ZBC has no room for laxity!

Scenes from Episode 1 of “The Book of Negroes”

Scenes from Episode 1 of “The Book of Negroes”

Silver Screen with Tafadzwa Zimoyo
What a weekend!

The fun continues to unfold with a lot of new programming on our local TV station and the usual DStv.

More drama, more action, more fashion, more sport and more business.

For ZBC TV, the struggle continues although now they have a lot of series and soaps on offer for viewers. Presumably, we can thank the competition of Zambezi Magic for the change which is for the better I believe.

But not everyone agrees as one reader pointed out:

“Thank you for the exciting column which points not only to TV stations but to producers, film directors and actors as well. I am an avid fan of ZBC TV not because of their programming for the simple reason that I want to be abreast with local news although the station is boring at times because of repeats.

“What a sudden change on our local station! Has it turned to be a station of series and soaps?

“We love such programmes but to be honest we are now being drugged, taken for granted.

“You should not overdose us with them as we want to take time, following and falling in love with characters.

“You will end up confusing us though,” wrote one Tatenda Muzzo-Line, Hillside.

May be moderation is the tune that ZBC needs to adapt to and bearing in mind that they must cater for everyone.

Many people are still trying to get a grip on the announcement that there are to be no cameras at the Toni Braxton and Babyface show which is scheduled for this weekend at Borrowdale Race Course.

Does this include the local media or is it just for individuals who may want to get bootleg footage of the event? Of course it is standard for international artistes to protect their work in this way so that they can make money from later on selling videos of their events.

So we are sure that some authorised recording will be taking place and most probably by professional photographers charging for instant images which means that people can have their unforgettable moments.

But for me, the focus is more on the organisation of the event itself.

I pray that it will be flawless with everything from time, lighting and performances seamlessly coordinated.

We are tired of substandard events and would hope that this is one of the few events that we can be proud of. After all, it is not everyday that we host international performers of such stature, even if strictly speaking they may not currently qualify for the A-List tag.

There is still time for organisers to watch E!, MTV and VUZU for tips and pointers.

Welcome to Zimbabwe, Toni and we looking forward to watching your show. One of our favourites — “He wasn’t man enough” — I guess will be a ringing tone for many again considering the apparent sad state of the institution of matrimony and relationships in modern times.

Food for thought?

However, on DStv, the much awaited series — “The Book of Negroes” premièred last week on History (channel 186) and BET (channel 129) respectively, with the service provider boosting its historical drama slate with the première of two critically acclaimed mini-series; “Black Sails” and “The Book of Negroes”.

Directed by Clement Virgo, and starring Oscar winners Cuba Gooding Jr and Louis Gosset Jr, The “Book of Negroes” is a powerful re-telling of Lawrence Hill’s 2007 award-winning novel of the same title.

The six-part mini-series centres around the life of 19th century slave, Aminata Diallo (Aunjanue Ellis), who bravely navigates the perils of the slave trade in an attempt to secure her freedom.

Eleven-year-old Aminata is abducted from her village in West Africa, placed in shackles and sent across the ocean to be sold into slavery on a South Carolina plantation.

She falls in love and marries a fellow West African slave named Chekura but when their baby is brutally abducted and sold by a jealous slave master, Aminata becomes determined to return to her homeland

The onset of the Revolutionary War helps Aminata flee her new owner in New York.

Using her ability to read and write, Aminata successfully petitions British abolitionists, who organise passage to Africa for 1 200 former slaves — a final voyage that will reunite her with her homeland and allow her to voice her life story.

The “Book of Negroes” is notable not only for the complications it creates in the American narrative for independence and equality for all but also for the way in which, through the focus on one character’s journey, it raises powerful questions about the meaning of freedom.

It is a shining example of how to tell an important story without scrimping on entertainment value.

I would give the series a four star despite that the suspense is less.

A prequel to the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel “Treasure Island,” “Black Sails” is an 8-part pirate adventure series that centres on the tales of Captain Flint, who has a reputation throughout the West Indies as being the most brilliant, most feared of all the Golden Age pirates.

 Feedback: tafadzwa.zimoyo@zimpapers.co.zw