Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
THE digitalisation process will, apart from creating employment for hundreds, go a long way in restoring the country’s cultural heritage and languages, Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Dr Chris Mushohwe said yesterday.
The minister was in Hwange yesterday to meet content producers as part of his national tour to mobilise producers in preparation for the launch of the country’s digitalisation project. He told them that it was their duty to restore the country’s cultural values through various local television and radio programmes.
“This digitalisation project has brought a huge opportunity for us to create employment and make a lot of money. All content producers must therefore take this project seriously and be part of it. This industry is doing well in Nigeria, India, America and other countries. If other countries are doing it, it means Zimbabwe can do it too.
“We have a lot of talent in the country and Government is bringing something that is not expensive for artists to be millionaires. Resources have been made available and there’s no need for machinery to dig out talent because it’s already there among us,” said Dr Mushohwe.
He said the 75 percent local content that will be produced on the 12 television channels to be launched as the country goes digital is aimed at promoting culture.
“This massive programme will help us rediscover ourselves. It’s high time we restored our cultural heritage. We can only do that if we promote understanding of our 16 national languages. We want to see channels dedicated to children, the youths, sports and belief systems so that other people respect us for who we are.
“Our culture is rich just like any other culture in the world and we must give it the respect it deserves. No part of Zimbabwe must be left out in the digital programme,” said Dr Mushohwe.
He urged the people of Hwange to come up with as many programmes as they can, adding that he would be happy if one of the 12 channels will be taken by artistes from the district.
“I want to believe that Hwange has people that have the capacity to run a television channel. Those who’re able to apply for radio licences this is the opportunity to do so. This part of Zimbabwe holds more than 50 percent of the country’s artists and I’m hoping we’ll have a lot of groups from this area participating,” he said.
The minister was accompanied by his deputy Cde Thokozile Mathuthu, Permanent Secretary in the ministry Mr George Charamba and senior officials from the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (Baz), Transmedia Corporation and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.
The digitalisation programme is in line with international trends and the requirement for countries to migrate from analogue to digital television broadcasting in order to avoid cases of interference between countries.
It entails the replacement of all existing analogue equipment with new digital equipment for the country’s television studios and television transmission equipment.
This will see Zimbabweans benefiting from a modern television delivery platform with service capacity to license new television players in Zimbabwe as well as improved reception of television services.
The process will also provide a business opportunity for independent producers to supply content to broadcasters.
Dr Mushohwe and his delegation will meet content producers in Binga today and Plumtree on Monday.
Yesterday’s meeting was also attended by Chief Hwange and other traditional leaders.