Delay is Not Denial. Against all odds, Just In Time Television is set to go live on StarSat this August 2021
By Memory Tongogara
The JIT TV concept was born through a lazy Sunday afternoon discussion which became a long-term goal.
This goal cried out for an action plan which was eventually put in place; it became more and more real as the talk of a TV station became a daily routine. Proposals were drawn: plans were put together.
A way forward became inevitable.
It started with a phone conversation when Meme Tongogara said to Collin Mackenzie: “I am thinking of setting up a TV station in Zimbabwe.”
Mackenzie laughed so hard that Meme thought that her idea was a dumb one! “Are you serious, right now?” Mackenzie asked.
Meme almost withdrew her statement, until Collin said: “That is exactly what I am thinking about, Mbuya! Let’s do this!”
Relieved that her idea was not a dumb one, after all, Meme sighed loudly. That was the start of teamwork that spanned over months which became years of waiting for the first of August 2021 when JIT TV makes its maiden broadcast.
The team commenced enquiries of how to acquire a broadcasting licence in Zimbabwe while putting together their business and action plans.
The business proposal was drawn up as well as a 66 slide PowerPoint detailing our way forward. The PowerPoint went back and forth as we edited it towards a perfect final product.
Collin Mackenzie, Lindelani Sikhitha and Meme Tongogara would have endless discussions and eventually, their bubble grew to include other enthusiasts who dared run with the dream.
Addlyn ‘Lady Adds’ Hencil brought her marketing expertise and die-hard tendencies to push for perfection.
Derrick Mackenzie brought his tech-savvy self and level-headedness to strengthen the dream.
Other players worked tirelessly and put in a lot of behind-the-scenes valuable time and effort to give the station the look it has today.
The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe advertised an invitation for TV Licences applications and that felt like stars were smiling upon JIT TV. We believed this was our time.
Why else would BAZ advertise only when we were putting together our proposal to approach them?
We hastened to get our application in, and we got shortlisted for the public inquiry. Our appointment was for Monday, 19th October 2020 at 1400hrs.
The team put together a killer presentation that left many in awe and asking for more. We did our deed, and the rest was left to BAZ. The feedback received from the public was astounding.
Many praised our performance and level of preparedness as a sure confirmation of success.
But lo’ and behold! BAZ had other ideas of the ‘best teams.’ We had lost the bid: six other players were awarded the licences and right to broadcast in Zimbabwe.
The JIT TV team was left open-mouthed and stupefied! We could not believe our ears and failed to understand while The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe had cast us aside.
As if that was not enough, their spokesperson, Nick Mangwana, came out and tweeted that we did not get the licence because we belonged to the Tongogara family.
That was like a dagger to my heart as I did not and still did not understand what wrong anyone who bears the name Tongogara has done to Zimbabwe.
Other than Josiah Tongogara fighting and dying for the liberation of this country, I cannot think of anything else we have done against Zimbabwe.
The irony of it is that Tongogara did not even get the chance to enjoy liberated Zimbabwe, and people from his family are being denied a broadcasting licence in same Zimbabwe that he died for!
Fortunately, as many preachers always say: “The first report is not the last report.” Just In Time TV did not let that setback hold them back. We continued with our plan by removing our focus from setting up in Zimbabwe. After we were denied the licence in Zimbabwe, we had to change our game plan.
We got a spot to air on StarSat! All this is a result of the contacts that Collin Mackenzie has through his years of experience in the broadcasting industry.
The Zimbabwean owned station had been earmarked for the Midlands community where it was going to create employment and develop the community.
Just In Time (JIT) TV is a contemporary platform aimed at providing high-quality programming that is entertaining, informative and educational with content such as News, Sport, Soapies, Movies, and many more which would have been broadcasting nationally from the City of Progress, Gweru.
We aimed to be the top channel for digital content, advertising and branding while providing a platform for young and upcoming Zimbabwean content producers by upskilling and providing the best of the best in broadcasting technology.
The channel promises to be a proudly Zimbabwean entertainment hub showcasing the beauty of the country to the outside world.
Speaking on the aims of the channel, Ms Memory Tongogara, said: “To the outside world, Zimbabwe is known negatively as people focus mainly on the ills they hear forgetting that this country has more to it than meets the eye. We, at JIT TV, are choosing colourful paint and brush to paint our true Zimbabwe and blot out all the negative images.”
The channel will also include internationally acclaimed TV shows and has already secured broadcasting rights to several popular ones.
The team is promising collaborations with some world-famous TV personalities and actors with who they are already in constant touch.
They, however, remain tight-lipped about who they have roped into their project.
The directors vow to leave no stone unturned to bring world-class entertainment to the homes of Zimbabweans and other African countries.
Besides providing the much-needed entertainment, the opening of a new TV station would have, undoubtedly, created job opportunities for the people of the Midlands and Zimbabwe as a whole.
Just In Time TV is indeed in time to shine and is going live on the StarSat platform, channel 120, from August 1, 2021.
StarSat is available in over 40 African countries and we wish to provide content that will appeal to many Africans.
A typical saying goes: “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”
Memory Tongogara is non-executive director of Jit Television.
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