I had the pleasure to sit down and talk to my favorite radio personality Captain Awesome from ZiFM. He is such a fresh breath of air, witty, intelligent and fun to be around. A true mirror of his name: literally awesome. Prior to this conversation, I had a few pointers written down to probe and get a peephole to this personage, but I was taken by his easy going and laid back demeanor which led the conversation to its own natural course. You can never win trying to interview a radio personality, I remember a couple of times I had to snatch the anchor from him, like hold up this is my thing. The man invariably follows his own whimsical inclinations and the energy is positively infectious.
If a penguin walks in right now, wearing a sombrero. What do you think its going to say to you?
Why did you leave me last night? You were my ride home. What happened my guy?
*Slaps knee and almost chokes from laughter* ( I told you he is hilarious) I live for this hilarious buffoonery. So, how did you arrive to the name Captain Awesome?
When we were launching the Radio Station (ZiFM), as you know my name is Tinashe. We had to do a press release and they wanted a list of the station presenters. So, my boss asked for a name that I would use for radio and I said, ‘Tinashe?’ At that time, Tinashe was a common name for radio personalities and my boss was like, ‘What are you as a personality?.’ So I thought, well, I am awesome and he said we would go with that for the mean time. Surprisingly when the newspaper article came out, they had written Captain Awesome which was great because it was going to be awkward introducing myself. ‘Hie, I am Awesome’ and then I would have to explain with a back story, so the name stuck and 7 years later, we are here.
I was stalking your Twitter account and I was absolutely entertained. Your social media persona really matches your vibe and you are hilarious to say the very least! I would say that is premium content.
I appreciate that. My favorite tweets right now are from the Internet Explorer account, that thing is cracking me up! That to me is the stuff I like to check out on Twitter and most of the content on radio is from Twitter. There are a lot of funny and witty accounts that I follow and my Twitter account is not that big. I have about 6k-7k followers and I am happy with that because there are not just random people but actual interesting people. Its all the same with my Instagram and Facebook accounts. Quality over quantity.
I feel you are brilliant and quick-witted but underrated.
Lemme tell you something, I am very shy. First of all, I am really tall and slim, so I am self conscious. It comes from high school trauma that precipitated from all that savagery when school mates used to make jabs about my weight and height. That really messes with your mental well being and it was such a dark time because all that banter actually leaves marks. I don’t like walking in public spaces because I am so self-conscious. As a matter of fact, I am helping a couple of high school kids by talking to them about self confidence.
Wow, that is the thing with people who try to shove their body positivism on people and you wouldn’t know because all I see is a really confident person. Thank you for the initiative you are doing with the kids. So, do you read?
I am a nerd, and I read a lot of books. I am reading this book called The Malazan Book of the Fallen by a Canadian author Steven Erikson. Its like Game of Thrones but much bigger,( 12 books) more intricate, multiple plots and there is magic which is brilliant. Its one of the hardest book to read in fantasy and its not easy to explain to someone who hasn’t read it.
I need to read this book! I absolutely love Fantasy. Speaking of Game of Thrones, what do you think about the season finale?
It was crap, those directors just wrapped up the season after realizing that George R.R Martin was not coming with new work, so they were like lets just run through this quickly and they did nonsense. That was lazy work, but I appreciate what they did with the cinematography, the camera work, like the last episode when Darnerys is walking on top of the stairs and the dragon spreads his wings, that was a beautiful scene. The plot itself was poor but you could tell from the cinematography, that it was a big budget. I am that kid that was ouchea reading the books before the TV show began, so I was really disappointed.
So you said you are a nerd, and I have been noticing this pop culture of the trendy nerdy look. Are you the look or an actual nerd?
Nerds or geeks?
Oh there is a difference?
Yes there is a big difference, that is geek swag and nerds are the ones that stay in the basement. I am a geek more than a nerd because I love fashion (although I cant find anything that fits me). I am really into having a beautiful personal space, open space, color balancing, refurbished old school chairs, and the rooms must have specific scents that compliment each other. So I guess I am more of a geek than a nerd.
As a radio personality are you allowed to have a podcast?
Yes. I have thought about it and I would love to have one. There are actually a number of guys from work that are good friends, I would love to work with. I listen to a lot of podcasts both local and international. My favorite ones other than Zim are the UK ones like ‘ No Such Thing As A fish‘ its about useless facts but it is brilliant, then ‘Two Broke Twimbos‘, ‘Sadza in the Morning‘ and I listen to a lot of BBC podcasts because I love my comedy. I prefer British humor over American humor because its so intelligent unlike American humor, it is just explosions and fart jokes. Even my favorite comedic author is British like Douglas Adams, fantastic writer.
Do you believe in this country?
Yes, there is a lot of money to be made here, its just not the best season. I believe in the talent of this country and when we get an opportunity to be in a position to exploit all this talent we are going to be so wealthy. The thing is we are exporting wealth because we are not getting our value. There is so much intelligence here and the number of ads you see on Australian or South African television for most of these ad agencies the creative department is full of Zimbabweans. There is a hustle mentality that is killing creatives in Zim and its about making profit but there are a few notable people who I believe will spend money on talent because they know they will get returns after the investment. Most companies just want to make a profit and they will steal your ideas and leech off you. When we get to a point were Zim recognizes Zim talent and gets paid for it, we will be off the chain. You should see the number of innovations in Science, Technology and Agriculture but there is no funding. So, I am sticking around for that and I am just strategically positioning myself for when it gets better.
So 7 years as a radio personality, how has that impacted your personality? Do you come on radio and wear your Captain awesome hat? Get into character or Tinashe and Captain Awesome are the same person?
Nah, I also train presenters, the newbies and I tell them to maintain their real personality on air. You will sound a little different because radio is a performance, so you have to sound slightly more animated or more relaxed depending on the kind of energy that you portray. I am way more comfortable making noise in the studio, having fun and and speaking my thoughts alone in a room although at the back of I mind I know people are listening. That marriages into who I became afterwards and that is actually my character but its more pronounce now, than it was 7 years ago because of being on radio. What you hear on radio is who you meet. It opened certain doors into my character but they already existed.
What new life experiences has being on radio given you?
I am a lot more confident because of radio and in tune with wanting to learn new things and experience new stuff. I have also traveled a lot more which is big deal for me, I mean I have been to Skies twice in my life in the past year. Every time I go there its just a new experience because you learn about different ways of looking at life. Bulawayo has its own type of energy and vibe. I understand why my boss never lets me go there because I might not come back. When you travel around the country you see so many different people you become aware of your surroundings and stop taking things for granted. You speak to people and get to know their story. Like we had an interview with prostitutes, we actually went to Tipperary and paid 3 prostitutes for an hour each. We sat down with them and asked how they had arrived to this? It was mind opening, one of the ladies said she is a nympho so why not get paid for something you enjoy. The other lady was raped as a teenager and fell pregnant so she was trying to survive! So, you can’t look at something at face value and make assumptions and because of radio I have learnt not to judge a book by its cover or social perception. Find your own truth.
So, tell me which celebrities have you actually interacted with?
Well, I am a gaddamn celebrity ( chuckles). Its been a long 7 years and I have met a lot of celebrities, namely P-Squared, Popcaan, Roberto from Zambia such a brilliant person, Ice- Prince, like we have done a lot of celebrity interviews. As people they are some of the most lovely individuals that I have ever met. Local guys, Jah-Prayzah, Tamy, Takura, EXQ, Nutty O, I mean I can literally look at my phone book. I love Zim celebs, they are the most chilled guys I know and when they win they win hard and that is something I really cheer for. Look at Nutty O, Tamy and you just know these guys are going to be super mega. I am lucky enough to meet them as individuals and its fantastic.
Wrapping this up, thank you so much for having this with me. I really appreciate and I had so much fun
Its an absolute pleasure, it was a fantastic experience for me and I really enjoyed the convo.