Lobola, the Zimbabwean feature film produced in 2010, has sold a staggering 70 000 DVDs locally in just under two months, selling an average of thousand copies a day.
Of this figure, sales from the main distributors amounts to over $US 43 000. Direct, international and online sales accounts for the rest.
An Ivory Pictures film, Lobola had its theatrical release on 25 November last year and ran for two months at the local Rainbow cinemas where, according to producer Rufaro Kaseke, it became the highest ever grossing local production.
The DVD was released on 11 February in Harare followed by Mutare and Bulawayo within the same month. Its entry price was $3 and the primary distribution chain was the Spar chain, Rainbow cinemas, RTP Records, Mr Also of Chitungwiza, and about 48 other retail outlets around the country. The DVD is now selling at $1.
“Our biggest (and most unconventional) distribution method were the vendors that we engaged to take the film to the people. They sold the DVD at robots and street corners all across the country,’ states Kaseke.
A countrywide sales tour also involved a branded tour bus (probably the first in the country) to bump up sales.
Solid distribution relationships have been established with the national retailers such as Zimpost, the second largest network in the country.
Lobola is riding on the crest of actor and Big Brother Africa finalist Munyaradzi Chidzonga, and its success contrasts a local daily newspaper’s dismissal of the feature film as a technical “flop’. (Report by Martin Chemhere)