My last week’s entry generated some interesting feedback. I am grateful to each one of you who reached out to me with your reactions on the subject matter.
Not in the spirit of trying to keep the debate rumbling on, but just to allow the readership to appreciate the other views from other quarters, I will reproduce the response I received from one avid follower of the page Denis Imman.
As social media is awash with striking news about a just-ended social media, cross-border relationship of local comedian Nya Uyu and Zambian Ken Dumbo. I am convinced that there are pockets of questions that we need to be asking now in regards to artistic expressions and social media behaviours.
A relationship that recently basked in public glory from the Facebook fans and admirers of the two as they shared on their Facebook and WhatsApp platforms came to an end last week. It was announced that it was nothing in real, but a professional working relationship.
There has been an outpour of displeasure from all angles over how the two have used their social media platforms to parade their “never was” relationship.
From where I am standing, I am more concerned in trying to get people to see this whole thing from my angle even though it is always that people naturally choose to see what they want to see.
But as a social media advocate and an arts facilitator, I think there is a role we must play in helping people understand what forms art can take and how new platforms mainly these new social media sites are playing in the distribution and consumption of creative content.
Despite the fact that I had upfront knowledge of the planned series of the two comedians to create these series aimed at introducing Malawian comedians to their Zambian counterparts and fanbase and vice-versa.
The relationship that exists between the two and their teams, according to my knowledge as a talents manager and arts facilitator, is at a professional level as Nya Uyu the actress and Ken the actor.
Nya Uyu, might have in essence, blamed the fans for their inability to divorce her role in the whole fiasco as Nya Uyu the character and Felistus as a person and the same applies to Ken Dumbo.
When art reaches the point of destabilising your family, everyone would stop and reflect.
While the two might have not finished the series the way they planned, some schools of thought think otherwise. There are people who think that what makes comedy is not names but a stage and acts done on that stage.
They think that what happened here is a failed relationship only being covered as comedy in names. Now, I am not sure where a character ends and a person begins where art is concerned.
Where I am challenged more is that ever since I started fallowing this “Love story” I have always seen that Ken Dumbo and Nya Uyu are in love and it’s all on social media and chat platforms.
There was even a creative input of photoshopping their pictures to portray a proposal. Are these not characters we have embraced on social media? Where the question is a presence of stage, is Facebook not a stage that we are all using to advance our agendas including the distribution of our works of art?
I for one, have always believed that Facebook and all other social media platforms have come to create a new avenue that has the potential to replace, physical halls, radios, TV’s and earlier streaming platforms like YouTube.
There is a reason the pages that one creates on Facebook have categories that tell us who they are portraying themselves as on that particular platform and that we must follow them as such.
One can have a page categorised as entrepreneur, comedian, public figure, beauty shop etc. This is to help us followers know what content these people behind the pages will be sharing with us.
I am of the view that people are being too simplistic, lacking imagination and not embracing the new technologies by narrowing the scope of what art and comedy in this case can entail in this new age.
We are narrowing what platforms and how far artists can go with their imagination and use of available distribution platforms.
There is need for us as a people to embrace innovative ways of creating and consuming entertainment in this digital era.