The Sunday News
Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday Life Reporter
AMAKHOSI Cultural Centre and Bulawayo’s first commercial radio station, Skyz Metro, have once again joined forces to bring Yiskhathi Sethu/It’s Our Time, a talent identification competition that is meant to unearth radio talent in the City of Kings.
The one-hour programme will air three times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with the first season starting in August. The competition, will see youths interested in radio competing against their peers from wards around the city.
“This new radio series that is going to launch soon on Skyz is a radio content development project that will be used to unearth talent from the townships and it is structured in a way that people within a ward will be able to produce their own show. Yiskhathi Sethu/ It’s Our Time,” said Amakhosi founder Cont Mhlanga.
“It is a competition show where any interested talent within a ward can register their ward to compete and there are going to be knock outs until at the end of the season there is going to be one ward represented by its broadcasting team creating their local community-based content. Those are going to be winners and they will be rewarded for that. Later we will then announce the winning prize.”
Mhlanga said the competition was strictly for those under the age of 19, although those that were older could help behind the scenes.
“The participation in the competition is open to any youngster below the age of 19. People above 19 can only assist young people as co-ordinators within the ward and also help behind the scenes aiding young people in coming up with the best product so they keep winning and going to the next round,” he said.
Those participating in the competition, Mhlanga said, would need to curate content that came strictly from their wards.
“There is a lot that the show requires people to do. For example, they are not supposed to play any song not produced within their ward. They’re also not allowed to disseminate information that is from outside their ward and they aren’t supposed to promote events or people that don’t live within their ward. They aren’t supposed to flight advertisements of businesses that are not from within their ward. The content must be 100 percent ward local,” he said.
Mhlanga said this was only the latest move to once again reposition the cultural centre as the country’s premier talent factory.
“Amakhosi is a well-known producer of hit programming, like Friday Live at Amakhosi for TV. This is a first for us in radio and we know that this will be a runaway hit show. Everyone who wants to learn or be creative needs to tune into the programme. A lot of talent will be unearthed and a lot of talent will be trained. It is also very important for those that are taking part to know that all the talent that is unearthed will be also form the basis for a youth festival showcase at Amakhosi Cultural Centre at the end of the season,” he said.
Mhlanga advised parents to encourage children that were keen to find their voices on radio.
“We hope parents will encourage children to participate. Amakhosi is running a very big campaign called No Idle Teenagers, No Idle Spaces in Zimbabwe. The country is full of young creative people and we don’t want spaces to be unused. This programme is there to encourage young people to look at any space that is shut and engage their local leadership for them to use those spaces that are available,” he said.