Meet Bwalya Nkumbula: Anakazi Women of the Year in digital media

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Bwalya Nkumbula is a young woman making waves in the digital world.

At 20-years-old she has already made a web series and created a website called Zed Arts that helps underground Zambian artists get their music to the world. And now she has won the Anakazi Women of the Year Award for Digital Media.

Nkumbula’s interest in exploring digital media was brought on by her love for music and the arts produced by Zambian people.

“The world is constantly changing; people don’t watch television like they used to before. They are on their phones or computers most of the time. I wanted to explore the medium of digital media and see how I could use it to help artists get their music heard,” he explained.

While she is a force to reckoned with in the Zambian digital media space, Nkumbula did not start out with an interest in exploring digital media.

“I have always wanted to be in the entertainment industry since I was a child, I wanted to be on television, I wanted to make music and spread our music to the world.”

However, the realisation that the world was evolving and that she needed to explore different avenues to carve out a place for herself and artists in the entertainment industry led to her interest in digital media.

Nkumbula comes from a family where entrepreneurship is part of their day-to-day lives: her father is an entrepreneur, and she decided to follow in his footsteps by turning her ambitions into business ventures.

In 2017 she launched the Zed Arts website, which focuses on unrecognised and growing Zambian art, creativity and fashion, covering music, fashion, photography and books. She also launched a web series called Vintu that focuses on the latest trends, news and celebrity gossip.

Although she has made significant achievements, Ms Nkumbula still faces several challenges in her quest to help gain exposure for Zambian arts.

“I do face challenges. I find that people do not respect me because of my age and my gender. The digital space is male-dominated, so they think I’m not acknowledgeable just because I’m a woman. I also face financial challenges; finding sponsors to partner with to promote the arts is quite hard.”

Despite the pitfalls, Nkumbula has big dreams for Zed Arts, and she hopes to take Zambian music to the world.

“My dream is to be able to distribute Zambian music internationally. I believe we have so many talented artists here who can make an impact internationally, but unfortunately they do not have the exposure. I want to see Zambian artists winning BET’s and Grammy’s. That would be amazing.”

Nkumbula’s work stretches past creating platforms for Zambian arts. She is also a host and brand influencer.
One of Ms Nkumbula’s proudest moments was winning the Stanbic Anakazi Women of the Year Award in digital media recently.

“It was one of my proudest moments. To be recognised along with so many great women gave me validation that I am good enough and the work I’m doing is making an impact,” she said.

In March Stanbic Bank’s Anakazi initiative hosted the Women of the Year Awards at Lusaka’s Intercontinental Hotel, celebrating exceptional and hard-working women in Zambia.

Nkumbula has no plans of slowing down, in her quest to take Zambian music to the world she plans to launch a Zed Arts App and continue to create awareness for Zed Arts to get more people to hear about it and get one step closer to getting Zambian artists to the BET’s and Grammy’s.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31