Eleven parties in 10 cities ran part of the advert for the station as it marked two years since being set up two years ago.

Owned by the Supa Mandiwanzira-founded AB Communications, ZiFM has gone on to being named one of Africa’s leading radio stations Bulawayo. ZiFM Stereo was rated among the best 20 radio stations in Africa.

According to Network Africa’s chief editor Joachim Mba, a United Kingdom-based international online news and entertainment publication: “ZiFM radio station happens to be among the best 20 radio stations in Africa”.

Their criteria included gauging popular demand, online presence and social media profiles. The station went on air on August 15 2012.

“Given that we have been broadcasting for just two years, we are very humbled by this recognition,” Makore said.

“I would like to thank our loyal advertisers and our listeners for the support they have been giving us since our inception. We appreciate the support and partnership we have with our advertisers and listeners,” reportedly said the station’s head Susan Makore.

Decoding a winning formula
It seems to me that the there are several reasons why the station is the success that it is.

Human capital: A talented multiracial team in the likes of Tonderai “TK Ghetto Fabulous” Katsande, music producer Delani Makhalima, Gibson Ncube, Kimble Rogers, Marc Pozzo, singer Patience Musa and others who have varied experiences in broadcasting and the entertainment industry.

Judgement Yard, a famous dancehall and reggae sound system is also on board to lend the shimmer that the station has in reeling listeners in.

It seems to corner the aspirational income group demographic if such a thing exists. I mean, the upwardly mobile class seems to be the target.

Advertising support: The station’s programmes are teeming with advertising support. Airlines, corporates such as Total, Tanganda to name just a few.

Management seems to be another vital cog in the matrix of success.

New media presence is another factor

The station does not only offer music, it offers talk and again a talented team of broadcasters have helped the station break ground.

The likes of Ruvhi Parirenyatwa and Zororo Makamba come to mind. There are other reasons of course for why the station seems set to continue its phenomenal run with over 80 000 likes on their Facebook page taking second position behind age old Power FM for example.

May I say that as regarding advertising support which is the key driver of radio station success, the executives at ZiFM managed to brand the station as one that is truly microcosmic of Zimbabwean society?

All the tribes seem represented. I use the word tribe here deliberately. Whites, blacks, coloureds and blacks.

So it stands to reason that a white owned company will have no truck about sponsoring a programme on a station in which one of their own is working or benefitting from. Cold hard fact right there!

Bulawayo Centre broadcast
Thus it was last week at Bulawayo centre Kimble Rogers and Gibson Ncube “our very own” were to use the parlance of the young and restless, holding it down. Very amiable, the two ‘vets’ schmoozed with fans getting hugs from locals etc.

Local artists who know how to grab their moment approached the two to get their music played live.

I met Slimzar from Djembe Monks who had just had the group’s latest music played. It went on from 4pm to 6pm.

The party carried on in other cities. There is a buzz in the mornings with this show.

Star FM is also good especially with the Breeze team. The two girls can’t be touched.

They are ahead of the curve in terms of broadcasting and having their pulse on what works for radio as well.

Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival
At the Harare Gardens, the 51st edition of the Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival finals take place on Saturday August 23 at Harare.

Ten provincial champions from across Zimbabwe will slug it out for the grand prize of $4 000.
The runners-up will walk away with $3 000 and $2 000 respectively.

“We invite the public to come through and enjoy the best of traditional dance from across the length and breadth of the country.

“Chibuku exists to add enjoyment to the lives of our consumers, and we are proud to be working with our partners to do just that,” Delta’s marketing Executive Stanley Muchenje.

Groups that will battle are Nengoma Cultural Arts from Mashonaland West, Ngoma Dzepasi from Mashonaland East, Chitukuko Nyau from Harare, Swerengoma from Mashonaland Central, Zvikuvave from the Midlands, Musa Prison from Masvingo, Redwing the Group from Manicaland and Bulawayo’s Sekunjalo Ma Africa, Simunye Arts from Matabeleland North and Chimtali How Mine from Matabeleland South.

The various dances on display will include dinhe, mbende jerusarema, Zambia gure and bira, among many others.

The festival was launched in 1963.The festival is the longest running arts sponsorship of its size and reach in the country and runs under the aegis of the Zimbabwe National Traditional Dance Association, the National Arts Council and wholly sponsored by Delta Beverages’ Chibuku brand.

Parting shot
If anyone wants to do something worthwhile in Zimbabwe and succeed at it, seems to me that they have to have an inclusive vision and strategy.

In the week I was invited to a press conference in which a multiracial team launched the Painted Huts competition for rural folks.

There was Professor John Knight, Veronique Attala and Pathisa Nyathi fielding questions from members of the media.

Alongside these three, sponsors! I didn’t know that there was money for the arts locally.

Silly me, I forgot to mention that arts practitioners have probably not thought long and hard about this word: Inclusivity. It is the holy grail of showbiz and even media success.

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