You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘My opinion’ category.
The last month has been very interesting. We have spent time looking for the production crew to work on the second season of the highly successful Love Games. A lot of people don’t have the experience or the education for working in TV production, not surprisingly, Zambia doesn’t really have a TV industry. It is definitely one that is growing, but not yet as mature as our neighbors, especially not like South Africa, or Kenya even.
But I looked at some cvs of people who’d had the opportunity to study abroad, and they all have degrees in stable career paths, like economics, law, business etc. When asked why they wanted to work on the production as say a make up artist, they said it was because it was their passion. So my follow up question was, ‘then why didn’t you study it in school?’
Most people had the stock answer, ‘I needed a back up just in case.’ Erm, you have no experience, or education in the field you’re passionate about, so how does that show it’s your plan A?
As an African child raised by a very African father, I understand the not doing what you really want to do. My father wanted all of us to go to university and get a degree in something traditional like economics, law, business etc. I said, ‘nah, I think I want to study film.’ He sighed and told me to prepare myself for a life of unemployment.
It didn’t deter me though. I didn’t necessarily go on to study film for many reasons, but I did ingrain myself in the industry where I could. My former boss at MTV has no qualms telling anyone who’ll listen how much I bugged her to get a job there – I was pretty bad. I’m sure she hired me just out of frustration! Lol. Now, I’m not sure that type of persistence will always get you what you need, but you do have to have some persistence for people to take you seriously.
And then it’s not all glamourous to start with. There is real grunt work to do when you’re on the come up in the TV industry. It’s hard work, it’s late nights, and all for not much pay… or pretty much any industry really. It’s all about determination and focus – you know what you want, and you work towards that.
My whole career has been focussed on working in the media arena in one way or another and honing my skills to make me better each day – I keep telling people, every day is a learning day!
The last couple of years (well will be 2 years on Sunday) in Lusaka I’ve been shocked by the work ethics of most people I’ve met. People be like give me a job and let me show you want I can do. And then they show up to work late, write in text speech, they expect you to accept their shoddy work, and get surprised (and upset) when you fire them. Actually in most cases they fire themselves! Walk off set, or don’t show up at call time for no valid reason. They saunter back on set when they’re ready and expect to find a job waiting for them!
After my stint at MTV I’m used to people working like slaves to get ahead – ok it didn’t help that it was fairly obvious that there was a queue of hundreds of people waiting to take your job if you didn’t perform. But I do truly believe that fortune favors those that put in the effort for their career. And there were countless examples of the interns who rose to SVPs (senior vice presidents) at MTV, exemplifying that anything is possible.
Yet, here, just working past 7pm is a problem for people. And can’t be dedicated to one thing… I don’t know, it’s frustrating.
Again I understand it’s scary to commit to one thing, especially when there is no industry to show that it’s worth the commitment, but how do you know for sure if you don’t try?
There will be many that come, but only few will remain. And these few will be the ones that establish a real tv and entertainment media industry for the country.
Right now I have little tolerance left, and like America, I refuse to negotiate with terrorists. If it means I have to fire someone even if I don’t have a back-up person, so be it, we make an alternate plan, terrorists can’t hold us to ransom!
For me there is no going back because I don’t have the back up plan. Plan A has always been my plan, so I might fail at times, but I always have to get up and dust myself and keep it moving. I don’t quit. I might let go of things when I’ve tried every means to make it work, but I won’t quit. And I like to surround myself with the people who have the same spirit. It’s not always easy, those close to me have seen when I’ve fallen apart, frustrated, not knowing what to do, but we get up, we solider on. No one said it would be easy – and they do say anything worth having is not easy.
Maybe I do push people too hard, or expect too much, but I do truly believe that everyone can achieve greatness – or at least what they want in life. I just don’t have the patience for anyone not trying to achieve what they can, with some hardwork, focus, and determination.
In the words of my friend Believe + Achieve! (though ok you need a little bit more than believe, but you know what I mean!
I’m a bit obsessed with male circumcision (mc) now – it was an interesting conference that I attended last week by invitation of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and it got me speaking to a lot of men that I know about mc.
I get a lot of people tweeting me or commenting on the blog whenever I write about circumcision – it’s a really controversial subject – so I want to be clear here, I don’t have a stand on circumcision. As I’m not the one who has to have a piece of their body snipped off, I only have an interest in further the debate and understanding more so that I can be informed when talking to the men in my life.
One of the issues that someone observed in this 3 day conference was not to focus solely more communication channels, and indeed more communication programmes to educate men (and women alike) on the importance of mc, but about the quality of that content. I don’t think he meant in terms of good quality productions or visuals on posters – though this does help too, but the quality of the message – what exactly are you saying?
When I spoke to men – both circumcised and not – I asked them if they’d ever consider it, and why not if they weren’t already circumcised or if they were thinking hell no to being circumcised. Quite frankly, they never understood the point in it. If we look on the HIV prevention side, circumcision reduces your risk of infection by as much as 60% BUT you still have to use a condom. Eh? So why not save yourself the bother (and the 6 week recuperation with no sex!) and just use a condom? And in the case of a man I know who does not slip, he uses condoms like they’re going out of fashion, why would circumcision ever cross his mind?
The one guy I spoke to who voluntarily got circumcised said all the right reasons – he did it because it’s hygienic, reduces risk of STIs (including HIV), reduces the risk of cervical cancer for his partner. I was getting quite impressed that here was a guy who really responded to the messages! He then went on to say that the added bonus (his words not mine) was that acquiring a few milli-inches (hmmm and he put this out on twitter! lol) and that the fellow looks more handsome! I’m not sure how he got a few more mili-inches – I don’t know how this happened as I’m not a surgeon or anything.
Ok so MC was tooted as an effective way to reduce the spread of HIV. But problem is that, try as we might, not enough men are getting circumcised and there’s a reason for this, linked back to HIV. Despite HIV having been around for like 25+ years (isn’t it over 30 now?), there is still a huge stigma attached to it. And people at the conference were talking about how people needed a cover story to get circumcised. There were also stories about women scared that if their husband’s got circumcised, then they would most likely end up being unfaithful. Erm circumcision will make a man cheat? Honey, if your man is a cheat, he’ll cheat whether he is circumcised or not.
So the next conversation was about changing the key benefit of getting circumcised, so that’s it’s not so closely linked to HIV. Hygiene for example. It is a long-term benefit after all. It’s much easier to clean a penis without a foreskin – no pulling back to clean within! This makes sense… not that I know men who don’t clean their penis’… but you never know.
I’m not a fan of changing the key benefit, reducing your chances of getting HIV is a big benefit, realistically no one knowingly wants to get HIV. But it’s got to be a no-brianer to make sex – I’m not sure 60% is good enough. Chances are still better off with a condom. Or better still no sex at all! Ok, I know, calm down, that’s not an option for many.
I think I got lost in my thoughts again – I told you I’m fascinated by this conversation about MC… oh yes, quality of content. I think I mentioned Ram in my last post. Ram is the co-founder of Final Mile (they’re behaviour architects – love that!), and he basically talked about positioning risk and rewards. Looking at the rewards of circumcision he said, and I’ll paraphrase on the issue that mc (I must stress this is medical male circumcision as opposed to traditional circumcision) may reduce risk of infection of HIV by 60%’- to which he said for ordinary people all that means is that it’s better than 50%! Which when you think about it… what does that mean? 40% is still a big risk if you ask me…
Then other rewards (that is benefits) include can reduce risk of cervical cancer, can aide in hygiene – as discussed above. After a brief pause he read out the risks! Ok – I’ll leave that for you to google.
Basically, I think when it comes to promoting medical male circumcision, if you want more men to get circumcised we need to understand what is stoping them from moving from motivation to action, and deal with that in the messaging. Yeah that was an obvious one, I know… but you’ll be surprised how few messages deal with this, probably because programme managers can be scared of what happens when you deal with the unknown, but that’s what life is about isn’t it – sometimes we have to take a calculated risk to reap the benefits – hey that could be a circumcision slogan right there!
These days it’s hard to blog about work because I can’t breach confidentiality and pretty much everything I’m working on is confidential – or by discussing it I might seem to be disrespecting someone or an organisation (I had a meeting with ZNBC yesterday that shocked me so much, but can’t talk about it, cos I need to work with them, so don’t want to feel offended).
So I decided to blog about relationship issues that I’ve been observing here – and to be fair, I’ve been a party to it too, but thinking about my friends, watching Think Like A Man, I wanted to get this off my chest.
I’ve gone to several kitchen parties, baby showers, weddings etc since I’ve been back in Zambia, but what I’m hard pressed to find are truly happy couples. In fact I was slightly taken aback when at my last all women’s event, the mainly married women were talking about how they didn’t have passwords to their husbands phones, but the kids did, so they were using the kids as spies to find out if their husbands were sending or receiving inappropriate messages! What?!
They talked about it like it was so normal. Why on earth would I want to be with a partner I didn’t trust? Perhaps in other ways the man is making her a happy woman (in her soul, not physically).
Each relationship is different so I don’t judge when people stay in bad or unhealthy relationships, because we’ve all been there. But it does make me wonder, why would you do that to yourself?
Well I guess it’s like what Steve Harvey says, you have to have standards and you have to have self-respect.
Some of these women seem like proper Type A women – they have senior positions in their companies, real position of power, and they make their own money. Professionally they have self-respect and standards – they must have or they wouldn’t have got as far as they did. But something falls apart when it comes to relationships.
I blame it on the societal pressure. We’re women in Zambia, a country that looks down on you as a woman, let alone a single woman. I’ve walked into countless meetings where I have been blatantly ignored and disrespected because of being a woman, and more so a woman without a ring on her finger. Yet I might be the more senior figure in that room.
It’s a constant battle to walk that fine line of being strong enough as a woman without coming out like an aggressive wannabe male figure. So I can understand the urge to want to come home and be a woman, a woman who has a strong man by her side to take care of her – not because she needs to be taken care of, but because she wants to be.
But we put up with a lot just to have that man in our life. And is it really worth it? This morning my ipod decided to play Ciara’s Like A Boy and I was really listening to the lyrics.
‘What if I had a thing on the side, made you cry
Would the rules change up or would they still apply
If I played you like a toy?
Sometimes I wish I could act like a boy’
Or my personal favourite ‘Tell you I love you but when you call, I never get back’
Sadly despite what Ciara sings, I just don’t think a man can comprehend the pain women go through caring for someone who simply doesn’t care about them. In fact switch up the roles as suggested in Ciara’s song and the labels attached to the woman are anything but flattering.
But yet we still stay in relationships that do nothing for our soul. Sometimes it does seem hard to identify bad relationships – i.e. he doesn’t beat me, he doesn’t cheat on me etc – but it’s the little things isn’t it? That’s what having standards is about, standards and self-respect.
Why do we think it’s ok that a man can make you cry, not value your time, just because he says those three words us women love to hear? If you’re not important enough to have a call returned, your time respected, your commitment valued, what are you saying about yourself?
Sometimes being alone does not mean being lonely, it means having enough standards and self-respect to wait for the person that will value you and treat you like the queen you are to come into your life.
We all know this, one day we’ll listen and do it – then maybe you’ll have Kings stepping to you, to make you his Queen.
Taking time out from thinking about work and my career – sigh it really is hard when you’re on a trajectory for world domination – but I’ve had another thing on my mind – babies.
Yup. Living in Zambia you’re very aware of all the babies/children around. It seems everyone follows the same path growing up, which at some point involves getting married and having babies. And everyone says the same thing, ‘you should have one, having a baby changes your life!’
I have to admit this threw me because … well… I like my life as it is, why would I want to change it? Well I’d like more money, buy more shoes, travel more and stay in luxury hotels, but none of that has to do with having a baby.
People seem to find this response shocking, because after all I’m a 30 something year old woman, shouldn’t I want to have kids? As a child I never wanted to have children, I’ve never particularly liked kids – I like the ones related to me, though even they have their moments – and as I grew I expected, like other things in my life, this to change and I’d get all broody and have the 2.5 kids with the white picket fence.
I think around 29 I did get broody. The idea of a little baba was very appealing. A year later the broodiness was gone! People who don’t know me well think my none-interest in kids and having babies is because of my significant other – he has his kids, he doesn’t want any more. But I learnt a long time ago not to let a man drive my decisions – biggest way to regret anything you do! So while I took it into consideration, thinking, ‘what if one day, this so called maternal instinct kicks in’, but the more I’m around kids, and as the days go by, I just don’t feel it.
Ok maybe I’m also lazy and children are hardwork. It’s not like you can just leave them to just get on with it while you chill in front of the TV. And I’m not a morning person, so if kids needed to eat before say 11am, they’d starve until they learnt to make their own food. Waking up in the middle of the night? Nah, not for me. Call me selfish but I’m quite content with my life as it is. In fact the only reason I even fleetingly entertain the idea of a child is the fear of having all this fabulousness die with me! How will I be remembered if I don’t have kids to carry on my memory? But that is probably too selfish a reason to have a child, surely I can just have a stature of myself erected?
Children are expensive too. School- fees! Sheesh. These people pay in dollars! The amount of money they buy would really add fabulous new shoes in my collection, not to mention a few handbags and diamonds too, I’m just saying.
For me that whole biological clock is ticking just doesn’t seem to resonate, and seeing that the clock of choice for me is a Tag Heuer, I have no doubt that it’s ticking away just fine.
I believe that the path for personal development and growth has many stops for internal reflection. I frequently find my self grabbing a comfy chair and pouring a glass of wine for a long hard look at myself. Only when we can identify our weakness can we do something about it.
The latest one I’ve been dealing with is empathy. I know that that shouldn’t really be a problem – unless you’re that girl in X-Man, then it could be a problem… or was it Heroes? Aaah who remembers? *shrugs shoulders*
Empathy, defined by Psychology Today, is ‘the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective. You place yourself in their shoes and feel what they are feeling. Empathy is known to increase prosocial (helping) behaviors.’
Looks like a good thing, so why is that a bad thing to have? In theory it isn’t, but if you empathise too much, you can’t see your responsibility in the situation.
Recently the company got into a situation where for no fault of our own we couldn’t pay certain suppliers for services they had provided. For legal reasons I can’t give too much backstory. I had the suppliers calling me and explaining their situation. Now for anyone who has worked and lived in Africa long enough, you’ll understand the cashflow cycle – we run on a cash based economy, with limited access to credit, if one person isn’t paid it trickles down the chain. We talk about developing our economy, our economy can’t be developed if businesses and individuals can’t get paid, or have access to other sources of finance.
Our business was impacted by this breakdown in cashflow. But my first thought was the suppliers who couldn’t get paid. As I argued and fought to collect the finances to pay these suppliers, I never put myself and our business in the picture, just wanting to ensure the needs of these suppliers were met – to the point where I almost tarnished the reputation of my company.
But yet, I still faced a level of abuse from the suppliers, who didn’t quite have the same level of, or any, empathy as myself. Instead the company was lumped into the category of ‘business as usual’ companies in Zambia. It was a lesson learnt by myself. You can build all the bridges you want, but when it comes to money in Zambia (and I’m sure many other developing countries), one mistake and that bridge can be burnt completely.
Yes in more developed markets it’s all about long term growth and strategy, but how can you focus on long term when the problems of today are on your doorstep? So with this in mind, what is the long term strategy for doing business in Zambia when cash is such a problem and relationships so precarious and fickle?
I am known as a very strong, passionate, and opinionated (bull-headed even) woman, but I also I am fiercely loyal, to my business, my brand, my family (and family is not only blood related). When I feel any of those things are being threatened I react like a lioness protecting her cubs (I think that’s what lioness’ do…sigh, I should watch Animal Planet more often). And when the threat is from someone I respect and trust, that’s just unforgivable.
Ok I might forgive, but I can’t forget the wrong done…. Wait… Doesn’t that technically mean I don’t forgive? Ok let’s just say that I become wary and you might find yourself on our blacklisted list.
Business is tricky and sometimes you have to work with your ‘enemies’ in taking your business to your next level, but then I’ll know you’re an enemy and won’t trust you as far as I can throw you. And that’s not how I like to work, but maybe that’s just the reality of doing business. I don’t know… As Queen Bey says ‘you can’t be nice in business’.
Anyway, that was some of my inner reflections, I need to carry on reflecting and developing myself on my journey to growth and inner peace
Last week Zambian Breweries under its Mosi brand sponsored the first ever Zambian Music Awards. Media 365 had the pleasure of being the local logistics and production company working on the event. Seems a bit of a stretch for Media 365 right? Especially as our work is so focussed on cause related communications. Well this is a ‘cause’ for us as we’re all so passionated about the music industry in Zambia and promoting it for the recognition it deserves. We also believe that the people in the music industry can help young people achieve their dreams, so what is there not to support?
Also we’d worked with VLP productions – the South African company producing the event and TV shows for the Road to MAMAs event in Lusaka and our Creative Director Fred Phiri had always stayed in touch with them (is there a lesson in networking to be had here? Well that’s an article for another time!)
So anyway, as the MD, I don’t always play a hands on role on the project, and as we are a small time, already with six other projects on the go, I get a lot of the top level information, and the overall workplan and tasklist to see what everyone is working on but that’s about it. But there are things that I do take interest in – I’ve always loved attending rehearsals of award shows – there’s just something magical about seeing it all coming together. So I did find the time to drop into those rehearsal from time to time.
This is the first real entertainment event I’ve been privy to in Zambia, and it did help me get some insight into the entertainment industry here – which I’ve been out of since I left Trendsetters in 2002. It was an eye opener.
There were a couple of things I found fascinating, firstly the time and effort people put into their careers, and performances. Watching people like Beyonce you know she puts in hours on her performances to get it perfect – you don’t need to be part of her inner circle to know this. Even a week or so I watched the Braxton Family Values (yes i have these terrible reality tv moments!) and the sisters had a show to put on in 3 days – a small event but the stress that was coming from those rehearsals! Joh! And it’s not like we don’t know that the more you put into something the more you get out of it, especially when it’s your job.
You can imagine my surprise (ok slight amusement) when some of the performers were not exactly thrilled about the daily rehearsals four days leading up to the event. They seemed kind of horrified and the thought of having to do more than one rehearsal! What? That was a surprise. One of the performers didn’t even pitch for the first couple of rehearsals.
But I also thought it spoke to the entitled attitude we in Zambia seem to have, like the whole world owes us something. The idea of working hard and taking responsibility is almost foreign. In fact when we (I’m using the royal we here) are at fault, we prefer to blame someone else rather than reflect on what went wrong, own up to our part in it, learn from it and move on.
This kind of leads me into my wardroble malfunction. After my lovely stylist friend Manenga Mwense (@manenga1) chose a style for me to wear, using a red carpet look (i’m too embarrassed to say who when it’s so obviously got wrong), and the so-called designer/tailor here got it wrong, after three fittings (!), he sent me a text message saying that it was my fault for coming so late for the fitting that he couldn’t do a last alter. WTF? Already having a bad week with some terrorists (my new description of some clients), I just couldn’t be bothered to respond to the his text as I really would have ripped him a new one.
If it wasn’t that the VO announcing me on stage was already done I had no choice but attend the awards. I searched frantically through the Love Games wardrobe to find something to wear. Our wardrobe is nothing like the one on the Devil Loves Prada sadly. I was in tears not knowing what to wear with this wardrobe disaster and I was already almost an hour later. Through the tears came the answer – I’ll wear two dresses! I would have one the one, as it was a better fit, but as it had already been packed away it was all creased. But my worry was that the ill fitting one was still obviously ill fitting. What choice did I have? Surprisingly enough everyone said I looked great anyway (gosh do I look bad most of the time for this bad look to look good?!)
Let me back track again to pre-show events So the lack of interest in rehearsals was a shocker but hey, it’s each person’s individual career, it’s up to them where they want to put their focus – the same artist then even said that rehearsal were not on priority list and we could remove said artist from performances if we wanted (that’s what he said). Yup unbelievable.
Back to show night! When I finally managed to get comfortable, and everyone commented on my kickass hair style, so that helped make me comfortable too. In fact my hair was literally finished like an hour and a half before the show! I do love my hair dressers at Vanilla Salon at Manda Hill – I do think they think I’m crazy because I always have some outrageous style in mind, but they manage to pull it off well. So got my hair and nails (Shellac, I’m too busy to be having my nails done every other day), and at least that was helping me feel better. Having good hair, nails and face on always helps!
The show was amazing. Ok some of the performances were a bit ehem, well, you’ll have to watch the show. Other performers were just … they brought it. The Ruff Kidd collaboration of Vigabenga with Slap Dee, Zone Fam, and P-Jay had so much energy, was so good! Ruff Kidd is absolutely crazy, but you have to love his stage presence.
But for me the best performance of the night was the closing performance Slap Dee did. The thing that I liked about these performances is that they understand that even if it’s hip hop, today you can’t just stand on a stage and walk around spitting into the mic, people want to see a show. And definitely with those two performances they saw a show! I think you can tell the artists who really put in the time with craft and are focussed on the prize and those who are, well, entitled and think they’re good enough.
It was then fun to ring in my birthday at the after party with Jay Rox (from Zone Fam) who I also share a birthday with.
I was thinking about hate and this pull him down syndrome we have in Zambia. When I refer to hate I generally mean the act of being jealous of someone’s talent or success.
Now that I’ve cleared that up let me get back to my thoughts on this. I understand hate. Today was a real eye opener for me, after I got so upset about someone who I’ve known for a really long time, tell me that our show Love Games isn’t having an impact because no one is talking about it or watching it. I was really hurt because I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not the best product, but it’s definitely a lot better than what is currently on TV. Now that isn’t a reason for us to rest on our laurels, as I’ve said time and time again, we must always be doing better than our last work, so that’s why I appreciate the feedback good and bad. But sometimes the bad is just hater speech.
Anyway, back to my point. After I calmed down I thought about this some more and I thought abut the people I surround myself with and the people I’ve come up with. Imagine you all start out together. But a few years later, someone in your group – maybe more than one – is much more successful than you – maybe not financially, maybe through reputation, or education attainment, or happy family, whatever it might be that you find lacking in your own life. You can either be happy for their success or be bitter with hate.
Too often people choose bitter with hate. And when you explore the reasons it is because of something they are lacking in their own life. I’ve been there so I understand. I have these great friends, who are really successful in their lives, one recently was in Forbes Most Powerful African Women under 40 – I mean, what an achievement! Another started a new website that has made waves and headlines – another trendsetter to watch! And here I am in my lil corner in small Zambia. It would be easy for me to hate on their success – maybe they know a writer at Forbes, or she’s not that clever she ripped an idea or she slept with someone, or whatever other lame excuse haters find to bring someone down. But instead, these women inspire me. They inspire me to keep on doing what I do because we all have to start somewhere (and I have a few more years in me before I hit the big Four O).
But more importantly I’m proud of my achievements – they might not mean anything to anyone else, or deserve recognition from the public and the media – but I worked really hard, and still see the distance I still have to go to achieve the success that I want. And even more so I’m proud of these amazing friends of mine, who I surround myself with, who are doing incredible things in their lives, paving the way for other little brown girls to say, I can do it too! Why would I want to hate on that?
After having this thought on haters, I decided that I’m no longer going to give any thought or mind to them – I mean I rarely did but occasionally one managed to break into my thoughts – like today. The more we focus or even pay mind to them the more it perpetuates the cycle. If each one of us would focus on the positive, surely we could end this talk of haters – we’re just giving life to them. So that’s my conscious decision is to focus on the positive, surround myself with my supporters, and cheerleaders (they really help), and keep doing me. I hope you choose to do the same today, because it’s time to let our light shine.
Today has been one of those days, where everything just seems to be working against me. Ok the start might have been me being too sensitive – we’re women, these things happen – but when I asked my office to send a driver to pick me up from my house (my car is in the shop), no one bothered to inform me that there wasn’t a driver around to pick me up… Until I called back 30 minutes later. So the lack of communication cheesed me off – it was one of my co-directors, that’s all I’m saying.
Then I finally get into the office to find my key staff out of the office when we have client deliverables to meet, and with most of our clients we only get paid when we deliver, and I’m not happy when cash is not coming in – why run a business just to spend money?
And as the day progressed it just all snowballed. Then suddenly just after lunch, it was like everything was well in the world again. I was starting to feel at ease and ready to start promoting episode 2 of Love Games for tomorrow’s broadcast.
Then my phone starts ringing from the client, despite not knowing what she could possibly want – I like to have an idea of what a client will want before answering the call, so I’m prepared lol – but this time, I had no clue, we are on top of everything that needs to be done.
She hits me with the national broadcaster, ZNBC, won’t air episode 2 in the way it currently it is, because of a kissing scene they think goes on too long.
Erm, is that the most ridiculous thing you have ever heard?
I call ZNBC to find out what they’re on about and I get this explanation about broadcast boards, viewer comments etc. So would I be willing to go to them to supervise the edit? It’s not like I have a choice right?
As I hung up – feeling beaten yet again – I realised how fundamentally flawed this country is. Every day in the papers is a case of gender based violence, of a clergy man having an affair, of young girls being defiled, and then the not so public stories of Ministers and their extra-marital affairs, of women using their body for material gain and all sorts.
And this makes me angry. Nationally we have an HIV prevalence rate of about 14%, but new trends suggest HIV can be on the rise again. And what is driving our epidemic is things like multiple and concurrent sexual partners, and low and inconsistent condom use. Further more evidence suggests that HIV education and prevention works!
But we don’t want to call a spade a spade. If a kiss is shown on national TV – after 8pm – that is considered pornographic and corrupting the morals of our youth! Are you kidding me?
Do these same people read the papers? Walk through the townships to see babies having babies?
When are we going to stop being ashamed of sex and our sexuality and embrace it for what it can be, a positive part of who we are?
And in the case of HIV, how can we address prevention if we can’t openly and honestly talk about sex? ZNBC is the gateway to the masses. It is the only broadcaster that reaches the majority of Zambians, across socio-economic barriers and yet their own self-censure is what is a barrier to addressing some very real issues.
You won’t really feel my pain until you watch episode 2 (will put it online tomorrow night) and see what they want to censor, but right now, I had to have my say.
Time for me to end this day and hope for a better one tomorrow.
I have to admit I am really pleased with the response Love Games has received. It’s been an overwhelming success, and I do believe it’s genuine praise we’ve been receiving.
This has been the first real long form (ok ignore documentaries) that I’ve done since wrapping Shuga: Love, Sex, Money last year, and I’m glad that Zambia has something it too can be proud of. As much as I’m proud to have my name associated with the product, I think it’s important to keep reminding ourselves that our success and our failures, are all our successes and failures as we try to develop our country to the great country it can be. Why should it only be football (ehem) we can hold our heads high for being the champions of Africa – a title we will retain in the upcoming Afcon games! Why can’t we showcase our talents and accomplishments in the arts too? With Love Games we wanted to showcase young acting talent, but also our fashion and our music, and combine our traditions with modernism for a young audience to watch and discuss. And I think we’re doing it.
Love Games, for me, is just a start to what our TV and film industry can be and with more support it can grow to compete on a global level – it’s time that our stories our told too!
Watch Love Games here and let me know what you think of it!