Chitownews, a citizen reporting platform dedicated to youths and focussed on the town of Chitungwiza, held an overwhelmingly successful promotional road show on Easter Friday at Zengeza 2 Shopping centre. The road show was organised by the Chitungwiza Community Development Network (CCDN) who manage the citizen reporting website www.chitownews.com and its associated social media platforms to promote the ‘chitownews’ brand, communication rights, freedom of expression and access to information among youths and residents of Chitungwiza.
The five-hour long road show which began around 1300 hours was held under the theme ‘Promoting free expression’ and featured more than ten Zimdancehall artistes, including the six who recorded songs using the ‘Chitownews riddim’. A lineup of three DJs headlined by the much –acclaimed DJ Kritical who produced the Chitownews riddim and recorded the six artistes at his BeatzClappin studios provided the musical entertainment and background riddims to chanters making Zengeza 2 shopping centre the place to be on Easter Friday.
A number of local artists emerged from the crowd to vow the packed crowd with their lyrical prowess on the Chitownews riddim. They were ably complemented by a four-man ‘Clarks’ dance group which livened up proceedings together with the two Master of Ceremonies- Madzibaba Roddy and Nesco.
In between the performances- Chitownews Information and gender Officer- Mrs Margret Chogugudza took time to address the gathering giving insight on how the citizen reporting platform functions and its benefits to the Chitungwiza Community. She called on youths to document their issues, experiences, opinions and share them with Chitungwiza and the global community using the chitownews website, android mobile app and its associated social media.
Upcoming young and talented chanter- Eagle Eye stole the show with a spirited performance of his latest single recorded on the Chitownews Riddim called “Dancehall referee” which was cheered by the crowd with whistles as a sign of appreciation. Another Energetic chanter Budfire unleashed some powerful lyrics urging youths to ‘speak up and speak out’ as Zimbabwe approaches a watershed election in 2018 to ensure their issues are addressed during and after the election campaigns. The Dance hall chanter expressed his views about Chitownews and on his words emphasized on gender equality and citizen journalism skills to employ networking on the news website.
Agent Dolatto- a crowd favourite emerged without invitation to join BudFire on stage and their performance together livened up the stage and encouraged other artistes in the crowd to line-up on stage for a chance on the microphone. DJ Kritical obliged by affording each artiste his two minutes of fame on the chitownews riddim.
As the sun slowly set on the carnival atmosphere created by the road show, CCDN’s Programs Manager- Mr. Admire Mutize officially concluded the road show with a vote of thanks appreciating the artistes, MCs, DJs and dancers for entertaining the crowd and participants for attending the road show. He distributed promotional CDs featuring songs by the six artistes and urged youth to link up online by giving chitownews contact details.