Behind the Kutsime Lens with the Visionary and Producer, Connie Mazani

It’s fresh, it’s new and it’s the talk of the town… “Kutsime:Let’s Chat” is exactly that, a lively, exciting, contemporary talk show broadcast on YouTube and Facebook that seeks to ignite conversation on diverse social issues that affect us as Zimbabweans on a daily basis. With a successful first season now in the bag, it’s safe to say the weekly hangouts at the ‘well” are going to be a staple for many once Season 2 rolls in. And as we eagerly await, we decided to check in with the Visionary behind Kutsime, Producer, Connie Mazani, to find out more on the ingredients they put together to create this hit show and what we can look forward to once the conversations resume…

The name “Kutsime”, what does it mean in the context of the show?

The name of the show “KUTSIME’’ (well/borehole) follows the narrative that this is where the women/and men of the community go to fetch water (life). It is also where they get to meet and catch up on the community gossip, and in most instances, update each other on current affairs, and discuss and share opinions on trending issues.

What is the main objective with Kutsime? What do you want the audience’s experience to be when they tune in?

The show seeks to create a platform that can ignite meaningful conversation around various social issues that affect our Zimbabwean communities, both locally and in the diaspora. The key objective is to encourage deep discussions that build and mend relations in the work place, at home and in society as a whole.

And who’s your target audience? Who does Kutsime speak to?

Kutsime content is meant for all demographics but because it’s currently only airing on online platforms, it is only available to the audience that has access to YouTube and Facebook Watch. We hope to make it more accessible to a wider audience via TV Networks. It is however a PG rated show so it will be up to the guardians’ and viewers’ discretion.

How did you come up with the combination of co-hosts that you did? What was the magic with them?

Our selection was pretty random, we wanted vibrant ladies who had a great command on and off screen. They had to be from diverse cultures and backgrounds to allow room for balanced and unbiased views. Miss Becky was our first pick and so we tasked her with finding co-hosts that she would be able to get along with, and we narrowed down the search from her list. It wasn’t an easy task at all considering we also wanted fresh new faces who would give a different vibe to the TV scene in Zimbabwe…..and here we are.

What in your opinion has been your most memorable show to date and what do you think made it stand out?

The most memorable episode for me would have to be Episode 2 – “The..ISM’S” Racism, Colorism and Classism are sore subjects that people really don’t want to discuss in depth. We only managed to scratch the surface but it did ignite some hard conversations after it aired. The inter-racial couple’s experiences, the racism in Zimbabwean Private schools, and of course Dr Guramatunhu’s opinions on natural hair and skin bleaching, all triggered a lot of discussions which we hope to continue in Season 2.

You tackle a lot of controversial topics on the show. Is there any concern that some of these topics might alienate some of the viewers?

Some of our topics are very controversial yes, but it’s issues that are being discussed behind closed doors anyways and kept on a hush hush. All we are doing is amping up the volume and recording the conversations in full HD. I feel it’s time we normalize having such discussions openly and freely so when I came up with the list of topics to be discussed, it was very intentional. No doubt some will be offended but it will definitely be a learning experience for some. Solutions can only be fostered after the conversation starts right…. So we will definitely leave no stones unturned; no topic is off limits.

I think it’s safe to say quite a number of ladies are not big fans of some of DJ Chucknosis’ opinions and the positions he takes on a number of topics.. Was that the intention to have him there to stir things up with his ‘male perspective’ on issues?

DJ Chuck’s role is to share those unpopular opinions that are not everyone’s cup of tea. We felt it was necessary for balance’s sake to include the views shared by most men in our day to day lives, at the work place, at home and communities in general. It is fact that there are many who think like that and openly share, or only speak of it within their close knit circles… We felt it was necessary for people to actually hear it on such a platform so as to trigger the conversations around the “men’s view” on certain issues.

What makes Kutsime stand out?What’s your magic touch?

Wow, tough question… I could say we have one of the most passionate, committed teams working tirelessly behind the scenes to produce the best quality possible. We thrive on excellence and so we really push each other to do our best… So I would say our magic touch is great team work!

Looking back on the 1st season of Kutsime, how would you review it??

I’m the worst critic of my own work so it is very hard to give the show a rating… There is definitely more room for improvement so I will give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Things rarely play out exactly as you planned especially with a debut show. What were some of the surprises or things that didn’t play out as you had expected they would?

We had planned to make it a 30minute show but the conversations were just too deep and vast to compress into 30minutes, so you will notice some episodes are 45-50 minutes long. That definitely wasn’t our plan, but we had to just go with the flow.

Season 2!!?? When is it back on? What can we look forward to? Are there any fundamental changes you’ll be making with the second season or you feel there’s no need to fix it if it ain’t broken?

Season 2! We are hoping to start production in the first quarter of 2021. You can definitely expect a few changes to the set as we will be going for a different look. The topics will be a bit more controversial but very much relatable still. Our wish list for guests is veeeerry long but we hope to mix it up with International guests so we get our neighbors’ perspective as well.

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