Our public inquiry was made easy by his comprehension of the technical aspects of broadcasting
By Morelife Mapeture
When the heat to establish a television station was on the climax, I was so busy and confused because I was everything on the concept. I remember vividly when I had a teleconversation with our Chief Operating Officer Mr Happison Muchechetere on the need to start recruiting key personnel, especially on departments which were technical.
Muchechetere had told me of a guy he had worked with at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, who was hardworking and was not engaged. I took the number and said I will call the guy.
Naturally I do not trust easily, especially with people I haven’t known for more than five years to be very close around me or our communities.
This position was for someone who would be very close to me in the next years to come, especially if our organisation was going to be given the licence to operate.
“Good morning Sir. Yes Mr Muchechetere had spoken to me about you,” said the voice on the other side of the phone. I could hear at first that he was not as excited as I expected, but nonetheless I could hear that he was a composed man and he spoke softly and in a measured way.
We arranged an appointment to meet the following day. It was a Wednesday morning and the time was around 11:32 hours.
Mr Shadreck Mupeni was ushered into my office by my PA – then a very small office which Dr Chirisa our board Chairperson had offered us to use as starting board for the television project.
A broadcasting engineer of note
The guy was so humble and looked frustrated with life by then, we spoke for about an hour as I explained to him how far we had gone with the station foundations and what I expected of a Technical Head.
He replied that he was available, and could deliver as per our expectations. I was not blown away at the first impression. It’s my nature. I take long to be impressed by others especially on people I don’t have experiences with outside the scope of what we will be aiming to achieve.
Because my area of fishing was so limited, and time was not on my side I decided to engage Mupeni with the mentality that I will appoint someone to assist him along the way once we are licenced.
As I got to know, he was not a man to be rushed
As I got to know, he was not a man to be rushed, and he would take moments to listen to my questions and then answer in the critical conversations.
It didn’t take long before Mupeni started reporting to work and every morning he would be the first to be in the office with new ideas on his laptops.
He brought new information which was not within my scope and he started teaching me Broadcasting Engineering at a rate I never expected I would reach.
At any given time if I assigned him a task and give him days to deliver he would bring back the tasks in a shortest period of time.
And with extra information I was expecting to receive a character which happened to be his.
He was to become the beacon of our station
Shadreck Mupeni became the beacon of our station he became the visionary of Channel D.
Everything that happened in the following days, weeks and months were quite easy because of his work ethic, honesty and loyalty.
We used to joke about trips we had together and sometimes when we walked together trying to make our business a success.
We both had a sweet tooth and he would bring diluted juice every morning which Mrs Mupeni would prepare for him and the CEO.
Our public inquiry was made easy by his comprehension of the technical aspects of broadcasting and his outstanding performance in research.
He became my confidante and he was the person I would talk to when I was angry and stuck with most of the issues at work.
He was the one who became the substantive CEO because of the time he was the one who was now making decisions relaying them, as I was the one who was making them.
When I got ill a few weeks ago I called him and said: “Mupeni I am not well but please keep it to yourself and let’s work towards the goal.”
Little did I know I was actually feeling what he was going through. When I received the message from the COO that Shaddie was no more it ignited the hiding Covid-19 which was in me.
That was the journey of man who did a lot for our broadcasting industry in Zimbabwe.
Go well Shadreck Mupeni.
You were a loyal buddy and an honest man. A family man par excellence, a father to an optician who diagnosed the President of Zimbabwe on his own graduation. We will miss you great man.
Morelife Mapeture is CEO of Channel D
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