HEART & Soul (H&S) Broadcasting Services is launching a brand new series that will delve into issues and challenges affecting the main pillars of the ZimbabwAean society, titled The Rebound Series. Join H&S as it explores the exciting possibilities and opportunities for Zimbabwe to once again be the envy of many. The hour long show will be a hard hitting solutions-driven programme anchored by seasoned broadcast journalist Farai Mwakutuya (FM). Zimbabwe Independent (ZI) sat down with Mwakutuya to discuss the new exciting programme. Below are excerpts of the interview:
ZI: Who is Farai Mwakutuya?
FM: Farai Mwakutuya is an award winning journalist with over 13 years experience in the media industry. I started my career in Zimbabwe in 1998 before moving to Uganda in 2007, where I worked for East Africa’s largest media conglomerate Nation Media Group, which has broadcast, print and online media interests in all five East African community member states. I was a television news anchor and presenter for Uganda’s most popular television station NTV Uganda.
Apart from anchoring the nation’s most popular news bulletin I hosted a weekly business programme Money Matters. In 2011, I returned to Zimbabwe and was one of the founding presenters on ZiFM Stereo discussing wide ranging topics including business, mining, environment and parliamentary affairs. I won the Mining Reporter of the Year Award in the annual Njama awards (2012). I am currently an international correspondent for China Global Television Network.
ZI: What is The Rebound Series? Please give us a brief Synopsis.
FM: Right now every Zimbabwean is yearning for a turnaround, be it the economy or in social service delivery. Some argue that the country is starting to do so. The Rebound Series as the name suggests is about a country that is returning to its former great past, and the show will seek to play a part in the rebuilding process by showcasing the things that need to be done in order to help it get there. The Rebound Series is a high level talk show that will look at different spheres of life from the economy, health, education, social security, democracy and governance, amongst many others.
For an hour we will talk to different stakeholders and the general public about the challenges, opportunities and solutions.
The key question that we’ll constantly ask is ‘how do we rebound or recover as a nation’. Zimbabwe has potential to rebound and reclaim the status of being the Jewel of the African Continent. As we celebrate the 41st Independence, let’s lay the foundation of a prosperous country by 2030.
ZI: What does it aim to achieve?
FM: The programme seeks to inform and educate, shape opinions and contribute to the crafting of progressive policies. There are so many developments, both good and bad, happening in the country right now and
The Rebound Series will dissect them critically in order to celebrate and enhance those that are good and correct or improve those that are negative. The spirit of the debate on the show will be constructive as opposed to destructive born out of the realisation that we (all Zimbabweans) are in this together.
ZI: Where will your guests be drawn from?
FM: We want to talk to the policy and decision-makers so we can understand their vision and plans and also hold them to account. We will also invite experts and technocrats in the different spheres and sectors that we are going to be discussing. There is a huge repository of knowledge and expertise amongst our viewers and followers and it is the role of the media to identify those resources to share what they know for the benefit of our country. Sometimes people feel that they do not get an opportunity or have access to platforms that enable them to proffer their ideas and solutions, which means we, as a nation, could be missing out on very valuable insights.
So The Rebound Series will make it a priority to make sure that people who are knowledgeable and can add value, both at home and abroad, are heard. But beyond the high level guests we also want to hear the voice of ordinary citizens who feel the impact of the policies that are crafted and the things that are happening in our country.
They are important stakeholders because they have a vested interest in the fortunes of Zimbabwe so we will also give them a platform to air their views. So in short The Rebound Series will be a melting pot of views and ideas.
ZI: There is a plethora of shows that discuss current affairs and other topical issues in Zimbabwe. How is this one different?
FM: Indeed there are many current affairs programmes on various platforms, exactly the way it should be, because it is important for us to discuss and talk about things exhaustively if we are going if we are to get the solutions we seek.
At times though, we often end up seeing and hearing the same faces and voices and the same topics being discussed. The Rebound Series is going to add to much needed diversity by critically assessing where we went wrong in certain spheres and coming up with definitive and practical recommendations on what needs to be done to get them back on track.
We think that finger pointing is unnecessary and counterproductive that we can make more meaningful progress if we engage in candid and solution and development oriented discourse.
Unfortunately, Zimbabwe is a polarised nation and sometimes the discussions taking place become overshadowed by the differences which detract from the value that viewers would want to get from following the shows.
The Rebound Series will seek to rise above the differences and provide sober analyses of issues and ensure that we get the answers to the burning questions that people have. We also intend to make it a fully interactive platform where people can share their opinions and have their say even beyond the actual programme has aired.
ZI: Why did you agree to be part of this?
FM: After several years in current affairs talk radio I took a break due to frustration about the fact that sometimes discussions degenerated into party and personality battles and that authorities were not forthcoming with information.
I was hugely excited about this programme after hearing the thrust, which was future oriented and solutions based. I also feel that it is perfectly timed because there is so much misinformation and misgiving about where we are as a nation. Depending on who you speak to, you would think that Zimbabwe is either the most desolate outpost where poverty, lawlessness reigns or that it’s a utopian land of milk and honey.
We are neither of the two but I am not sure exactly where we are. The prospect of finding out the economic and social state of Zimbabwe is a big motivation for me to present this show where I intend to get the answers and information that will let us know where we stand and what we need to do to move forward.
I also think it is a great opportunity to bring together some of the best minds in Zimbabwe and the diaspora to create the future Zimbabwe that all us desire.
Heart & Soul The Rebound Series: Every Friday from 17:00-18:00 on Hstv.co.zw or on our YouTube channel @HstvZimLive.