THE executive producer of popular high-definition soap opera Wenera, Eddie Ndhlovu, says he is pleased with the journey they have travelled on the showbiz scene and will reward the soap’s cast through the Wenera Viewers’ Choice (WVC) awards set for next year.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Wenera is based on the Musodza family, who run Wenera Diamonds firm, operating like a mafia, with jealousy, disloyalty and blackmail as a way of life. In an interview with Standard Style, Ndhlovu described the awards as in line with the growth of their brand, but also modelled to involve friends in the industry to contribute in their different capacities.
“I felt I needed to honour Wenera actors for the journey that they helped me walk as members of one family since the start. I wanted to make it a small event at our studios, but the involvement of the audience has dragged me to hold the awards at a bigger venue as partners are already inquiring about how best they can partner us for the event,” he said.
“The Wenera Viewers’ Choice awards were created to honour Wenera actors each year as the programme is set to run for the next two decades. During the month of March every year, the awards will be held in different towns with the 2019 edition set to be held in Harare before spreading to other parts of the country in the following years.”
Ndhlovu said WhatsApp and SMS platforms would be opened early January next year for the audience to vote for their favourite actors in over 15 categories of the awards.
“The Wenera Viewers’ Choice awards voting process will be handled by an independent body unlike other awards where adjudicators sit to choose winners.
This transparency will give credibility to the awards and also give the consumer the liberty to select those who entertain them as they are the clients of the product,” he said.
Ndlovu said the TV soap used to be his personal project, but now it was no longer his neither the broadcaster’s as it had grown to be the audience’s project.
“Wenera is now more than just a television programme, but a national brand that the majority of Zimbabweans are happy to be affiliated with. Wenera now belongs to the audience, it is now in their hands and chava chinhu chavo (it is now their product) and our idea is to give every corner of the country a chance to be part and parcel of the brand,” he said.
Ndlovu said the awards categories would include best actor, best actress, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, best dressed, most disciplined, most promising, the producers’ award, and best couple, while the viewers’ award would be given to the best viewer through those who comment frequently on Wenera Facebook posts or WhatsApp platform.
According to the Zimbabwe All Media and Products Survey (Zamps) statistics, Wenera is the most watched television drama on ZBC-TV and the longest running television drama with over 157 episodes and is in its 10th season.