As Africans, we are used to sharing wisdom by passing our stories and history to each other orally. The ZimExcellence podcast show continues that tradition in an effort to elevate and redefine the Zimbabwean narrative, says New York-based Zimbabwean actress Vongai Shava.
The international actress who often describes herself as “coming soon” in the sense that she is on the rise and not yet known, is the host of the podcast show she recently launched under her media firm, Culturelle Productions.
Entering the audio space, Shava believes in her ability to delve into the beauty of podcasts that reside in the personal intimate experience that allows listeners to listen to at their own pace and pace.
ZimExcellence will highlight the careers of Zimbabweans who achieve greatness across the world. The podcast show seeks to inspire the younger generation by showing them positive portrayals of what’s possible and an affirmative portrayal of Zimbabwe’s rich culture for the world to recognize.
The idea was driven by a desire to unite the Zimbabwean community as well as a need for representation and educational information that Shava wished she had growing up. Shava’s podcast is produced by Culturelle Productions, a media company dedicated to telling and sharing empowering stories about women and increasing multicultural portrayal in the media.
The company’s vision is also to defend and empower African artists by creating platforms allowing them to share their stories with the world, reaching audiences through film, television, video, podcast and literary publishing.
“I wanted to create a podcast that mattered to me and share much-needed perspectives that might have been inaccessible before,” Shava told Standard Style.
“I believe there are leaders among Zimbabweans in various fields and ‘ZimExcellence’ has the opportunity to amplify and publicize who they are. I have often learned a lot from stories about education and career paths. people.
“There is so much wisdom to be gained from previous generations because it is knowing where we came from that allows us to understand where we are going.
“The podcast is about Zimbabwe we don’t hear and see enough, a country that has been presented to the world time and time again as poverty stricken, full of conflict and heartbreak. I know a Zimbabwe filled with a rich culture, resilient people and joy that also exists. “
On ZimExcellence, guests will have honest and relevant conversations about the ups and downs of their careers.
Shava hopes to make information about different career paths more accessible and also create an archive sharing positive examples of who Zimbabweans are and can be, if they dare to dream and take inspired action.
She believes that with access to the right opportunities, Zimbabweans are capable of greatness.
Guests will find out how they got their break from their respective professions.
The focus will be on what the guests did when the opportunity arose and what it means to go further than the previous generation, in terms of success and development.
“I believe that the modern generation has the opportunity to preserve our African history and innovate our culture,” she said.
“Each episode will be a celebration of who we are.
“We will keep it simple and lead from a place of intuition because at the end of the day we are all human and related in one way or another, tiri hama.
“Elaine Welteroth once said, ‘To change the stories, you have to change the storytellers.’ Therefore, when we hear our own stories, we feel seen, recognized and validated by our own life experiences. Representation matters because imagery has a lasting impression on how we see ourselves and are seen.
“The media we consume either help or hurt us. We are not flattened or monolithic figures. We are a rich community of diverse multidimensional human beings living in a multicultural world.
“We go from villagers to academics, CEOs and more. Everyone deserves to grow up seeing, listening to and reading people who are like them on television, radio, magazines and other forms of media.
“I have always said that by aspiring to be bigger, we in turn make others want greatness for themselves. It is only when we see ourselves represented that we can begin to believe what is. possible for us. “
Shedding light on the essence of her podcast show, Shava said that historically the voices of women, children and people with disabilities have been overlooked, but it is by listening to these voices that progress can be made.
The shift to a more equitable society allows for better decision-making, as laws will be made in the best interests of all women and those deprived of their rights.
Shava also pointed out that it is no longer necessary to find encouragement only from world-famous public figures such as Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (American singer-songwriter and record producer), Julia Roberts (American actress and producer. ) and Oprah Winfrey (American talk show host and television producer).
Inspiration can also come from internationally renowned Zimbabwean women such as actress Sibongile Mlambo, political scientist Elizabeth Nyamayaro and novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga.
Shava said that in order to see change on a general level, it is necessary to consider how women see and choose to govern themselves in their daily lives and relationships.
It starts by looking at how women treat girls ages 4 to 12, as these formative years leave a lasting impact on self-esteem and self-esteem.
“When we [women] we allow us to operate from strong positions of self-esteem, only then can we demand what we deserve from our leaders and governments, ”she said.
“Only then will we see more women educated beyond primary level and encouraged to run for government positions or seek career development in the workplace.
“It is a well-known fact that women are the glue that holds society together. Society owes women a debt of gratitude for motherhood and care.
“Women play a vital role in global food systems and are at the forefront of climate change policy and social justice. By listening to and learning from the often overlooked and misused perspectives of women and young people, society stands to gain. “
While half of podcast listeners are women, only about 22% of the shows are hosted by women and among these shows even fewer are hosted by Africans.
Through the ZimExcellence podcast show, Culturelle Productions sought to bridge the gap by enabling female voices of Zimbabwean origin to guide listeners’ decisions. Listeners can expect a weekly dose of inspiration from seasoned Zimbabwean actors, shakers, change makers and pioneers making a global impact in their respective professions.
Follow Grant Moyo on Twitter: @TotemGrant