Home » Arts & Culture » When Humour Turns Sour [column]

Last week, I was at my mother’s village in Murehwa where harvesting is still in progress. Though it is hard to classify the harvest as a bumper one, they had a good crop and it looks like they won’t starve this year.

However, one thing yours truly admired most was the respect with which the villagers showed to all and sundry.

In the village, respect is everything and there is no way a youngster can pass by the elders without exchanging greetings.

And it is the youngsters who have to greet the elders first and not the other way round.

Exchanging greetings in the village is not like we do on Whatsapp where you reply with one word answers, NO!

It goes in stages starting from the bottom to the top where you ask about health and life in general.

So respect is something which youngsters should learn even in the cities.

Jamaicans recognise the importance of respect when they say: “nuff respect” while in hip-hop world showing the opposite is termed “disrespect” or simply “diss”. In other words if you are not respectful you’re indeed, “disrespectful”.

I just wondered if all the foreign influence through music and other art forms is really eroding our good cultural values. Maybe parents should be more serious about teaching kids that life in the movies is different from reality.

That said, I had an email from an anonymous reader who wrote about the Freshlyground debacle, of course, there has been so much hullabaloo over the recently held Harare international Festival of the Arts.

A lot has been written already about the Freshlyground saga and that should tell you the level of interest among Zimbabweans.

The group was supposed to be the closing act for the “Switch On” edition but however, the South African Freshlyground were denied entry since they had no work permits.

Sadly, the matter has been blown out of proportion by some people including the anonymous reader who asked if the denial of entry had any benefit to Zimbabwe or Zimbabweans and secondly, if there was any basis for such an action.

Well, for crying out loud, yours truly fully appreciates art whether in its abstract form or straightforward form.

The case in point is that when Freshlyground released their “Chicken to Change” video in 2010 they thought it was “humorous” and perhaps one of those jokes you laugh and quickly forget about. Oddly enough, the intended purpose of the video failed to excite even those with a high sense of humour and worst of all it wasn’t a joke. How can a video which denigrates the President of a neighbouring country become a joke. This is a classic case of humour turned sour and you cannot laugh at a dry joke unless you’re out of your mind.

However, if the group had no work permit then there was no way they would make it on the last day of the festival. The only way which was acceptable and reasonable for a group such as Freshlyground which feeds off Zimbabwean turf, was to apologise. It was that simple. The apology should have been made say a year or two ago and not when they had already slotted a show in Zimbabwe.

And if they are genuine about just being artistes with no political leanings, then surely we should have seen them produce a lot of “humorous” songs and videos of their own president who offers a lot of material with all his scandals like the shower and his Inkandla debacle.

Of course, HIFA organisers gave their own reasons regarding the Freshlyground’s no show and also the Immigration department gave their side which unfortunately was different from that of HIFA. Both HIFA and Freshlyground appear to have lost much. After all a lot of people had bought tickets to the show. As we speak HIFA are issuing refunds to those with valid tickets.

Elsewhere on DStv, SuperSport boosts its HD offering on DStv

DStv is pleased to announce that in response to the growing interest for more high definition programming, SuperSport has added a seventh HD channel to its line-up, SSHD7 the HD version of SS7. The new HD channel is available on channel 217 to all DStv Premium customers.

“We’re living in an exciting world where cutting-edge technology rules the day,” said Brandon Foot, acting CEO of SuperSport. “There is no better way to watch sport than in high definition. This 7th SuperSport HD channel means that all Barclays Premiership and Champions League football will be available in HD, along with other popular sports such as boxing and golf.”

The channel will offer a variety of sport including European Leagues, UEFA, FIFA events and friendlies. Golf: Overflow Euro PGA Tour, US PGA Tour and Majors. Tennis: ATPWTAMajors. Cycling: Tour de France, Giro, just to name a few. DStv viewers can also look forward to other sports such as basketball, athletics, boxing, motorsport, swimming and wrestling. To access all this great sporting action, DStv Premium subscribers will require an HD PVR decoder or an Explora, designed to give viewers the opportunity to watch a larger selection of content on its Catch Up and Box Office services and record up to 200 hours of high definition television.

Liz Dziva, public relations and publicity manager, adds: “We want our DStv subscribers to have the best possible viewing experience – and sport in glorious HD delivers that.

This is just one of the ways that we will be adding more value and viewing options for our subscribers in the year ahead.”

Until next week remember this is television and its real.

Source : The Herald