When Zimbabweans travel abroad, they are often asked: How is Mugabe? How did you get here? Are you OK? All these remarks are embroiled in the politics and economy of the country.
“They do not know about us. It’s not anyone’s fault but our own. They is a dark cloud over Zimbabwe in terms of what is put online. We need to talk about what we do; who we are. We are versatile in our own lives” said Yamikani Hapaguti (24) a Zimbabwean talk show host and facilitator of Undomesticated Podcast released on YouTube every Wednesday.
“We are very cultural and traditional in the careers that we pursue. Nobody is hearing about Zimbabwe. We do not have enough Zimbabwean artists and content creators.
In our society, we do not engage with our own content creators. We don’t listen to people who are telling our own stories. Instead we listen to the negative voices and then complain about them” she said.
Speaking at a function-Now Narratives– held by the British Council in Harare last week, Yamikani said that there are so many stories about Zimbabwe that are unaccounted for.
“The Undomesticated Podcast started in March –which included me and my co-creator. We had the idea to talk about women empowerment, taboo issues, sexual health, mental health and the LGBT community. Why are Zimbabweans not talking about this?” she asked.
Of the 18 episodes done so far, Undomesticated Podcast has had 15 000 views. Yamikani’s target is to get 10 000 views on one episode.
Yamikani said that, the age group she is targeting is between the ages of 18-36. Her initial target audience were black women. As the content grew, she now has got younger man.
Now Narratives is a platform for established and emerging creative professionals to reflect and share their knowledge and experience about their creative disciplines and how they got to where they are now through interactive discussions with a focus on the creative business and arts.
“One of our aims as British Council is to create new and a diverse audience among business units. We work in the arts and as part of our arts programme, we do have the creative economy which is a business for the artists.
Why should the creative arts and business walk separately while we all work towards supporting the growth of the economy?” said Farai Ncube, the British Council Partnerships and Programme Manager
“The reason we call it the Now Narratives is because these are things that are currently happening. These are young people who are hustling- making a living from the creative sector in Zimbabwe. We are so used to the formal economy but we do not explore the opportunities within the creative economy” Farai said.