THE executive director of local popular soap opera Wenera Eddie Ndhlovu has struck a screening deal with VoxAfrica Television UK, a United Kingdom Pan-African bilingual television channel for the screening of the production from Season 1 starting this month. Ndhlovu said that the deal was part of efforts to reach out to a wider audience.
"Wenera was only on ZBC TV since its premiere in July 2015. Now in season 12, we are trying to penetrate outside markets and getting Wenera out there. We have just signed a deal to start screening Wenera Season 1 on Voxafrica SKY 193 and Free view 271 and it will premiere on April 16 at 8:30pm and will be showing every Thursday night," he said.
Ndhlovu said they had also inked another deal with TelOne's online Deod television, where they have since launched Wenera Seasons 1 and 2 which are already screening.
"Most people in the diaspora have heard about Wenera and never got an opportunity to watch it as it was only showing locally," he said.
Ndhlovu said the developments presented an opportunity to get Zimbabwean products out into the world.
"We are producing competitive programmes locally and I believe with such developments, more doors will be opened for Zimbabwean programmes on the international platforms," he said.
Ndhlovu said the re-branding of Wenera to Viva Wenera to capture regional and international markets was at an advanced stage.
He said Viva Wenera, would be a blend of new and old cast members and their main focus was to have a variety of actors from different backgrounds.
"With Viva Wenera, our intentions are to include tourism aspects, anti-poaching plots in the new storylines as we want to be relevant with what is happening and moreover keeping and maintaining our identity as a project from Zimbabwe," he said.
Ndhlovu said they were happy that stakeholders had agreed to partner with them.
"We do not have timelines for the premiere yet, but we will begin from episode one, season one as we have begun appealing to sponsors so that we are able to bring out a more modest programme in terms of quality and a product that will be able to compete with other regional television shows," he said.
"The quality of the pictures, setting and the direction of the plots will also be different. The aim is to make the new production better in any way we can. We are still in the development stages and soon we will be able to shed light on other major changes."
Wenera has been showing on national television since July 2015 up to October 2019 when the producers agreed to take the production off air to rethink and re-strategise to meet regional and international television standards.