The Sunday Mail
ON an annual basis, Radio Zimbabwe and ZBC-TV, run two of the biggest chart shows in the country – the latter focuses on the best videos while the former reveals the biggest song in Zimbabwe according to listenership.
In over two decades of these chart shows, people have generally agreed with the outcomes – but the narrative has shifted in recent years, particularly with regards to the Video of the Year.
It appears viewers simply vote for their favourite song, not necessarily considering the composition of the video, which is what one would assume to be the gist of the matter. Because the charts are based on public votes, the station and the sponsors of the event, Coca-Cola, cannot intervene and influence results.
This has resulted in heated debates among music lovers and the population at large, every January, with some agreeing with results from the charts, which are usually held on New Year’s Eve while others have called for a review of the criteria. The latter group wants a well-composed music video awarded ahead of popular songs with below par videos.
We spoke to ZBC-TV manager for TV productions, Paul Gama.
“We have indeed noted that when people vote they do not consider the quality of the video, they nominate their favourite songs and this then causes artistes with good quality videos but whose songs are not popular to be overshadowed,” said Gama.
“So going forward we are considering adding an award for best composed video, which will be selected by a team of adjudicators and not the voting public. This is similar to what has been done for the radio chart show, where they have created separate awards to honour outstanding acts in different categories. Something separate from what the listeners would have voted for,” he added.
Gama said the changes, which might come into effect this year would increase competition among artistes.
“By having this separate award, which looks into the technical elements of the videos, artistes will be forced to up their game with regards to scripting, coherence and quality among other factors.”
Renowned guitarist and music producer, Mono Mukundu, shared similar sentiments with Gama.
“The best video competition is run by asking viewers to judge and every year the viewers simply vote for the most popular song, regardless of whether the video of the song is good or not. So basically it has been a popularity contest that has nothing to do with the quality of the videos,” said Mono.
“So what I think should be done is that the competition can be split in two: the people’s favourite song, where ordinary people will vote for the most popular song of their choice, then best video where they ask experts in the field to adjudicate, because a song can be popular, but with a terrible video.”