MBONGENI NGEMA TO LAUNCH ZULU TV NEXT MONTH
By: Mandisa Magwaza
Writer, musician, lyricist and South Africa’s entertainment guru, Mbongeni Ngema- is working on launching a new television channel “ZuluTv”. Ngema has been working on this project for five years and is scheduled to launch before the end of this year.
According to an article published by The Mercury Mbongeni told the paper that the new channel will be carried out on Go Digital South Africa’s new television programming. The channel will be broadcasted alongside SABC 1, 2 and 3 as well as the SABC News Channel, access will require a set-top box to allow access to free-to-air channels.
Some sectors of South African society are seen and considered racist because of his controversial song “Ama Ndiya” which was banned in 2002.
Ngema will be presenting the channel with his company, Committed Artists Records and Films, and viewers can expect this new satellite platform with no monthly fees.
The aim is to screen quality programmes with a great definition and emphasis on local productions. The content will include coverage of heritage, tourism, arts and culture and lifestyle. Also on offer are magazine programmes, musical theatre, drama, sitcoms, movies, short films and documentaries, religion and current affairs.
The channel will broadcast mainly in English but will also carry isiZulu programmes, to ensure a degree of international coverage, they will also be linking up with Voice of America and other networks.
According to The Mecury, Ngema said: “There is a wealth of material to draw from here, when one looks back on 30 years of working in the theatre. Besides creating new material, there is the strong feasibility of adapting established stage pieces for television.
“We are in touch with leading South African theatre companies and plan to engage with as many young actors, directors, scriptwriters and technicians as possible. Our core target market will be primarily language and geographically based that is the whole of South Africa. We are also targeting the entire southern African region, where a vast number of Nguni and non-Nguni-based languages are spoken,” added Ngema.
He said English subtitling would be used where necessary to make programmes accessible to all language groups, as well as to open up opportunities for international licensing.
Zulu TV will teach other tribes to know better about the Zulu nation as Culture is a strong part of people’s lives. It influences their views, values, humour, hopes, loyalties, and their worries and fears.This platform will provide opportunities for the video and film industry in KwaZulu-Natal to contribute with programming, and to encourage emerging video and film-makers in the province.