POVO at HIFA 2013

Art & Design | By POVO Correspondent, Editorial | 27 April 2013
PHOTO: © Baynham Goredema

Despite this year’s HIFA theme being titled engage, nothing could be further from the stated objective. The low audience turnout and entertainers didn’t help matters. The billed acts were barely known in Zimbabwe. However, with POVO’s debut at HIFA, the intention was to make our stand as engaging as possible. The main purpose of the stand was to market the POVO brand, generate traffic to the website, and encourage more people to contribute to it. The T-shirts on sale generated a lot of interest and rave reviews from both local and international visitors to the stand.

Watching people engaging with the brand was very interesting. Some observations we made at the stand are that Zimbabweans are still very much afraid to speak or even to associate with symbols representing Zimbabwe. Any speak of patriotism is immediately seen as being partisan. Some only observed from afar and dared not to come close. The level of apathy ran deeper than we anticipated as some printers refused to print banners for us for fear of apprehension by the authorities despite a clear description of what the POVO brand stands for.

The concept we used for the range of T-shirts and the marketing material used was to drive interest and to get Zimbabweans to be proud to be identified with symbols which represent Zimbabwe. The bronze mural extensively featured on our marketing collateral, shows the story of liberation of Zimbabwe from its colonial masters. The Zimbabwe bird, rainbow flag colours, a graphic composed of the first line of the national anthem and values which I believe symbolize Zimbabweans in the last 10 years. A resilient, brilliant persevering people who exhibited tolerance and confidence in the face of great adversity. Because we deeply understand, our people’s fears and perceptions, we will continue to push the Zimbabwe brand to the best of our abilities to instil a sense of pride in our identity as Zimbabweans and the symbols that represent our country.