Simba Savannah Gives Zimbabwean Entrepreneurs a Roadmap to Investment

Simba Savannah Gives Zimbabwean Entrepreneurs a Roadmap to Investment


There's no acting, there's no script, there's no pretentiousness. But there is a shared desire to build an economy with innovation and collaboration. Zimbabwe is filled with humor, passion, ideas, and a new desire to build with each other. That's what birthed the Simba Savannah TV show.

Simba Savannah TV has people talking on constructions sites, in board meetings, and on the streets about the brilliant innovators on the show.

  • Nigel is like the Lion that never gives in.
  • Florence has been called the mother hen.
  • Ritesh is the numbers man.
  • Gary gives the build and the bash.
  • Then there's Chamu—who people are referring to as The Wild Card.

There's a back story to getting this pride of lions of together (parts of it are hard to believe), and the truth is, it's never been just about the show.

Pitch Nights started in November 2013. Organic coffee, organic love, and a shot in the dark. We were going to be satisfied with 10 people showing up. Our goal was to share ideas, collaborate to make them better, and then connect the relationship dots. Instead of 10 people, the room was jam packed. Now Pitch Nights has spread to Bulawayo, Mutare and soon Chinhoyi (not to mention a number of other nations).

Innovation Baraza was another powerful tool that brought the real world to young innovators. Exhibitions, judges, raw feedback, and refining young ideas. These communities genuinely started to believe in each other. We'd have groupies attend the events. All they cared about was to help ideas get to the market.

TV conversations came up. "Why don't you take it on ZTV?", TK from ZiFm said.

Why ZTV? Do people even watch ZTV?

We found out later that people do. ZTV still has a loyal fanbase.

So TV. This would give the innovators a chance to let people know about their contraptions, experiments, viable offerings and genius ideas. It'll educate the innovators who are waiting to launch and it could inspire the nation to hold a good sense of local pride.

Imagine, a young innovator could pitch their ideas to captains of industries all from a coffee meeting in the basement of Celebration Centre. Talk about catalyzing your journey as an entrepreneur.

CMedia Africa had already worked on a demo a few years back and was ready to execute. CMedia teamed with Udugu and Emerging Ideas to train the entrepreneurs, produce, and edit the show. The US Embassy kicked off the vision with a boost of financial support and the whole thing was under way.

The way the show came together was exactly what the ethos of Pitch Nights had been about from the beginning. No one party could have done it alone.

ZBC seemed like a bit of an animal to deal with until we met the right guy. The right guy always helps. A deal was struck and within three to four weeks, we had an agreed contract. Our great friends at Steward Bank wasted no time and supported the show as the anchor sponsor. Big ups to them.

The online interest is growing fast and there's a high demand for the show outside of Zimbabwe. The YouTube channel posts episodes soon after they air on ZBC. We are also receiving endless amounts of requests to pitch on the show for Season 2. So like the lions on Savannah, be on the lookout for how to sign up and play a part.

It's exactly what we've been doing for years with Pitch Night audiences and things like Udugu's Innovation Baraza. More people needed to be inspired by local ideas and to be mentored and supported in front of the nation.

The show is funny, it's educational, and it's loaded with inspiration. Tune in Sunday evenings @ 7pm on ZBC. Or if you’re outside of Zimbabwe, follow the episodes on YouTube and Facebook.

Take a look for yourself:

(can't see the video above? click here)

(photo via cmedia africa)