By Robert Mukondiwa:
Celebrated radio personality and arts critic Richard Kohola, popularly known as RK has embarked on a programme to establish a guild of seasoned trained ‘voice’ talent to do advert voice overs as well as related radio and possibly television workto world class standards.
The move seeks to ensure that there is a high standard of expertise in the field of doing voice overs, which is currently plagued by sub-standard voice artistes resulting in nauseating qualities including terrible pronunciation and below standard enunciation skills.
The project is being run under the tag ‘The Power Of The Human Voice’ and two auditions have been held in the capital Harare to search for skill and potential talent worth grooming.
The guild will also ensure that the artistes are well represented and that their work receives respectable remuneration while ensuring that agencies and clients pay artiste’s dues on time.
“I realised that there as need too scout for talent and have people with good potential and amazing voices in a register after which we will get them through voice training and enhance their skills to make them ready for the world of work in voice over productions,” said RK.
And he is not alone in his endeavour as he is assisted by renowned radio voice, vocal coach and actor John Dennison.
John is best known in Zimbabwe as the voice of mobile telecommunications group Econet Wireless for whom e is also the corporate voice oof the company.
“The standard of voice over work has to improve and it is basically by looking for the right talent and voices that we can develop a whole catalogue of voice over artistes who have been trained for clients to choose from according to their demands and specifications,” said Dennison.
And Kohola believes thousands of Zimbabweans from all walks of life could literally have a goldmine up their throats.
“People can sustain their livelihoods merely by using their voices. Zimbabwe can get there with the proper identification, hand-holding and grooming of the talent,” he said.
The guild and initiative will hopefully end the barrage of terrible voices, ungroomed voices and horrendous pronunciations that have plagued the broadcasting industry, with standards particularly at state broadcaster ZBC hitting rock bottom and even starting too dig.
“I must confess that in our two sets of trials we have received a great response and unearthed some very fine talent,” RK said.
The hope is that the group can get funding to go to other areas including major centres like Mutare, Gweru, Masvingo and Bulawayo to scout for talent. The guild is open to all ages as voice talent is needed amongst all sections of society from the very young to the elderly.