I THINK I am grateful that I blew my chance of appearing regularly on ZTV in the early 1980s.
When I worked for the Herald, I was invited to interview Sydney Sekeremayi on prime time television.
knew each other from Zambia and the interview went swimmingly. But something didn’t go right, for I was never invited again.
My strong suspicion is that some of the questions I asked were not really kosher.
Of course, it is also possible that someone decided I was not suitable material for the goggle box. Or perhaps they thought I was not telegenic enough.
At the time, the Stalinists had not entirely taken over at ZTV. And I miss those days.
Television then, though controlled by the mandarins of Zanu PF — albeit by remote control — was not as painfully boring as it has become today.
Can you imagine this: You actually looked forward to the news. The readers were so literate and polished you thought they did Zimbabwe proud — assuming a foreigner was checking on them regularly for poise,
pronunciation, grammar and syntax.
Even the local and foreign films were good; you didn’t actually switch off, as you do today, because they remind you that life is short and you can’t waste your precious time on this earth watching such garbage.
Some of the news readers I remember were Wayne Musabayana, Allyson Chavunduka, the late Wellington Mbofana and Eunice Pfende. Then, there were talkshow hosts like Godfrey Majonga.
All of them did their homework thoroughly. Before reading the news, they studied the proper pronunciation, particularly of foreign words
There was no chance of them mangling such names as Darfur, Slobodan Milosevic or Deportivo LaCoruna.
Today, nobody cares: the news readers, except for one or two exceptions, are almost semi-literate. The reporters are even worse. They are an utter disgrace to journalism.
But the worst fault is the content of the news. For its shamelessly pro-Zanu PF slant, someone — perhaps (ZTV CEO) Susan Makore or the chairman of
the board or even the minister — ought to be fired.
After a quarter century of running things, the government ought to be confident enough not to fear being toppled over the TV.
There are really no journalists at the state radio or TV networks or even at Zimpapers: they are Zanu PF activists.
To ask ordinary people to pay such staggering sums for TV licences in the circumstances is extremely unfair. We have been promised a “new season” by ZTV.
The only new season I am looking forward to is one in which licences are granted to independent radio and television networks to start giving us something truly entertaining, more educative and certainly more informative than all this garbage from the Zanu PF