Fresh on the scene: Ron CZ, new kid in video production

As Malawi’s music industry keeps rising, with new artists born every day, the country still lags behind in video production, looking at the quality of music videos on local TVs and the market.

With few known, if not one good video producer, Chipie Khonje, famed for his ‘high quality’ music videos Malawi has exported to international TV channels, Channel O and MTV Base, the nation surely needs fresh blood to take the industry to another level.

Ronald Zeleza, better known by his showbiz name Ron CZ, is one such promising youngster who is giving his all to change the face of video production in the country, more especially the music industry.

He might not be known to many, but the work of his hands has proven that he is another talented videographer and producer Malawian musicians can lean on if they want their videos to catch that international recognition.

Ron CZ with Nigeria_s superstar Ice Prince

Having started his career four years ago, Ron CZ has worked with renowned R&B singer Theo Thomson in the production of the first Malawian Cypher, which features hip-hop artists BarryOne, Rina, Yesaya, Genii Blakk, Renegade and N.I.C, among others.

He is also the producer of the only Malawian music videos that made it on Channel O this year, Boy Magic’s ‘Go Dumb’ and Theo’s ‘That’s My Song’, apart from producing a video to Diktator’s popular song ‘Yanga Ija’.

As he recalls his journey, Ron CZ explains that it has not been easy to get where he is now as he discloses that his very first video was shot using a webcam on a laptop.

“I fell in love with the video so I wanted to learn more. In 2009 I met a good friend of mine Erick Mighty Mataka who introduced me to video editing software. He made me his camera guy after seeing my potential in handling the camera and he in taught me quite a lot,” recalls the 22-year-old.

“My first proper project was Revolver’s video which featured Piksy of the Atumwi fame that time. We started making more videos and my breakthrough to the industry was when I shot Diktator’s popular song ‘Yanga Ija’.”

A close friend to up and coming rapper Revolver, best known for his song ‘Sindidanda’, Ron CZ says he has practiced most of my editing skills on his childhood partner’s songs.

“I would shoot any song I like in his album jus to keep learning but all the videos I was doing for him would go into charts on MBC TV’s Touching Base programme and scoop position one and the love that I got from people, voting for the videos gave me the strength to forge ahead,” he says.

Having had the privilege to shoot Nigeria’s hip-hop star Ice Prince Concert in Malawi and former Big Brother Africa celebrity rappers Lomwe and Zeus’ Double Wowza concert in the country, Ron CZ is also credited for producing Fredokiss’ ‘Kunditcha Fredo’ music video.

Recently, he also had an opportunity to produce his first international video for a South African artist called Scotty Cirus, shot in South Africa.

As he sees progress ahead of him, the young video producer, however, observes that lack of equipment still remains the biggest challenge the industry in Malawi is facing, adding that people are not willing to spend more on video production.

“People don’t wanna pay for the good quality of work you have done for them, so it becomes hard for us to progress and get new equipment. We use is expensive stuff and for most Malawian artists, they don’t sell their music so they find it worthless shooting a good video,” says the Malawi College of Accountancy student.

As he sees a great future for the industry, since a lot of people are coming up with new ideas every day, he suggests that there is need for producers to put in much effort and join hands with artists to help Malawi shine like other countries such as Nigeria and South Africa who are currently dominating the African music.

“My vision is to see this happen. I want to see Malawi getting awards at international events and this and can happen soon if we put in more effort,” says Ron CZ, who reveals that his ultimate dream is to become one of the best video producers in Africa.

He picks ‘This may be love’ by award-winning rapper Tay Grin and Theo Thomson’s video produced by Chipie Khonje as the best video to ever be produced in Malawi by Malawians. The video also has a cameo by Zimbabwean dancehall superstar Buffalo Souljah.

On the international scene, Ron CZ’s best video at the moment is ‘John’ by Lil Wayne featuring Rick Ross, produced by who he describes as the best video producer of the moment Colin Tilley.

A preview of Fredokiss_ song _Kunditcha Fredo_ shot by Ron CZ

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