If I didn’t know better I’d say the Bulawayo arts sector planned their calendar quite strategically because the headlines are forever keeping us on the edges of our seats. If it’s not banging musical collaborations, films and poetry shows filling up venues, then it’s new shows hitting the waves online, radio and most recently television. It doesn’t need an O’level certificate to know that I’m talking of Thatha Wena, a Pan African Magazine show from Zimbabwe that gives voice to the sort of conversations our society should be having. You’d be lying if you say you’re not eagerly waiting for the pilot episode today in the evening (Thursday 27 April on Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation Television at 17:30hrs – Channel 280 on DSTV) as it has been trending before it even started airing, wait till it does!
Hosted by Zimbabwe’s Stylish Duo – Mbo Mahocs and Gilmore Tee, who are known for hosting the red carpet at the Zimbabwe Music Awards, Thatha Wena talks to the individuals that make this continent shake, the people behind the people in the lime light, innovators and progressive initiative curators, decision makers, industrialists of the diverse sectors that mould Africa into what it is today.
“We seek to tap into the mind-set of our continent’s drivers on issues and topics that are necessary to building both our country and continent. We want to use the medium of television to have a dialogue with the average individual through the conversations we host with our guests. The aim is to make the individual: our viewer, realise they can be a part of their development and progress, through the conversations we have on Thatha Wena” – Gilmore Tee
I’m sure for most of us the name Thatha Wena isn’t new, especially those who have been following the arts creative space since 2015 when name Thatha Wena TV flooded our social media timeline. Actually, the idea to create such a show came up in 2015 when Mbo Mahocs, Nkanyeziyethu Malunga, Johane Mpofu, Tswarelo Mothobe and Gilmore Tee sat down and had a conversation on creating a show that brings value to viewers. All these are definitely no new comers or back benchers to the African creative narrative and putting them in one room has created this vibrant & thought provoking show.
“Our goal is to build our society through a television show. With so many people glued to their TV screens, what better medium is there to plant the relevant ideas and suggest relevant and meaningful conversation to people” – expressed Tswarelo Mothobe (Co-Producer)
“working with the team is extremely exciting, but having both talented individuals such as Mbo Mahocs and Gilmore Tee be the face of their entire production is an added advantage. We have been working on this concept and finally it is coming to life, it has been a long journey”- Nkanyeziyethu Malunga
When asked why the name Thatha Wena, response showed how well thought out it was: Thatha Wena is a Ndebele phrase used in cases when one is trying to encourage someone to do best at whatever they will be doing. In many cases when one is dancing, you will hear one say, Thatha Wena, it is with this in mind that we encourage people to take control of their areas of influence and make things happen for themselves and not wait for someone to come and initiative positive ideas for them.
With three segments, the most exciting one that the viewers should look out for is, What Grinds My Gears which allows one person to highlight what annoys them about the ill-behaviours of society. The idea is to challenge societal change towards the positive both on and offline. It carries the simple but important aspects of everyday life or human behaviour that if either changed or implemented (depending on whether it’s bad or good) can develop our society towards the better. Expected Guests to feature on the 1st Season are Historian – Pathisa Nyathi, Image & Brand Management Specialist – Nontokozo Masuku, Activist & Broadcaster – Soneni Gwizi, amongst many more. Let’s tune in later and tweet our thoughts throughout the first episode using the hashtag #ThathaWena