A new channel known as Zambezi Magic which is M-Net’s latest addition finally launched on DStv on Wednesday with several artists in the country welcoming the development saying it is a platform that will expose their talent further.
MultiChoice Malawi hyped the launch with a colourful gathering at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre which brought together journalists, artists and the company’s stakeholders among others.
It was a traditional night which saw people in traditional wear as they got treated to a life in the village with women seating on mats while men sat on wooden chairs and the Njamba room was decorated in a village setting.
On top of that it was a night of traditional food which included banana flitters (zitumbuwa), sweet beer (thobwa), nsima ya mgaiwa, local chicken, matemba and dried fish among others.
Musician Daisi Mabuleki, who plays a Banjo was there to treat people with his local flavoured sound while Lilongwe based stand-up comedian Dee Satha offered a few of her comics on the night before MultiChoice Malawi Sales and Marketing Manager Chimwemwe Nyirenda gave a short speech on the new channel which is on channel 160.
Nyirenda said the name of the channel has been derived from the Zambezi River which is known in Southern Africa and called on artists in the country to bring in their content to be aired on the channel.
“We have collected some content which we have already sent to Zambia where the team headed by our very own Kwangu Liwewe is based. This channel has come into effect following complaints that Southern Africa’s content was not being given airplay on channels like Africa Magic. This is now a chance and so we appeal to artists to come out and give us their work. There will be some guidelines but we will be communicating all this,” said Nyirenda.
He also said the channel will be entertaining viewers with riveting soaps which include Generations, Muvhango, Isidingo and Zone 14.
The channel which as we went to press had not yet screened any content from Malawi, will be available to DStv Premium, Compact Plus and Compact subscribers in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi and Swaziland among others.
Some artists however, moved in fast to say that they have more work to do on the ground stressing that the channel dubbed the ‘Home to Southern African TV Entertainment’ needs to be fed with more content but with quality.
“This is a platform that has come at the right time as many artists especially in Southern Africa have had no channel to showcase their work. The other channels like Africa Magic have only been flooded with for instance movies from West Africa or rather have been dominated by Nollywood movies. So Zambezi Magic channel will give us a chance to tell our stories,” said film maker Shemu Joyah.
Joyah who has produced two award winning movies Seasons of a Life and The Last Fishing Boat called on fellow artists to dig deeper and strive for quality and not only look at quantity.
“We need more content but let me also say it here that we need quality. This channel will be watched by many people outside so if we have to shine then we need quality content and that includes movies,” he said.
Kwathu Drama Group Director Eric Mabedi also welcomed the channel but said there was need for unity among artists and called upon them to work together.
“If we are to produce the best then we need to come together and share ideas and from there we will give out good quality content otherwise if we work in isolation then we might as well count ourselves out,” he said.
Some of the notable artists who graced the event at Sunbird Mount Soche include producer and musician Joseph Tembo, Piksy, Young Kay, Third Eye, Big Brother Africa (BBA) representatives Mr 265 and Fatima Nkata, Charles Mphoka, Tapps Bandawe and Tawonga Nkhonjera.
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