge, Corporate Affairs Manager for MultiChoice Botswana.Speaking prior to the event, event Coordinator, Gao Lemmenyane indicated that they organised the event for local content producers to take advantage of platforms such as Zambezi Magic.
“We want to galvanise people to submit in large numbers,” he says. Lemmenyane also said they will share submission requirements with content producers as well as other valuable information that the latter might need as they work on their concepts.
He further says that in the instance that some producers are successful in their submissions, this would go a long way in tilting the scales of the local industry.
“They will employ locals, and can also mentor other producers. This would go a long way in growing the standards of the industry,” says Lemmenyane. He also says that there is a need for local content producers to take advantage of platforms that are out there other than government and complaining about Botswana Television.
Quizzed on what could be leading to the non-existence of content on the DStv platform, he explains that one of the problems could be lack of knowledge on what is expected of them when it comes to conceptualising concepts, and bringing them to life.
He further lamented that local consumers were subscribing to DStv, and yet there were no shows that are locally produced that are aired on DStv. “We wish to shake up MultiChoice Botswana, because other countries are benefitting right now,” says Lemmenyane giving the example of Zambia which is doing pretty well on the channel.
Recently, it was revealed that since Zambezi Magic was launched in 2015, the channel has worked with over 20 production houses in the country through licensing and commissioning content. It has also been revealed that over 900 hours of local productions featured on Zambezi Magic, with shows such as Zuba, Zambia’s first telenovela, Fever and Date My Family Zambia becoming instant success stories. Furthermore, the channel has also held several workshops and onsite or on the job skills transfer programmes that has allowed Zambian producers to produce quality content fit for the international market.
Closely behind Zambia, is Zimbabwe that has local films such as Love Is Not Enough, Accidental Small House and Jaiva S’bone. Other Zimbabwean shows such as Wedding Diaries, Makosi Today, Celebrate Life, Tonight with Zororo, Wine and Dine with Tumi, Zambezi News and The Arthur C. Evans Show are also featured on Zambezi Magic.
Speaking recently at the MultiChoice Southern Africa Media Showcase 2018, Timothy Okwaro, Channel Director - East and Southern Africa Channels for M-Net revealed that the channel was established in 2015. The following year, he said they commissioned five shows. And so far, they have commissioned over 17 shows. One of the shows that they commissioned was Botswana’s very own We Are All Blue, a production by Donald Molosi which premiered on Africa Day in 2017. It marked the first ever broadcast of a Botswana documentary film on the channel since its launch in 2015. For information about submission requirements check out https://submissions.mnetcorporate.co.za/
He also revealed that viewers can look forward to exciting new shows such as Our Perfect Wedding Zimbabwe, Date My Family Zambia and Date my Family Botswana. The new season of Zambia’s first-ever telenovela, Zuba, will continue into the new year alongside another telenovela, Mpali, which also made its season debut, he said. Okwaro also revealed that a brand new Zambian drama, called Turn of Fortune created by ‘the father of film’, renowned Lawrence Thompson will hit the small screen in the New Year.