He stands exactly 1.98 metres of impressive African breed, two . . . only two centimetres shy of two full metres; very tall indeed, distinctive, almost intimidating tall, defined body and sculpted physique. He walks tall around, proudly carrying totally unaffected subtle sophistication; he has youthful poise and quiet dignity. That is HighTower for you.
Recently I had the honour and privilege of hosting him on Radio-Know Them Better:
Welcome to Know Them Better, Mr Mclaudy Munjanja. Sit back relax. . . let us have fun and enjoy this talk. It is not Hard Talk . . . I am Morris Mtisi, not Stephen Sucker. This is not BBC . . . This is of course your own and only radio station-Diamond FM! Welcome to my space!
Mclaudy:(chuckling) I am very comfortable Mr Mtisi.
MM: Mclaudy, you are not a radio presenter on Diamond . . . ?
Mclaudy: I am not.
MM: We will soon come to that. Unlike on BBC Hard-Talk, we play music here Mr HighTower as I hereby do for you welcoming you with a song by Jimi Hendrix. It’s called All Along The Watchtower. (Music plays and ends) There we are! We do that as a tradition on this programme. You obviously have relaxed. Now let’s begin with your boyhood days. But before that who is Mclaudy Munjanja?
Mclaudy: Mclaudy is a young man in his late 20s. I grew up in Harare and went to Mufakose High 2. Then I went to St Erics High School in Norton. That is where I completed my ‘O’ levels. Then joined Harare Poly studying Electronic Communication Engineering!
MM: Now explain that ‘nonsense’? What is Electronic Communication Engineering?
Mclaudy: This study involves the proper use of modern electronic broadcasting machines and equipment to ensure perfect transmission of voices from the radio studio to the receiver at home.
MM: Ko tumisikanzwa twehudiki? You remember some of the boyhood mischief and silliness?
Mclaudy: Ndakakura ndisina misikanzwa vaMtisi. I was…
MM: What else would you say Mclaudy?
Mclaudy: True as I am sitting here. I was very simple and quiet as a little boy. Saka misikanzwa tingati . . .
MM: . . .Tingati yaive mishoma?
Mclaudy: (Laughs heartily) True. We cannot completely say zero mischief, but generally I was as quiet and reserved as I am today.
MM: More of that journey please . . . from St Erics-Norton . . . where to?
Mclaudy: Yes, 2006 I completed my ‘O’ level studies and applied for apprenticeship training in Electronic Communication Engineering. By some stroke of luck I got the chance. In 2008 I joined (ZBC) — Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation — Mbare Studios, as an apprentice enrolled with Harare Poly. 2012, I completed National Diploma though I had been ‘working’ already before qualification.
MM: Your story speaks of somebody whose mind, soul, and heart are deep in electronics. What inspired you to take this path?
Mclaudy: I was inspired by 21st century Information Communication Technologies. Life in this era is driven by ICT. This is what inspired me.
MM: We speak so passionately and positively about the glory of ICT Mclaudy. There are two sides to this technology and miracle of connectivity; may be three sides . . . the good, the bad and the ugly. This world is acutely suffering the threat or danger of exploding under the abuse of technologies today, is it not? Lest we forget!
Mclaudy: Of course MM. Technology is used to kill people today. Modern wars thrive on modern technology. So yes, technology can be dangerous in the wrong hands. You may also want to know that I was at Star FM before I came to Diamond FM.
MM: Oh really? But from there why did you not move anywhere up there . . . into other established radio stations? Why not at BBC even?
Mclaudy: After my apprenticeship there was no hiring of personnel, owing to, I’m sure, the economic hardships prevailing in the country. So for some time I was actually a volunteer worker wherever my services were needed. Then friends connected me to Diamond FM . . . and here I am. This was God’s plan I can confidently say.
MM: Oh, I am pleasantly surprised to hear you mention God here, instead of thinking you were clever or wise to find your way here . . . or anywhere for that matter. I am impressed I must say. God positions all of us where He wishes for His purpose. We easily forget this and soon chase our own dreams and purposes.
Mclaudy: Thank you MM for those remarks . . . wise and inspiring.
MM: Almost all the time you are quietly seated in the control room . . . I see you there, pensive and calculative, listening and listening undisrupted. What do you do in that quiet room HighTower?
Mclaudy: We are monitoring everything that goes on in the studio whenever you and everybody else are presenting MM. Your voice now as we speak goes to the control room first. I am the first listener to what happens on radio before it reaches radios out there. If I pick anything wrong, I attend to it immediately so that the voice from the studio is transmitted perfectly home to our listeners.
MM: In short without you and your office there is no radio . . . there is no broadcasting? Your control room or workshop is the centre of monitoring the pulse or heartbeat of broadcasting??
MM: I don’t like the word ‘mushamarari’ Mclaudy . . . some people used to call me that. Of course you know I am a man of words and meanings Mclaudy. ‘Kushamarara’ suggests shouting, doesn’t it? With these clever machines as you describe them, is it really necessary to shout on radio, sometimes almost hysterically?
Mclaudy: Good question. It is not necessary MM. We are speaking now calmly and gently but the machines . . . these clever machines, carry our voice through the mixer and broadcasts it . . . sends it to listeners at home via the satellite signal picker . . . ours is at the top of the kopje at Christmas Pass. From there the controlled voice travels in the air as intended to its receiver which is the radio at home. There is absolutely no need to shout. Ichi chinongove chijairira chebasa chete.
MM: That is understood . . . loud and clear. The machines pick up our voices, amplifies them and do the broadcasting . . . not our high pitched voices. Interesting, isn’t it? And of course we are learning. Now Listen to this HighTower! I am almost through with these fascinating interviews of Diamond FM presenters or celebrities. With the permission of our station manager, Captain Lee Kay, I will begin interviewing Star FM radio celebrities. Do I have to drive to Harare every day I want to do a show with these presenters . . . another series of Know Them Better at Star FM? Or with your clever machines you can do a miracle for me here to hook up Star FM presenters from Diamond FM?
Mclaudy: You don’t have to travel to Harare to engage Star FM celebrities. As I have been saying throughout this interview, these modern machines are very clever. You will do your Star FM Know Them Better interviews in the comfort of Diamond FM Radio. It’s perfectly possible with these machines.
MM: Oh My God! Great! That will save a lot of fuel and related travel costs . . . my shoes too!
MM: Mclaudy, I will call you again to some more talk and learning… Part 2 with the High Tower! For now go back to your quiet control room and make sure business continues smoothly on this our own and only radio station. With your permission, please allow me to record this interview in The Manica Post for those who might have missed the scintillating discussion. This is Part 1. I will do Part 2. We have omitted a lot of important detail.
Mclaudy: It will be done.
Why not? Thank you MM. It has been a pleasure talking to you on this programme which many of our listeners find exhilarating.
MM: Thank you the High Tower.