To end of an amazing series, we got one of the biggest influencers who has managed to use the arts to advocate for change. Yes, yours truly, Comrade Fatso, the co-founder of Magamba Network, host of ‘The Week with Comrade Fatso’, artivist, poet, rapper, satirist and trouble maker. We end off the series speaking to Comrade Fatso and looking at influence from the perspective of local government. Whether it be the influence of cartels on government or the influence of a president (Trump) on a group of extremists, influence plays a very crucial role in shaping the politics and the economies of countries around the world.

All throughout 2020 there were multiple events that took place that posed the question behind what helped to catalyze the creation of “the influence series”. The question being “Do persons in positions of social influence have the responsibility of being socially responsible and speaking in response to events that may be taking place globally or within their immediate sphere of influence?”. In 2020 we saw the crescendo of the Black Lives Matter movement which snowballed into what seemed like the beginning of a global awakening in terms of political and social activism. This took place at the beginning of a global pandemic where we saw celebrities and influencers speaking about people staying safe, staying home and following the necessary precautions to stay healthy. Although, when it came to the various political and social events that were taking place all over the globe at the same time, there seemed to be a loud silence coming from people who were in positions of influence. During the Black lives matter movement, which took place in the United States, there was the time when everyone was posting black squares and promoting specific hashtags on their social media platforms. This quickly started to become a social and political statement, on a global scale, as to whether or not businesses and people in positions of influence cared enough about racism and the social issues surrounding that to use their platform to speak on it. We watched people in positions of influence being dragged through the mud for their silence and questioned on the front of whether or not they carried the correct values of someone who has been given a platform by the people. To bring it closer to home, here in Zimbabwe we witnessed our very own political and social event around the same time of the creation of the Zimbabwean Lives Matter hashtag. This hashtag quickly became a marker for whether or not people in Zimbabwe stood on the side of “good” or “evil”, or whether they would choose to remain silent. There was a lot of discourse around why some Zimbabweans in positions of influence chose to remain silent, and when they did speak up it might not have been what the people had expected from someone in their position. This all brings us to “The influence series” as we begin to unpack the idea of influence and what that means to different people at different levels of influence.

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Sponsored by Koovha Beverages

Music: Photoshoot Perfect by Mr Rebel

Venue: Zoom (The virtual realm)

Hosts: Vera Chisvo, Jordan Chanetsa

Guest: Comrade Fatso (Somewhere)

Videography: DT Productions

Motion Graphics : Pedro Designs