ZTV talk show needs a plan

A Malaysian plane ready for take-off
A Malaysian plane ready for take-off

Garikai Mazara Radio & Televison review
It is very rare to get something exciting going on ZTV these days and when something fresh happens, it is bound to excite a couple of taste buds.
I had noticed on social media last Monday morning about the impending broadcast of Game Plan, a football talk show that evening and naturally I made a mental note of it.

Now with the ever-deepening mystery around Flight MH370 (please don’t tell me you don’t know what I am talking about) it somehow crossed my mind that I was supposed to watch Game Plan.

So I caught the programme around 9.20pm (guess with News “Hour” having finished around 9.10pm, I didn’t miss much) and went with it until it rounded off around 11pm, must be one of the those unnoticed records, that a talk show can run for almost two hours. I listened in, the whole of the two or so hours, because the topic under discussion was interesting — the Zifa candidates to yesterday’s elections were selling us their dummies.

The moderator called it a special edition, and am not sure if he meant that it was a one-off or special edition in the sense that it was airing just on the eve of the said elections. Whatever reason, it turned out to be special in one way or the other, at least it was special in that it drew a considerable number of viewers to local television.

But I was amused by a couple of things (never mind the absence of Cuthbert Dube from among the other contestants). I felt that having four panellists was a bit on the high end and at most such a talk show must have two panellists. If all things were normal on ZTV and that talk show had run the n0rmal one hour, I bet some of the panellists would have left that show without uttering a word. Four panellists, considering there were already three candidates to talk to, that gives seven!

A talk show needs to have a moderator, the person who will be in charge of the whole session, asking this and that participant to shut up or to talk. That there was no moderator was apparent in that Trevor Carelse-Juul spoke at length, and to the detriment of the others, until a viewer sent in a message complaining that it was turning into a one-man show.

And even up to now I am not even sure who controlled the discussion as Mike Madoda and Barry Manandi exchanged seats at the break. Since I missed the beginning of the show, I am not sure if the format of the talk show was explained, because it is not every week that we are going to have elections, assuming that it is going to be a weekly programme.

If it is going to be a weekly programme, which I assume it would be, and taking from its title, I suppose it is meant to analyse and critique local soccer matches, what with the local soccer season upon us.

That would be a good idea, because here we have four of the most authoritative voices in local sport: Robson Sharuko, Charles Mabika, then Barry and Mike, but I hope they are not going to be crowded in that small studio.

And did anyone notice how uncomfortable the other three panellists were on those stools? And how we still struggle with our audio and visuals? Never mind the studio set-up, backdrop, etcetera. And who in his right mind would recommend the use of white letters on a light blue background (for the captions that ran at the bottom of the screen)?

In short, Game Plan is a good concept and needs to be worked on. For instance, if it is going to be analysing weekend soccer matches, and because some of us assume it is an idea being borrowed from Supersport, then we should have replays from the weekend’s soccer matches.

It will be trivial to analyse matches without any replays or, worse, video footage from any of the weekend matches.

And because we have been exposed to Supersport’s way of doing things, we are bound to compare and contrast. We will need a big-screen television set in that studio, with the attendant software that allows interface interactions, if that is what touch-screen means.

Besides the technological side, we will need panellists who are hard-hitting, who ask pertinent questions, panellists who control the talk show and not let interviewees control them. For instance, I didn’t get it that Leslie Gwindi got away without being asked about his mega-salary at the city council — for such a position as Zifa president demands righteous individuals (that is if they exist at all). For if Gwindi was used to the lavish lifestyle afforded by the city council salary, how would he cope with the broke Zifa books? Supersport (I am not sure why I keep on hammering Supersport) from where I strongly suspect this Game Plan idea was heavily borrowed, uses three, and at the most four, panellists with a main anchor (usually Robert Marawa), with one guy in the background with the technical explanations. So we will be hoping that Game Plan, if it is going to be discussing weekend matches, will be using almost the same format.

But when a number of guests are coming to be grilled, then the number of panellists has to drop. Especially if and when content becomes available to ZTV, such that the show will run for a strict hour.

Game Plan is a good start and it shows why there will always be an appetite for local productions.

If my dear colleague, Jonathan Mbiriyamveka, had not dwelt on Makosi’s show in mid-week, I would have also discussed it, but since the same issues as raised by Jonathan are the ones that incensed me when I watched the Roki episode, I shall let it pass. But I was just wondering how some people can be so lucky in life: Makosi, who was busy telling the world the other year that Mugabe wanted to roast her bottom and have it for supper is now hosting a talk show in Mugabe’s country!

Oh, and then MH370! My goodness. Science and technology has been proved, once again, to be fallible. Theories and counter-theories have been postured and that is not bringing any relief to the families that still wait anxiously, and tearfully, for their loved ones to return. At times you might want to sympathise with the families who questioned why the plane was declared lost, without any debris being found. Someone, somewhere knew what is happening?

Then Oscar, the one who shot the girlfriend he was sleeping with, mistaking her for a burglar! For sure, the law is an ass. Common law would say an accused is innocent until proven guilty, but in this case, I beg to differ — money and time is being wasted here. Isn’t it when you suspect a burglary, the first person you are supposed to alert is the one you are sleeping with?

Well, let them follow the trial those who have nothing to do with their lives.
Then, lastly . . . Even if you had made your sex tape in preparation for this year’s Big Brother Africa edition, the good news is that there is still time to make one in high definition, or even 3D, because this year’s edition is coming only after the soccer World Cup. It will begin around September, which means auditions will begin in July or thereabout — enough time to make a high definition sex tape in surround sound and leak it. Love this world!

Garikai Mazara, in case you want to get in touch with him, is on Facebook, Twitter (@gmazara) or can be reached also on [email protected]

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  • Simba Chivasa

    So what are you saying

  • Joker T!

    In Oscar Pistorius world you shoot first and ask questions later.