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So this has been long coming!  Each year I try to sum up my year with some reflections, and thoughts for the new year.  This year I thought I’d do that while I was laying on the beach in Koh Samet, Thailand, sipping on a cocktail, counting my blessings.  Alas I was busy still doing work – but on the beach in Koh Samet, so I can’t be too mad!

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2016 was an interesting year for me – perhaps a year I entered into a different cycle of my life.  I ended the year completely burnt out but definitely worth it.  While 2016 was a ‘surviving’ year for most, it was a challenging year for me.

At the beginning of 2016, if you recall I blogged about this, I decided it was time to believe in myself more and push myself to do things that scared me.  At that point I had already been toying with the idea of launching a female led talkshow.   I wanted to give women a voice, I wanted to actively engage in dialogue that contributed to the development of the country and our lives, and I wanted to show that women can and do support each other.

There were many times in that process of developing the show that I wanted to quit – it was scary, not easy, not to mention costly.  But I told people about it, knowing they would hold me accountable to ensure it happened.  And it did!

The show was quoted in the Daily Mail, and now it’s airing on Zambezi Magic – across the region.  My heart literally stopped as I thought about that – people outside of Zambia are seeing my face and listening to what I have to say… it is surreal.

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But that was just the beginning of the year!

Loads of work in the middle of the year, and then my most challenging work fell squarely on my lap – Our Perfect Wedding Zambia.  The project that gave me sleepless nights and exhausted me (and had me looking like a homeless person).  Adapt the hugely popular South African show, how hard could it be?!

Hmmm.  Let me back track a bit.  The set-up of our company is usually myself and Mary write the proposal, secure the deals and client manage.  Tasha does the research and insights.  Freddy is the creative lead – he directs and produces.  We still work on the creative side inputting in character development, script, wardrobe, art direction etc.  But in a very basic way that’s the make-up.

So after writing the proposal, doing the pitch, we win the bid!  Great.  Just one small problem; Freddy is unable to direct or produce the show.  Probably the obvious decision would have been to hire someone to direct.

I like to think of myself as a business person, I looked at the numbers and realized it would be pointless for us to do this show if we hire a director.  I’d just produced and semi-directed (ha!) a talk show, how hard could a 4-day reality shoot be?

Famous last words.

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I like to surround myself with people who are good at what they do but also people I can work with.  There were a lot of people in the industry who I thought had bad attitudes and who I just couldn’t imagine doing a 52-day shoot with.  So I chose a crew I thought I could work with, mainly young up-and coming and hungry.

No one had shot a reality show before, or one of this nature.  In fact client expectations were to exceed even what the South Africa’s were doing, the pressure was immense.

I’m pretty sure I spent a lot of time crying and wishing I could quit!  But quitters don’t win and winners don’t quit.

When I wasn’t shooting, I was in editing mode.  It was non-stop.  And pleasing the client was even harder.  Some of our seasoned editors were also suffering, getting the format right was hard on everyone.

The season is coming to an end and while I can definitely agree there were some bad episodes, there were also some amazing stories and great couples – it almost made me believe in love again! LOL.

I did learn though that maybe hunger wasn’t enough, on certain projects you have no choice but to put personal differences aside and bring in the best people for the job, at least close enough to the best (though not sure they would have done it for the budget).   However, because of the attitude of some of the crew, I know I will be working with them for time to come, because at the end of the day, attitude is so important in getting ahead and moving past mediocrity.  The ones who chose to be unprofessional, well those are their career choices.

I was then fortunate to get away for 10 days to experience the sights and sounds of Thailand.  It was exactly what I needed.  I didn’t get to consciously do the reflections I needed but I think the downtime, the rest and recovery allowed my mind to settle, clear out the noise and focus.

There were things I wanted to do last year that I never got to do, my experience last year proved that anything is possible, so this year I plan on soaring, trusting in myself – in God – and taking that next step to greatness.  We can all achieve it if we believe!

Have a great 2017!  (I won’t even promise to blog more because… well life gets in the way, and I’m busy on my grind and living my life!)

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So I did it!  I ran straight into the fear and launched my online talkshow!  Those of you who regularly follow my blog know that I’ve been hinting at doing something ‘big’ since January, and this is it.

But, boy, how many times I came close to scraping the entire project – even after I had already shot the episodes! LOL.  The fear of failure can be so powerful that it can stop you in your tracks.

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Add to that, that I have been so vocal on bad quality works and the mediocrity that is rampant in Zambia, and I just never thought the episodes were good enough.  And as if that wasn’t bad enough, drama and conflict behind the scenes made me want to pack it all it, it was just too hard!

But I had committed to it.  I talked it through with my life coach, who couldn’t understand my hesitation, and so I closed my eyes and jumped!

Even when it went live, I held my breath, waiting for the trolls to come, my friend in Nigeria telling me not to worry – ‘even Oprah has haters’ he said.  Hmmm yes but Oprah can then jump in her private jet and go to some fabulous destination, drink mojitos, have massages on the beach and not let any of that negativity get to her.

The number of people watching the first episode kept growing, within a week over 1,000 people had watched it.  1,000 people!  Ok, I wish I could say there were 10s of thousands, but you have to start somewhere.  And that start was encouraging.

Friends shared it, friends called me to give me their positive feedback, but still I held my breath.

Three episodes in, and I haven’t had any trolls, had some great constructive feedback, and generally people believing there was a need for what what I was trying to do – foster a community to shape not only the country we live in, but also the positive female community we don’t always talk about.

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My father watched the third episode the other day – he was surprised that I could speak on any issue that I wanted lol – but he was impressed and supportive as well.  My father is not an easy person to impress.

As the episodes unfold, as I still cringe at the imperfectness of it, I am excited about where it could go.  Hard for it to go much further right now, because it was self-financed by Media 365 (like us on Facebook!) and we only have a finite amount of resources to put into passion projects, but the scope is huge.

My focus was on Zambia, spurned by the elections and the governance challenges I was concerned with, but it’s more than that now, there are so many issues that women (not only in Zambia) have challenges with, issues that I could be lending a voice to, giving a platform to, making it a much rounded show.

Sponsorship is hard to come by in Zambia, I find the marketing people in most large corporates have a very parastatal way of thinking – i.e. let’s not do anything original or creative, let’s see what works in the market then jump on it.  It’s exactly what happened with Love Games.  Sponsors wanted to come in at the end, when it was too late.

But knowing this, and because it is an owned property, I’m trying to ensure the numbers stay up so that someone  will want to sponsor it and keep it going.  I only have about 6 more episodes in the bank (6 more weeks of content, yay!), so I really do need people to keep watching, sharing and discussing it, hoping that will lead to sponsorship of season 2.

I have learnt so many lessons on this journey though.  Some about friendships – man have I seen the ride or die’s in my life – and they’re global, UK, South Africa, Nigeria, and of course Zambia.  I’ve learnt that even if it’s not perfect, and the intention is honest, people will appreciate it.  And of course, that the only thing you have to fear is fear itself.

There is so much in this process I don’t control, and I have to trust others – that’s also taught me lessons, there are people you can trust to be professional, and to make it work, and there are people who just want to get paid.  Be very wary of those just trying to get paid.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not mad about the people wanting to get paid (we all want to get paid!), I just can’t afford them on my team right now, I need people I can trust me to want to make it the best possible project, to give me their all, at cost, for a bigger reward in future.

But that can never overshadow the gratitude I feel about the people who have been there, the ones who simply watched, gave feedback, let me vent, let me talk out my crazy ideas, turned out graphics in hours, not days, and just helped bring this project to life.

There is still a long way for us to go in Zambia in raising the creative standard, but sitting around complaining about it won’t help.  Same with shaping our country, being armchair critics is easy.  But it is time for action (cue Redman lol).

This is a new chapter in my life – I never ever saw myself in front of the camera – still don’t – but I also want to be involved, want to be awake, and be part of the change I want to see.

Thank you for all those of you who have already watched HerStory, if you haven’t watched it, check it out and share with all your friends and family!  Help me get the 10s of thousands views!

Thank you in advance! xoxo (yes an ode to an old favourite! lol)

At the end of 2015 I decided I was going to live life to its fullest potential and start really following my dreams, because up until then, I realized I’d spent a lot of my time pleasing people. My work was not what I considered my best because I was constantly compromising and conforming to meet what the client wanted. I had become all about ‘if they pay, they say’ and stopped arguing with them over ‘ugly’ products. Though don’t get me wrong, if they pay, they still say, I’m just more wary of which clients I take on – if they’re not ready to excel, or innovative, I’m not about that life.

But before I made that decision, it ate at me. I looked at some of my past work and remembered the high I got from being true to my inner spirit – the spirit that some times runs wild but appreciates nice looking things!

2016 was going to be about me, and doing things that I wanted to do, throwing caution to the wind! Or so I thought.

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January 2016 I decided to embark on a passion project. Before I could even get started, we suddenly had more work than expected – Q1 is usually very slow, with things only really picking up around April/May.

While I was counting our blessings, I was also wondering what would happen to my passion project, pushing it to the back of my mind, ‘we’re too busy’, I told myself.

And then a friend of mine said ‘you’re scared.’ I was going to protest, instead I walked away annoyed by the comment – do I look like I get scared?! But deep down, I knew she was right.

I had minor panic attacks worrying about whether it would work or not, I reached out to several friends and people I knew in the industry who I felt had more experience than me for advise. Some came back, most didn’t. I focused on that. If I couldn’t get the help from these people, how on earth did I expect to make this work, what would I do?

But I also had so many supportive people in my corner – people I didn’t even know where there, including some incredible women who I am beginning to believe God brought us together for a reason.

Yet there was still a lot of back and forth on my part. First I was scared it would be lame – I’m not about mediocre. That thought was spoken by someone in my inner circle – ‘you are not the type of person to allow mediocrity, why would it be now?’

Of course I could point to many a times I thought I was involved in mediocrity, though it wasn’t of my doing so, fair point.

I had a1001 excuses not to do it. After awhile I realized that my fear was not of just being mediocre but actually of doing a good job. It seems weird to have such a fear but there is just a much pressure with being good and maintaining or exceeding!

And on my mum’s birthday I decided to bite the bullet and just do it! It seemed fitting to do it on her birthday – she is an extraordinary woman to me, so good time to ‘jump’.

It was a great experience! Ok it was running late – another story. But when it was done, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t freaked out, only messed up my lines once. It was awesome.

I might not use it – despite me appreciating I don’t have to be fantastic all the time, it can be better so why not do better?

The important thing for me was to let go of the fear and listen to my truth, and follow that truth – good things await those who are true to themselves!

It may not be the dream exactly, but it’s a step closer, without doing this, I would have been so much further from all I imagine for my life. And that’s what’s the most important thing.

Coming soon…

after the show

I had the pleasure of attending the premiere of Maliposa last night. I was honoured that Mingeli Palata the creator of the movie invited us to watch. The creative industry in Zambia is small and competitive, but not always healthy competition and good sportsmanship (for lack of a better term).

I have never worked with Mingeli per se but we’ve interacted quite a bit and share a passion for production and the industry in Zambia. Mingeli first told me about Maliposa a few months ago, and even sent me a copy for my opinion. At the time, I was going through my own reflection process – was I too critical of everything? Shouldn’t we be focussed on the fact that people are trying and not berate them for standards (or lack of)? After all, look at the Nigerian film and TV industry – it started a mess, and there still are programmes that are a mess, but it’s also produced really good productions too. And I was starting to believe that the point is to start, regardless.

My feedback at the time was actually it was alright. It was still better than what was currently on our screens and the story was relevant and timely. Maliposa, funded by Ministry of Gender and Community Development, deals with the all too pervasive issue of sexual assault and gender inequity. And it was shot with this blue filter that symbolised the sadness of the issue. But Mingeli was not happy. I understood that too because as a creator, you want to see your vision, as you imagined regardless of what people said. (It’s like how I feel about Love Games season 1 – but I didn’t have the luxury of budget to reshoot it). There were some technical challenges, and Mingeli went back to the drawing board and reshoot the entire thing. And I admire him for sticking to his principles and values regardless of the cost.

So yesterday watching it, was like watching the film for the first time. I do applaud Mingeli and Gardner Media for doing that film because it’s not easy. I’m not a technical person – in terms of camera styles, angles, lighting etc so I won’t speak to that. But from what I do know, the hardest part of doing a film that is funded, and is there to convey a specific message is getting the message right.

You can be excused for thinking that it’s easy to write a script with a message. But the reality is it’s not. There is an art to messaging, and not to toot our own horn (though why not?) but that is something we’re really good at, and it helps that we’ve been doing this for a long time.

Also because I am such a ‘girl power’ fanatic, I was disappointed with the script, and more so when I found out it was written by a woman. However, the only caveat to this statement is that in their defence, they created a 2 hour movie from a 13 part series for TV, so there could be things in the TV series that will strengthen the content. I wonder how many real life stories they draw from, because it’s one thing to read the stats or to read transcripts from court cases or whatever fact based research was done, without talking to the real life people behind the stats, or having gone through the experience yourself, there is a level of authenticity that is missing.

However, I do think a good majority of people will nonetheless enjoy this production – even after the premiere last night, it seemed a success and the Ministry very happy – a happy client is always a good thing! And I do see the show traveling, even outside of Zambia, but as a tv show and nothing more. Great for Gardner Media, not so great for the Ministry and its donors who were trying to address an issue.
Content is an issue for us, us as in creators in Zambia. We’re getting the technical right but when you look at what we’re producing, it’s content that is letting us down. This morning I watched a music video that again, technically looked good (remember I’m not an expert, I’m sure if I showed it to one of my more experienced film/tv/video makers they would pinpoint lighting errors and all sorts!) but for me where it let me down – like so many other good videos before it – was the content and lack of a concept (if there was one, it just wasn’t clear).

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think one person has to be good at everything – that’s why we can rely on partnerships, to strengthen where one is weak. I think it’s great we’re getting our industry together and we’re definitely putting out better things than in the past, but let’s still be open and honest about the challenges. This will help us all improve.

I hope you’ll all watch Maliposa, because supporting our own, also helps grow the industry – we need to be hungry for our own content to grow it to the standards we want it to be. And it will happen, I believe it. I really hope I won’t get mistaken for being a hater – too often when we criticize people think it comes from a place of hate, but really I see too many people giving false feedback meaning no one can learn and improve. I just don’t want to be that person – I do want to give honest feedback, but still encourage people to keep doing them – we’re not at the stage where any production (TV/Film/Video) is faultless yet. Just keeping it one hundred.

They say you’re only as good as your last success, so as we get close to wrapping the shoot of Love Games and it’s subsequent broadcast date of July 17th, I think, what next?

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It could also be my insatiable desire for successes that never allows me to be complacent, and to be constantly challenging myself regarding what to do next.

Love Games has been a great run – if you’re a regular reader of my blog, or avid follower on twitter, you’ll know that it came not without it’s own challenges. Challenges that cost us – economically, as well as spiritually! It also allowed us to see people’s true colours – really in business not everyone is your friend despite what you think! But we learned, and season two has gone far more smoothly, and while we’re still over budget, it’s not ridiculously over budget – it’s a much more expected and manageable (in theory) amount. While I’m happy with the way it looks, I wonder how the audience will feel about it, it’s such a different feel to it. But I’m proud of it, so guess that’s more important.

Back to my ‘what next’ dilemma. Sometimes in life you have to give up this to move ahead. In our case that means downsizing. Perhaps we did it too early anyway. There’s a lot of lessons learnt in running your own business, it’s not all glamourous, it’s a lot of late nights, hardwork, and huge responsibilities – not only to ensuring that you meet your legal obligations but also taking care of your staff. I recall someone visiting the office and saying that the way the boss sleeps, is different from the employees. And it’s so true I’m sure. Our stresses are definitely different.

So all these considerations are necessary when making the decision of what to do next. But in life, as my better half says, ‘courage is doing what you are scared of’. We operate in a state of fear of the unknown, sometimes crippling us to make decisions and incapacity to actually move.

The problem is that you don’t know what the outcome will be, until you try. I feel like I’m coming full circle – back to the beginning – which is scary. But I’ve learnt a lot of lessons, which will help me build an even more successful brand, as scary as it is, you have to dust yourself up and keep it moving, what do you have to lose?

I am looking forward to make next step, even if on the surface it looks like a step back, as it should put me a position to take a giant leap forward! I can’t be afraid of the future, and I can only look back to reflect on lessons learnt but not dwell on it.

Wish me luck and I’ll keep you posted!

I seem to spend an unhealthy amount of time complaining about the inefficiencies, lack of services, lack of work ethics, and all sorts related to my stay in Zambia. Today I’ve decided to write about some positive experiences – so you know it’s not all bad!

We’re into the 22nd day of shooting Love Games season 2 (only 24 days more to go!) and I’m so excited with how the shoot is going. It looks so good! We also have some new cast that are amazing, and some celeb appearances that I’m also excited about. I would say who now but it might be announced in a leading local paper so I can’t say anything until that deal is concluded (or not). But trust me when I say season 1 has nothing on season 2 – this is the bomb for sure and will really make us proud of what Zambians can achieve if we really put our minds to it.

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Ok, we did get some help from our friends down south. We are still a growing industry and if we really want to compete internationally (or just regionally) we can’t be afraid to ask for some help – it still is a Zambian production.

Also thanks to the success of season 1 we’ve been able to get more businesses interested in coming on board to help out with sponsoring the materials to build and design sets – Handyman’s Paradise, and to help with our own set catering needs we have Eezee Instant Noodles for days! But you can read more about them on the official programme website in a few weeks. But it was interesting that it was still a hard-sell to many other businesses. Even in this months’ Bulletin and Record Love Games has been tagged as must watch TV, (unfortunately it won’t be on air in May), so shows just how popular it is. While productive placements are big business in some mature TV industries (namely the US), sadly Zambia’s marketing tactics are left to traditional and basic advertising tricks, but that’s for another blog!

These two companies coming on board haven’t necessarily save the production budget loads of money but has enabled us to do more – people can work longer with food, and we can get better sets with the availability of the materials! Which all in all add to a better product at the end of the day. I know as a business I should always focus on the bottom line, but I couldn’t in good conscious ignore the end product as well. Love Games has been so well received it only made sense to do it bigger and better – even with the small budget – because the audience and the Media 365 brand deserves as much.

I haven’t been on set as much as I’d like… ok I lie, I’m not of fan of being on set – it can be stressful and long (22 shots and numerous takes later), but I’ve been watching the rushes and I’m excited. Sometimes I worry the storylines are not as ‘fun’ (i.e. no real bandit behaviour) but when I look at how beautiful the sets are, how great the framing is, and just the style of shooting, I’m excited, almost wishing July was here already!

Though we did attempt a skills transference process in season one, in season two it has come together much better, with teams in camera, continuity, sound and post – we even have a new title for someone, Digital Imaging Technician! So far it’s going good – and everyone is learning – it goes both ways doesn’t it?

In season two we’ve brought in a variety of new cast – especially for supporting roles (total number of cast, including leads, supporting and bit roles is coming up to 40! don’t even ask about walk ons and extras!), and have a new lead character, who are all doing an amazing job. I can safely say I’m truly excited about Season 2.

But at the back of my mind I still have to remember that once we wrap this production at the end of July, we need to focus on what the next thing is, as there is no season three of Love Games. Loads of ideas, now just need to find the funds to back it up. I read somewhere on twitter yesterday that Robert Townsend said that running a business was like climbing a mountain. Yup that’s how I feel. But imagine the feeling when you get to the top…

So I’ve never thought of myself as a social marketing anything, let alone a guru (but I like the sound of guru, might throw the term around a bit to see if it sticks 🙂 ), but the lovely lady from Diasporan Darlings decided that that was a deserving title for me in a new interview they did. I’ve posted the first few questions, but to read the full interview do go here

Ex-diasporan, Catherine Ndashe Phiri is part of an emerging group of creative Zambians who have returned home to change the Zambian creative industry. It’s often an industry that is undervalued and highly criticized in most African countries, yet it’s an industry that exudes hope; requires hard work and the ability to ignore scathing (warranted and unwarranted) critique.

For someone who was the former Vice President of MTV International’s Social Responsibility, Cathy’s decision to resign from MTV and return to Zambia to focus on the company she started with her siblings (Media 365 Zambia), was a little startling. She spoke to Diasporan Darlings about her reasons for leaving and whether she has had any regrets.

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DD: You have a blog at http://www.cathyphiri.com which we have unashamedly read from beginning to end. It’s a very honest journal about your journey from London (quitting MTV) to arriving in Lusaka and the various issues you have had to deal with. What have been the benefits of having that blog?

CP: I love to write first and foremost. I started that blog when I was making the decision to leave MTV, not really sure what to do next. The blog was inspired by Paulo Coelho’s book, “The Alchemist”. You know how it is, you read a book at a particular phase in your life and it just makes sense, this is how I felt about The Alchemist, I was looking for my personal legend. Once I got back to Zambia, I carried on blogging as it was a good outlet for me to deal with the challenges of relocating to a country I hadn’t lived in for eight years.

I try not to look at the numbers, I don’t write for my ego, so it’s always great when someone comments on the blog, especially when I’ve posted some of my low points and get an encouraging word from someone. A blog is also great for your brand. I try not to go too personal, but use it as a platform to share insights from my experience here to inspire change and also provoke some issues from our industry.

DD: You attribute your move home to wanting more of a work-life balance (particularly wanting to spend more time with your family). How is it for you now to work, play and live with your family? What aspects would you change ?

CP: I absolutely love my work-life balance! I do love every minute of it, but being an entrepreneur is not easy. When I had a job, I didn’t really have much to worry about knowing I’d get paid at the end of the month. But as an entrepreneur, running your own business with staff, every day you have to think about how am I going to pay my staff, my overheads etc. If I could change anything I might have saved a lot more before my move to ensure I didn’t have any financial stress for at least a couple of years. But other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Oh well maybe I would have bought a house here before I moved back, I love my parents, but being a 30-something year old who still has her parents give her outfit a disapproving glance can be irritating! Sometimes I wear outfits ridiculously short just to annoy them. But really I love my family and parents so just happy to be around them.

DD: We love the strength and honesty that comes from you through your blog and tweets. Especially when talking about being a businesswoman in Lusaka, in the creative industry. What challenges as an ex-diasporan do you deal with on a daily basis that you didn’t deal with as a corporate Exec in London?

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To find out what I said to this question – and for the rest of the article, go to Diasporan Darlings to read the full interview.

Once again, thanks for the support!

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.

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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.

One Love

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!

Love Games Episode 1 from Media365 on Vimeo.

My first TV series since leaving MTV is about to hit Zambian screens tomorrow night. I’m feeling excited, anxious, and apprehensive about it. I am proud of the work the people involved put in to make it happen, but I don’t by any stretch believe it’s the best it could be – for many reasons.

love games flyer

I am fiercely critical of my work, that is true, but I do think it we’re to continue learning and improving we have to be critical of what we put out – hold a mirror to whatever we do and ask, ‘How will I do this differently next time?’

With social media it’s also means that I get to ‘hear’ the audience views on the show – what better way to get an honest opinion? But there’s also a lot of people who stroke your ego on your twitter and facebook, so those people I need to be wary of!

It’s not like I’m looking for people to tell me the negatives – not at all. But I really do see some people on twitter giving people false confidence. Misguided support could end up affecting your career in the end. I don’t want negative for the sake of being negative either, but honest feedback is always useful.

I do like the show and it definitely gets better with every episode and season 2 is just explosive! And as with all funded programmes there were some things out of our control (not that I’m making excuses), but I still think that it will help change the game for what audiences can demand to see on our local screens that are still being true to Zambian content.

Anyway, I guess we’ll see what tomorrow night brings on twitter!