By Kiyapili Sibanda
Big Time Strategic Group chief executive officer founder, Justice Maphosa, says the local entertainment and events industry can be transformed by shows such as the Gwanda International Gospel Music Festival (GIMF) as they create employment and generate money for the country.
In a video published on his organisation’s Facebook page, Maphosa, who was raised in Gwanda before relocating to South Africa, said:
“The entertainment and events industry can be transformed by such shows (GIMF) as they leave money and create employment. Look at how many people are on the ground working and employed permanently for the show to make sure that this production comes up and alive?
“This is exactly what we want to see as Zimbabweans”.
GIMF that has been held in Gwanda for the past four years has put the otherwise marginalised town on the map. What has made the festival a big deal in Zimbabwe is its organisation and state-of-the-art equipment used, but most importantly, a lot of employment has been created because of its hosting.
A man who appreciates the finer things in life and with the people at heart, Maphosa said it was Bigtime Strategic Group’s vision to contribute meaningfully to society and champion the transfer of skills to the economy.
Other than hosting the Gwanda gospel festival, Maphosa has also sponsored the Miss World Zimbabwe and Miss Tourism Zimbabwe pageants, something that has seen their organisation transform and be at par with international contests.
And unsurprisingly, Maphosa said they look up to Strive Masiyiwa, another Zimbabwean who has been contributing meaningfully to society and the country’s economy.
“Strive Masiyiwa from Zimbabwe is one of the people we really look up to. Look at what Econet is today. Can you imagine Zimbabwe having 10, 20 and 30 of those (Econet) created by its children from Zimbabwe from inception to where they are today.
“We want to look at ourselves 10 years later and say we were preaching in 2018 about the transfer of skills and economy.”
Maphosa said in order to support locals, for this year’s festival, they did not bring sound, stage and lighting equipment to Zimbabwe from South Africa like they always do.
“This year, we didn’t bring anybody to Zimbabwe. We took from Zimbabwe things like sound, generators and stage as we wanted to empower and support the locals,” he said.
Events like the Harare International Festival of the Arts and Victoria Falls Carnival are some of the locally organised events that have been creating employment and must be commended.
In Bulawayo, the Kalawa Homecoming Party, though most of the funds generated are taken to South Africa, also has the potential to generate money for the country because of its magnitude. The Chronicle