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Meet the man behind ZimTalent

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Better known as Juls Muz, he runs the nonprofit making community project under the ZimTalent PBC banner, registered in Zimbabwe.

The project constitutes of a free talent showcasing and advertising platform. The aim of the project is to discover, nurture, develop, protect and place Zimbabwean talent in the appropriate markets. The main mission is to add value to the Zimbabwean talent by exposing and advertising the talent to the world.

From musical, film, spoken word, comedy, fine arts, to sports, they hunt for it, expose it and package it for the world to consume using various tools they have in place like the talent directory website, social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Recently they launched a ZimTalent app available for downloads on Play Store, App Store and Windows App Store.ZimTalent Hunt is not a new concept but started when Julius came across this story,“Beyonce saw a video on YouTube of this dance group from Mozambique called Tofo Tofo Boys; she thought their dance was just right for her new video. She asked choreographers to learn the dance and teach others, but no one seemed to master it well. They tried and failed until Beyonce decided to get the guys to come over and teach her dancers their now famous dance. There was a problem though; no one knew how to contact them.

“Eventually after 4 months the group was located. The guys helped and featured on the video for the song, Who Run the World, GIRLS”.

After reading the above Beyonce story Julius thought of creating a national platform that showcases and advertises all Zim talent. In 2013 the platform was made available. The concept was further developed from just being a listing, competition and promotion
enhancing the talent exposure such that the more a talent participates in competitions that are available, they then enhance their exposure therefor the talent hunt or search concept was incorporated as it encourages the raw talent to come out and participate.

Julius said, “In the ZimTalent journey so far, we have been blessed with both big and small successes. Just to keep the program running with over 2000 talents on the directory in itself is a success. Getting the Zimbabwean community to rally behind us and mark us as a safe brand is one of the biggest victories we have had. So whether it’s getting corporate partnerships to an artist realising their goals and potential through our platform, or new talent joining our portfolio, we celebrate it as a success.”

To date, some of the highlights include when the ZimTalent brand was involved in a legal battle with a major media conglomerate Freemantle Media Limited and Simco Limited, a company which oversees and has rights to Pop Idol, Britian's Got Talent and X Factor over the concept rights of ZimTalent. It was a David versus Goliath scenario with God on their side, and they are grateful to have won the battle. The motivation for Zim Talent Hunt is the love for Zimbabwe. The Love for Zimbabwean art forms and the need for Zimbabwean talent and art forms to be exposed onto the world stage.

Their most memorable projects include two projects that stands out, namely the ZimTalent Voice Search in 2014/15 which yielded 6 albums from unknown talent that had never recorded in a studio before and handing over the albums with 100% ownership at a function officiated by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe.

There is also the making of the ZimTalent Hunt Riddim. Here there’s the beauty of getting unknown talent and household names in the Zimbabwean music scene to showcase their talent on the same musical riddim. The response from both the underground talent and the seasoned talent was overwhelming that the project ended up having more than 350 tracks recorded on the Riddim and to date more tracks are still being received from underground talent.

“Both these sub-projects were filled with pure excitement, said Julius. He noted that ZimTalent has brought unknown talent to the Zimbabwean masses and the world. They have exposed, and have a catalogue of Zimbabwe’s household names in music ranging from the likes of Tocky Vibes, Stunner, 8L, Takura, Adrian Tate, Freeman, Nick Kuraz and the catalogue can go on.

Among the above talents, ZimTalent is proud (as with all others) to have as its latest achievement, facilitated a record label deal for leading name Stunner with a UK based label. Julius is particularly buoyant about bagging this groundbreaking deal, saying for the very first time Stunner is now a signed artist. The deal will also see the inimitable Harare artist making a debut international tour starting this December.

Almost every established musician in Zimbabwe in the last 5 years has come through the talent development programs offered by ZimTalent through their subsidiary partners. Julius explained that they have had so many personalities who have come through the ZimTalent Hunt mentorship and talent development programs. From artists such as Takura, Farai Muvuti and the Forest Dawn, Gemma Griffiths, Freeman, Killer Trilla, Ninja Lipsy, Doc Vikela, Winky D, Shinsoman, 8L to even personalities such as Fungisai, and Albert Nyathi have worked with ZimTalent. The list is endless.In standup comedy, they have Long John the comedian who had a UK tour last year and now frequenting popular SA comedy shows.

In the diaspora, and in particular UK, ZimTalent celebrates success in resuscitating the UK- based artists.

“We made sure the UK-based artists were given platforms on big shows and also showcase on online broadcasters like Jamrock, Pamtengo, and Yami Kami just to mention a few. Artists like Fyah Bantu, Juss Russ, Warhead, and FireFlex benefitted most with DJ Dehwa playing a major role. Tsungai Tsikirai, Lamont Chitepo and Nash Daddy also on spoken
word, Munya Usuwana (Word-Play).”

In terms of development, ZimTalent is currently merging with other entities within the African region to create an AfroTalent platform which will nurture and expose talent from Africa. It will also work as an African Talent Directory. This has seen the creation of satellite platforms in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Ghana and many more countries will be coming onboard.

Also presently they are working on a project called Africa Rise & Shine, a various artists’ song for encouraging undiscovered talent to come out in the open and showcase. “I say a big thank you to artists who share the same vision and agreed to be part of the cause. The song includes established artists like Trevor Dongo, Stunner, Sani Makhalima, Nox, Lamont, Pah Chihera and Tsungai just to name a few Zimbabwean artists together with artists from Uganda, Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique,” said Julius.

What motivates Julius Muza? “My spiritual purpose, my role as a father and a husband, my dreams and every goal. The realisation that I carry a lot of peoples’ dreams in some way on my back and I have to make sure that I am in a position to provide a platform that they realise their ambitions or at least just being there on the platform. These do keep the engine in me running, through Christ.”

So far they have launched the ZimTalent Application which serves as both a platform to nurture and expose Zimbabwean talent and also a talent directory for Zimbabwean creatives. This platform has managed to grow the ZimTalent database tremendously as young creatives are now engaging with the service. It is now easier for someone to book a talent for instance a musician for their event through the ZimTalent App.

Source : Zim-Abroad http://www.zim-abroad.com/community/meet-julius-muzuva-the-man-behind-zimtalent/

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