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Channelling anger by speaking out - Interview with Joe Ruzvidzo
Upenyu Makoni-Muchemwa,
January 26, 2012

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Joe RuzvidzoWhy do you blog?
I-ve got things to say. It-s an outlet and I-ve always had stuff to say. I blog because I can wake up in the morning and be pissed off by anything. Liverpool can lose, something . . . anything. And I like to read my own writing.

You discuss everything on your blog from politics and sport to love and life. Is there a particular genre or topic that you prefer?
No, just everything. Of course my personal life is the barometer by which I measure everything. It-s my mood basically, which guides me.

What are you passionate about?
My fiancée. I find it hard to get passionate about lots of things especially here where there are different problems every day. I-m passionate about Zimbabwe and Harare.

Do you suppose there-s a greater space for expressing yourself online?
The thing with Zimbabweans is that the structured media space has been contracted so tightly. For someone without media training, without a CV that says Harare polytechnic or journalism student, it-s hard for them to actually get space or a salary from a newspaper. So the Internet really is the whole idea of breaking boundaries, breaking barriers giving a voice to the voiceless. Listen

I-ve read a couple of your blogs about the Herald. Tell me about your feelings for the Herald?
It-s just terrible. I don-t want to go into politics, but let me just say they-re not even pretending anymore - on the political front. Basically their journalism is shoddy. I don-t know on what planet that would pass as journalism, as creative writing, or even writing ZJC comprehension. Spelling grammar, editing, punctuation ... it-s just shocking. I-m not an English policeman, I-m not even an English gentleman, I don-t claim to speak the Queen-s English as it was meant to be spoken. But there are basic things. Listen

I-ve also read about Newsday-s sexually ambiguous headlines.
Tsvangirai fingered in corruption probe. I remember that headline. You have to wonder where were the editors? That-s shocking. For someone like me it-s ridiculous, because I do have a dirty mind.

Of all the national newspapers, what do you read on a daily basis?
I read them all. To correct the spelling first of all. I don-t buy them. I will not spend a dollar, or whatever it costs to buy the Herald. I read them online. The first paper I read is the Herald, just to get a baseline of the stories for the day. Then when Newsday finally gets online, to find out what actually happened. Then Daily News because it-s in the middle.

What was the mission behind Candid Consumerism?
There was no mission; I was angry and tired of being taken for granted. If you look at the logo there-s a little sheep there. The original catchphrase was going to be . . . we are not sheep. We-re being treated like sheep especially by companies like Econet and the banks. There was a point when you-d think these companies don-t work for us, we work for them. So I thought we needed a space where we the people could challenge the companies to say listen I got shoddy service, sort it out. It-s still getting off the ground but we-ve had a couple of successes. Listen

What is your vision for Candid Consumerism?
I-m working on a few things. SMS submission - trying to get posters or ads around so if there-s an issue, like someone-s in a shop they know who to send a message to. That platform sends an email to the moderator, which won-t be me, then we post that issue. I want to add company rankings, an idea I was given by Kabweza from Techzim, and rank them. Just making it a bigger platform. Which will be beneficial not just to consumers but also to service providers as well.

What is your political stance?
None of your business.

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Audio File

  • Media space contracted
    Language: English
    Duration: 28sec
    Date: January 26, 2012
    File Type: MP3
    Size: 453KB

  • Critique of The Herald
    Language: English
    Duration: 37sec
    Date: January 26, 2012
    File Type: MP3
    Size: 591KB

  • Candid Consumerism
    Language: English
    Duration: 1min 20sec
    Date: January 26, 2012
    File Type: MP3
    Size: 1.22MB

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