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To Entertain & Uplift- A Zimbabwean Website with a Different Outlook
The Zimbo Jam (www.zimbojam.com), a lifestyle and entertainment website launched in November 2008, breaks away from the mould of Zim sites to capture in stunning photography and up to date stories, the other side of the unbelievable Zimbabwean saga.
By: Aripano Infinity
As the politico-economic crisis has deepened, it has created a greater hunger for Zimbabwean news and Zimbabwe’s scribes, from bases all over the world have sprung into action to let the world know what is happening. In attempting to satisfy this hunger, journalists have fed the world the very necessary starch of politics and economics, but have forgotten the veges and meat of the matter- entertainment, the arts and the daily details of life.
The Zimbo Jam was born out of the need to record and archive this part of Zimbabwean life. The offices of the website are based in Zimbabwe and this gives the team- of two full time staff and some external contributors-
According to Fungai J. Tichawangana, editor of The Zimbo Jam, the other aims of the site are, “to showcase Zimbabwean arts and showbiz to the world, to promote Zimbabwean artists as if there was no tomorrow and to entertain and uplift Zimbabweans wherever they are in the world.”
In just three months of existence, with an advertising budget of zero, the website has made waves on the web. It has visitors from 25 countries and up to 1,000 unique visits per day. Daily updates ensure that visitors always have something new to nibble on when they come to the site.
How have they achieved so many hits without any advertising?
Tichawangana says that they are planning to add new features to the website to cover more aspects of Zimbabwean life and to make it a more entertaining experience. In January they added embedded video and interactive crosswords to the site. These features have already proved popular and the videos section is one of the most visited on the website.
Tendai Chimuriwo, the other member of the team, takes care of the administration and communication side of running the website, including some of the updates, while Tichawangana does photography, articles and assists with updates.
“The hardest thing for us right now is updating the site.” Tichawangana revealed, “The connections can be so slow that on some days we can’t upload anything- even from the two other back up offices, courtesy of friends, that we use to access the Internet. We are working on several options to sort this out.”
He went on to add that whatever happened with Internet speeds in the country, they were pushing ahead to make The Zimbo Jam a world class provider of lifestyle, showbiz and arts news.
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Aripano Infinity runs a number of websites and online services that focus on connecting people to people and people to opportunities.