So Zazise is creative media platform which is focused on video storytelling in the local urban music scene. We particularly have a niche in Zimbabwean Hip Hop, which we feel epitomises what Zazise is a Zulu/Ndebele word for “Make Yourself Known” / “Identify Yourself“. We do this via our YouTube channel and social media platform to magnify the unheralded musical talents in our country from wherever.
Which problem does it seek to address?
We wanted to shine a positive light in the local music scene, particularly Zim Hip Hop as alluded to earlier. We realised that there’s little appreciation for this genre and we wanted to show Zimbabwe that we have great talent that can make any sceptic reconsider their position on it. We also felt that visually, the media landscape was very limited in representation so we wanted to add to media plurality.
What do you aim to achieve?
To make everyone a Zim Hip Hop fan 😂. No seriously, we want everyone to be proud of the local music scene through the stories we tell on our YouTube channel.
What does the success of Zazise look like to you? How will you know you’ve made it?
We judge our success through the success of others or rather through the acts we cover on our YouTube channel. We are mostly proud when the uncut gem we documented becomes fully polished and shines for the rest of the world. We’ll know we’ve made it when the artists we cover go on to be global superstars. Oh and also once we start making money from this.
What’s your greatest achievement with the platform?
One of our earlier videos we did on Lovemore Majaivana earned us some good national recognition. We are particularly proud of that one because we, as Zazise. take pride in covering under-celebrated talents in the country. We are also proud to have cultivated a strong fan base which supports the content we cover everyday. We don’t take that for granted.
Who is on the Zazise team?
The Zazise Team is a 3 man entity. We have the founder, director and editor Bongani Pride Ncube (@pridebonganii). He’s a brilliant audio visual engineer, graphic designer, illustrator and photographer.
Mukudzei Mlambo (@mukudzeimlambo_) is the host/presenter(face) of Zazise Media and most of it’s shows. He’s also the creative director producer, producer, script writer and voice-over actor.
Bruce Itai Chimani (@ndinonzibruce) is the administrator and finance director. He is also an accomplished author, interviewer, blogger and journalist with years of experience writing about the local arts industry amongst other topics. He’s also a devoted Christian currently serving as a college and young adults pastor at Old North Church in Ohio, USA.
What’s the content creation process like from ideation to a published video?
We have brainstorming sessions centred around a particular topic. We have 4 shows that we produce.
Zazise Wide – is documentary style show where we do long form narration pieces on local acts, current, past and future stars. This is the one which has garnered the most attention for us.
Zazise 5ive – This is our weekly feature style magazine show where we discuss current events, genres and local Zim Hip Hop stars in bite size length. 5 minutes to be exact. Hence the name.
Zazise Verse of The Month – This is our flagship show where every month end we compile the top 10 Hip Hop verses in Zimbabwe and give our own Zazise spicy take on it.
Zazise Decyphad – This is our show for the music nerds. The boffins. Basically it’s a show where pick apart fans’ favourite albums and dissect them to discuss the artistry, themes and cultural impact they’ve had.
In all these shows, we pitch ideas in how we can execute. Mukudzei does the research and scripting of the episode we’d plan to release. The script is then sent to Bongani to then ready it into the teleprompter and Mukudzei comes in for shooting as the presenter. After the shoot is done, Bongani does the editing of the episode, packages the footage for release on the social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube). Then the episode is then scheduled for a release date. Usually Friday morning then it drops.
How have you grown your following on Zazise?
We’ve done pretty well. When we started we had about 100 subscribers.
How can we support Zazise?
This is our favourite part. You can like, share and subscribe to our YouTube channel: Zazise. We don’t just say this lightly, follow, it really does help the channel. Follow our social media pages on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Monetarily you can send us money on buymeacoffee.com/zazise or even EcoCash us on +263 776 412 824.
Has monetisation been an easy process?
Not at all. It’s been hard. Sometimes our viewers aren’t even subscribers so we hope that by the end of 2021 we’ll be eligible for monetisation.
How can brands advertise on your platform?
They can email us for enquiries on firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message us on any of our social media handles. We respond almost instantaneously.
What are some of the things that could boost Zazise’s operations right now?
Capital injection would go a long way. People enjoy the content but making the content people love costs time and money. A luxury we do not have. All 3 members of Zazise Media have jobs or side hustles outside of the company therefore making time to always release episodes on time takes its toll.
How can artists get featured on Zazise?
Artists can get featured in line with the shows that we have. They can just DM us the links to their work and if the episodes we are releasing are in sync with their work they get featured. Sometimes they don’t even have to submit anything to get featured.
Having seen so much creative content, what are your thoughts on the arts industry?
There’s still a long way to go for it to be called an industry because from what we’ve seen so far not more than 5 local acts in the country are getting paid real money for their music. There are some structures missing in or rather overlooked in Zimbabwe which can make a difference in the artist’s life. Once those are implemented, then we can build from there.
How can we improve?
Most of the problems are economic. There’s legit no money or rather the money for the arts usually goes…err…let’s say…”somewhere”… until that neglect changes, not much can be improved on.
How do you grow from here as Zazise?
We grow as the artists grow. With sufficient funding there are so many ideas we can execute that can make a serious difference to the artist’s life.
What’s the vision for 5 years from now?
We want to be the destination and unadulterated voice for talented musical acts in country. In 5 years we hope to have bigger, better studios and hopefully employment creation for the youths passionate about content creation.