Zee TV, India’s largest television broadcaster is planning to increase its Africa’s presence with new film series and products that reflect the common aspects of culture, language and dance.
“On Sunday we launched the Swahili soundtrack on Zee World television telenovelas because most people speak Swahili in the region and in Rwanda. So far the characters are Indians but we are working of an Afro-Indian fusion that will be launched mid-2019,”Harish Goyal, CEO Zee TV Africa and Asia Pacific told KT Press in an exclusive interview.
The anticipated launch of the Afro-Indian fusion telenovela will be held in April 2019, and will include African and Indian stars working together on new casts to produce new telenovelas (with 500 plus episodes) that reflect both Indo-Africa cultures.
“It will be a new story that Africa has not seen, it will be a totally integrated telenovela that will for example, have four African and five Indian stars – because Africa also has its own Amitabh Bachchans,’” said Goyal referring to a movie star.
So far Zee TV has hired 200 executive producers and is in the process of signing contracts with some of the selected African talents who will feature in production estimated to take more than 242,000 hours of content with each hour costing over $22,000 to produce.
Goyal said, Zee TV has specific interests in Rwanda because of its rapid economic growth and political stability.
“We see more potentials in Rwanda than anywhere else. The commitment, the security, stability here gives us hope for a breakthrough in three years,” said Goyal.
Zee TV entry doesn’t come within a virgin African territory. It comes at a time when Chinese TV giant Startimes Africa has also launched the StarTimes Kinyarwanda voice-overs for Nigerian movies.
However Zee TV which has been on the continent since 1996 could also count on its African popularity in Nigeria with NollyWood stars popular series dubbed- ‘Zee World Madness’.
Zee TV is allegedly the largest Indian television broadcaster and main destination for Bollywood film content in India and in Africa.
It operates in 173 countries and access to more than 1.3 Billion viewers globally, with 40 channels in India and 40 international channels.
In Rwanda, Zee TV runs seven television channels on four platforms carrying these channels with Indian content dubbed English, French and shows telenovelas, soaps targeting viewers in Rwanda.