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Julius Shamu’s Equal Access: Television with a difference

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One of the most enterprising Zimbabweans living in South Africa, businessman and community leader, Julius Shamu, is set to launch arguably Zimbabwe’s first diaspora internet television show, Shamu’s Equal Access, to run on YouTube and other social media avenues.

Shamu told this week that shooting for the show’s season one and season two episodes had taken place over a fortnight – with 13 participants taking turns per week – to speak about entrepreneurship and business innovation.

“A growing number of business people are proving to be game changers in their areas of specialisation, but many people do not get the chance to be on TV or to be recognised for truly remarkable things that they are doing to compete, and win the markets.

“We were not looking for celebrity business people or famous people, but the rank-and- file who exhibit diversity, inspirational thinking and strength of character. We want to profile those who want to leave a mark, and those who want to leave a legacy.”

Shamu – who is director of Shamstone Group of Companies, a multi-purpose events company, and Impress Clothing which specialises in men’s wear – had teamed up with fellow Zimbabwean filmmaker Mark Mazonde, CEO of Marklink Films to run the project on Mazonde’s Zondex TV production station.

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Mark Mazonde, CEO of Marklink Films and the brains behind Zondex TV takes a break from the filming of Shamu’s Equal Access internet television production.

“Initially we were looking at giving a platform to Zimbabwean businesspeople who have changed the investment game in many areas of Cape Town. But after a couple of screenings on set we met a number of South Africans, and professionals from other parts of Africa come into the studio.

“Equal Access has now opened production space to anyone with a good story to tell, some professors have spoken to us, some engineers came in, motivational speakers and development specialists, in fact a range of disciplines.”

Shamu dismissed speculation that Shamu’s Equal Access was run on similar lines as Donald Trump’s The Apprentice, or Tokyo Sexwale’s SA version of The Apprentice, where aspiring businessmen and women were pitted against each other in business television gamesmanship, saying internet media had opened up avenues which were previously unimaginable, even by Trump or Sexwale models.

By running on YouTube, Equal Access had broken the barriers of traditional terrestrial TV production as viewers will be able to download episodes on cellphones, on tablets, laptops or PCs, or from facebook and share with anyone else with access to technology to view the productions.

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“We are different because we want to give equal access to the larger players, and to the small businesses. We want to publish those with unique stories of achievement in the face of adverse challenges, and we also want to bring people together.

“Anyone who is doing their line of investment and business and would like to have equal access to other businesses, opportunities, investors, partnerships and networking, then this is your platform. Simply get in touch or book your seat on Equal Access, and we shall talk to you.”

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Corey Nyamutenha gets his chance to talk business on Shamu’s Equal Access television production.

While filming for season one and two was already complete, Shamu said editing and packaging of the show was now underway and the shows will screen on YouTube Zondex TV as from July 1.

Filming for season three and four will be done in the 4th week of June.

Plans for productions in other cities in SA are in the pipeline. Medium to long term plans for Equal Access involve having live interviews via Skype to other game changers in the country and beyond borders.

The studios are situated at Impress Clothing, Shop 2 Waldorf Buidling. 80 St Georges Mall, Cape Town.

Equal Access will also bring in debates among people with different views or experts on different topics. the shows will also bring in commentators on trends, be it politics, technology or social dynamics.

Names of the participants in season one of Shamu’s Equal Access are:

Sam Gumbojena – Community Leader & General Manager Debonnairs Kloof Street

Tracy Mutonhori – Academic & author of the book Under the Mat (still to be published)

Corey Nyamutenha – Director – Ncore Financial Services

Phillip Gwatidzo – Director – International Hotel Recruitment Services

Aaron Thabete – Director – Ruziwo Cambridge College

Tawanda Quinton Chikowore – Musician/Artist

Tawanda Bako – Director – Bako & Bukuru Tours

Edmore Mazungunye – Director & Community Leader – Mother’s Love Educare

Baron Chibisa – Director – Unique Tents

Lovemore Mazungunye – Director & Community Leader – Marinatha Home of The Elders

Moses Munzwembiri – Director – Labelle Afrique

Delphino Machikicho – Business Development Expert & Community Leader

Frank Mushakavanhu – Social Media Manager