Ryan Koriya : Dispelling African Stereotypes (2)

October 13, 2021 CULTURELLE Episode 24
Ryan Koriya : Dispelling African Stereotypes (2)
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ryan Koriya is an artist who wears many many hats. He is a musician and composer born in Harare and now based in Ibiza, Spain where he is developing various music projects under his own record label Runway Vertical Records. He is also business marketing and branding consultant, who helps creatives and entrepreneurs around the world succeed in today's fast-paced digital world.

As well as founder of ZimXcite, a Zimbabwean culture fashion brand, that promotes a fun spirit of inclusion and global diversity, inspired by all things Zimbabwe. Also in development is African Astronauts, a multi-media project to help empower and unite Africans the world over by providing a platform for Africans to tell their own stories. 


Instagram: https://instagram.com/ryankoriya

Instagram: https://instagram.com/zimxcite

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zimxcite

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/RyanKoriya

Resources mentioned: 

Zimbabwean Artists Playlist: 


CD Baby Free Artist Resources


Ari Herstand's Take Music Industry Blog


Damien Keyes Music Industry Education


Burstimo Free Music Industry Advice



The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson* 
Amazon* : https://amzn.to/3KJOSSR

Everything Is F*cked : A Book About Hope by Mark Manson*
Amazon* : https://amzn.to/3q1Wbgx

The following is an affiliate link. If you decide to make a purchase using it, I may

If you’re interested in how learning how I launched ZimExcellence then you’re in luck. Sign up for my podcast workshop and learn how it’s easier and more affordable than ever to start a podcast. Also, get a copy of my podcast resource guide which covers industry terminology, and suggested tech setup in addition to countless online resources to support your podcast journey. Just head to vongai.com/podcastcreation

Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched! 
Start for FREE

Support the show

>> Sign up for Vongai's podcast workshop<<

>> Buy ZimExcellence Merch <<

Vongai: Yes, multigenerational. Let's let's break some generational traumas. And start some new generational habits that hopefully will lead us to generational wealth. So two things, but the first thing is so with African astronauts, your project. When can we expect that? And is there anything specific that you want the listeners to know about that?

Ryan: Yeah, so African astronauts, it's kind of like a three way project. I've started three reasons. One we've talked about, it's about trying to get everybody on the same page and uniting us as an as a nation and as an African continent. And as an identity. The other thing is to help educate the world about who we are, because that's Yeah, it's like, why do we keep getting told what Africa is by people who've never been to Africa? This is a bit weird.

Vongai: Oh, my gosh, Ryan, you're making me think about all the people writing stories in Hollywood about Africa. And they're like, maybe like one or two African writers in the room. And it's infuriating, because then I'm like, reading an audition  with someone and I'm just like, Oh, cool. This is this is based on this figure from South Africa. Awesome. And I'm reading it in like, I guess, a Southern African accent. And I'm like, this doesn't flow with our accent this, this. This is not how we speak, right? We don't say these things. And I'm like, Mom, am I am I buggin? And I'm, like, showing the script to my mom. And she's like, not, this is not how we talk.

Ryan: There you go. Right. Great example. And so there's that reason. And then the third reason is to give people like you said, at the beginning, a platform to tell those stories, but also to raise the self-esteem of Africa. Because it's like, we're kind of talking about the same thing. It's like, so African astronauts, that's what it's all about, at the moment. What it is, I've got, like a couple of intro videos that just kind of says, Hey, Africa, just facts continent with this many countries, and this many languages and Zimbabwe, and all that kind of stuff. So and then I've got a few people saying, Hey, I'm African, and my name is so and so. Now, what can be kind of controversial is that when you watch this video, the people I've got on there who are saying, Hi, I'm African, and my name is George or My name is Simba or My name is whatever. They are, from all sorts of ethnic backgrounds. So I've already had pushback. I remember this American guy met on the island. He was like, bro, he paused the videos like bro, bro, pause the video, Bro. Bro, bro. That white person ain’t African bro. And I was like, that white person is six generations African. So where are they from? Like, where they're from. So my message is like, Africa should not just be one, as I said, you know, monotone idea. So there's that video, it's up there. What I would recommend for now, because I'm moving the website, the website is Africanastronauts.com. If you see it, depending on when this goes live. It may be live by then. But if it isn't, the Instagram account is there. So you can follow that in the meantime, and there's the intro video I'm talking about, it's on there. And I would absolutely invite you to follow that because we're going to be inviting all sorts of cool stories. And we just want to vibe and actually in September, we're going to start recording our podcast, talking to people and talking to them about how it was growing up in Zimbabwe. Because again, I think that's in itself is an interesting story. Like taking someone and their pocket of whatever years they grew up in Zimbabwe and what was it like and just getting to paint a story through people's own personal story. So Well, for me growing up in Zimbabwe, as I said, I grew up in the 80s and 90s. But even my brother or my my my my classmates would tell you different stories about that same time.

Vongai: Yeah. Oh, that's really cool. So is it just telling stories about growing up in Zimbabwe? Or is it like growing up in like, wherever people are from in Africa?

Ryan: So the podcast that I'm going to start next month? I'm gonna start with Zimbabwe. Okay, cool, right. So the brand is African astronauts. And I've done that specifically because I don't want it to be about Zimbabwe only, but I can tell stories from my perspective, but it's going to grow into a continental brand. So again, talking about you know, your, your, I guess your minimum viable product, right, your MVP, like where do you start, like Facebook started at Harvard or whatever. And now it's a global entity. So it's kind of going, I'm starting from Zimbabwe, because that's where I'm at. What I know and then it's going to grow into going, Oh my gosh, someone from Rwanda is already in it that I've already, you know, filmed. So we've got a few people from different places. And that's going to be the first sort of thing next week, next month that I'm gonna start filming. So that's going to be basically what African Astronauts would be about. And also on the side of that is my personal story, which is going to be its own sort of documentary series called The African Alchemist. And I think it's very important to tell my story, because I'm like, hey, let's tell the story about this, you know, colored boy from Harare, who was born into an interesting family at an interesting time, and went to school and an interesting point of his, you know, country's progression and had to struggle with things like identity crisis, and, you know, racial confusion. And, you know, things like relationship psychology, and like, how I was terrible when it came to women and romance and, and how I managed to deal with that and figure out what it was about, and just watching my own brother go through the exact same thing. He's, he just turned 27. And it's fascinating. It's such a fascinating thing to see, wow, it's not just me, it's the way we grew up and these hang ups we have. And so I think it's really powerful to just tell my story and say, This is who I am. And because the reason why I'm saying this is because like we've seen with a lot of the, you know, people who are successful, people often say, Oh, it was easy for them. And then you go, Well, actually, look, look at their story. So I want to be able to say that the Ryan Koriya that people see, which I know, because they tell me that they don't believe me when they're like, Dude, what do you mean, you have confidence issues? That's cray cray, dude, like, when you’re on stage? You are like on fire? Yeah, you are just like, wow, you're You're something else. And like, you're so confident and like, when you talk to people, and you bring people together, and you're always surrounded by women at shows, what do you mean, you have issues where you're just like two years celibate, like a monk because you're just struggling with that topic? And I'm like, Yeah, they don't believe it, because they don't see it. So I want to be able to say no, listen, you may have an idea. Same thing as like meeting Zimbabwean Ryan. It happened just yesterday, I played a show and this German man was like, your name is Ryan? It’s not very Zimbabwean, like he was confused. And I'm like, Dude, come on, make even you as your name being German, like it’s not very German. So I want to just be able to say, hey, everyone's individual and like, how about meeting the person in front of you? And, and and taking out the misconceptions, which happened very naturally. I mean, that's how people work. That's the psychology. So yeah, I think that African astronauts project is going to be a beast in terms of the breadth and the work to be done. And also, last thing to mention about that is I already have a series of interviews I've done for Women's Day with over 30 women in my life. So I asked the same questions about how it is being a woman in in modern day, you know, life. And what I love about that project, it started with my mom, then with my sister, then I went to my aunties, then it went to cousins and went to friends. And people who I've met, who are Chinese, Russian, South American. So all these women are answering the same questions. And it's fascinating to see just how the themes kind of come shine through because I wanted to help highlight to say, Listen, this is a thing y'all. Because a lot of men maybe like “What thing? What are you talking about?” Like, No, dude, the world is designed for you and your benefit. So let's hear what the ladies said. If they’re all saying the same thing. Surely there's something there. It must be a smoking gun.

Vongai: Thank you, Ryan, I'm giving you claps. I mean, I don't need to give you claps but like Thank you Ryan. Thank you. I’m all about feminism and women's empowerment. That's my jam.

Ryan: Yeah, so that's African Astronauts. It's a huge mall of excitement and activities. But it's all based around areas that I am passionate about, which is all to do with mental health, gender equality, racial equality, and all of this cultural misappropriation as well.

Vongai: That's absolutely amazing. It sounds revolutionary. And like, it's so interesting that you talk about a pushback, but it's like these conversations that we need to have, where race and identity is just so so complex. So we're saying that, you know, people who are Black and Russian, yes, they're Russian, but we're saying that people who are white and African aren't African. And, you know, I get a lot of pushback from Zimbabweans and also black Americans, because it was like, well colonizers and  this. And it's just, you know, it's just so layered and complicated. And all of this, there was a video I saw on Instagram, I can't remember which account it was, but it was like a dancing video. And then people, you know, said all this stuff about the girl who presents as white. Oh, well, she is white. Let's say she's white. In the video, and they're like, Oh, she's appropriating our West African dances. She's this, this, this, this. And then like, even I for a split second. I was like, Who is this white girl? And then I went down the rabbit hole of like, I found the tag clicked her name, and she's Algerian. She's African. And she literally has this like a whole page of her dances with like her boyfriend who's from another African country and people like in her messages and every single time, she has to defend herself to say, Yo, I'm also African, like my country's been influenced by Arabic culture and West African culture and this culture and, and she’s like I'm African. And it's like, yo, we literally, we always forget like Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, like that area, Northern Africa is Africa, we always forget this. But I also blame the media for this. Because then you have like, platforms like CNN, when they talk about the weather, and they say, Middle East, Egypt comes up, but it's like, Egypt's in Africa. So it's like, of course, people get confused. And then keep forgetting that North Africa is also Africa. These are conversations we need to have, and thank you for, for wanting to have them and not being afraid for all the pushback that you're going to get. 

Ryan: Absolutely. And guess what, my life is pushed back, you know, grade one, I had to Yeah, at at, you know, at six years old, and put my hand up because they were saying, put your hand up if you're, you know, African or Caucasian and all that stuff. And I had put my hand up to say I'm Asian because I was confused. And I asked my mom, I said, Mom, what, what are we. She said we’re coloured. And I was like, that wasn't an option on the form. And then she was like, oh, what are the options? And she said, Oh, click Asian. And I was like, What? I didn't know. I don't look like the Pakistani guys or the Indian guys. Right? So I already had that identity crisis. Where to go? No, guys, I am mixed. But because of the way you're asking your system, I fit in the Asian box. Yes, I fit in the African box as well. But that would be not covering the Asian box. So I should put two boxes there. You know what I mean? So for me, because my existence has always been like, you're not Zimbabwean. You're not colored. You're not this. You're not that. Why are you playing classical music while you're playing white music because you're playing rock music. It's constantly happening. So this is space I live in, which obviously means there are millions of people out there who live in that space with me. So of course, we've got to just be again, like I said, Be yourself. Go out and just be who you are. Because what I could have done is gone. And a lot of people do I've got a friend Stuart Gutsi, awesome musician, he’s in Vietnam, also a Zimbabwean. And I remember when we were young, maybe early 20s. And he was also a rocker. He loves rock music. He's got an album that is released recently. It's you know, really good stuff. He's written a book. And he came to me back then he was like, Bro, I just want to tell you, I appreciate how you're just so confidently doing the music you love and being a rock musician, because it gives me confidence to also rock myself because that's where that's who I am. Whereas a lot of people, they don't want to be ousted. So they'll say, Yeah, I love hip hop, too. Yeah, yeah, sure, and fit into the crowd, right when they're secretly listening to Enya at home. So I'm like, do you because the world we live in right now. Even as, as a consultant with all the work I do with artists and creatives in the marketing and branding world, it's so exciting because the main message I'm teaching all my clients is figure out who you are, like really like what is your personal brand, like if you're into this and you're into that or you're, you're you're you're straight or you're not straight or you're whatever, embrace that and be who you are because you will find your tribe, your vibe, creates your tribe, and be around the people who understand you and stop trying to please everybody because it's not gonna work. Like a lot of artists do this. They're like, I'd be like, so who are your people? What are you into music wise? Everything everybody likes us? And like nope, you're you're very lost because what needs to happen is easy to figure out what are you. Are you soul? Are you r&b? Because if your soul and r&b, then a death metal fans probably not going to be into you. And that's okay, be you and just build your little following, which could potentially grow into a worldwide following true. But there are people in the world right now who don't know who Coldplay is and don't care.

Vongai: Oh my gosh, they're my favorite band. 

Ryan: They’re my favourite band too.

Vongai: Awesome. Yes.

Ryan: Right. And that's why I referenced them because they're such in Chris Martin's also very, you know, with his Zimbabwean connection as well.

Vongai: Yes his mom is Zimbabwean.

Ryan: Right, so he's got that same thing. You watch him and it's got that humility, and it's like, yeah, we try our best we just having fun. And, you know, we tried to please everybody, and I've just had to learn through therapy that, you know, we've got to focus on our fans and not worry about the people outside of that and that we're trying to bring light into the world. And I'm like, yeah, that's my vibe, too. So it doesn't matter how big you you get, you're still gonna get people who just go not into that and that's okay. Do you.

Vongai: Amazing. I have two questions before our lightning round. First one, what is your biggest hope for the African and Zimbabwean arts industry?

Ryan: that would tie into a similar thing of that just cohesion, like it would be amazing to to build some kind of resilient community and system where someone can be in high school and be like, Oh my gosh, I want to be a scriptwriter or I want to be an actor and they've got a system they can totally go and walk into and go Okay, I know what to do about it. I’ve got mentorship and others funding and I know how to get to the end goal and I've got a scholarship, I can apply for to go to Hollywood, whatever it may be, I would love to see that. And then also, I think that it would help us a lot, to-. And I think it's already happening. But to be able to just change the narrative, like you were saying, to kind of go, you know what, in order to become successful, and to get to where you want to get to the ways that we think are outdated, this is not how it works anymore. It's a very different formula that you've got to, you know, basically employ. So I would love to have the African approach and the knowledge on the streets be updated. And that's really important, because I'm in Europe, and my clients are all over the world. And even my European and Western clients are also clueless, they don't know, the entertainment and art industry has changed. So I will, right now, drop some knowledge on that. And like, hopefully, it'll help anyone who's listening to say, I'm giving you that I'm saving you years right now in the next few sentences. And that is the way the world works right now, whether you want to be a Jay Z, whether you want to be an actress or actor, whatever it may be, what should be happening is you should, which you've kind of picked up on if you've been listening. You should do it, be who you are, get good at what you want to get good at, and learn how to get there. So the sentence I'm going to give you is this “Phone, the destination and ask for directions.” Because the map is really outdated, and everyone's running around in circles getting nowhere most of the time. So the way that map looks is do you honing your craft and start building a following or start building a community and we've got, we've seen it like, you've talked about the Algerian girl, she's online, she's probably doing very well. And he's got a lot of followers because she's doing her. And that's how she's gonna end up dancing in a Justin Timberlake video, because she's out there, she's not trying to get a manager and move or do the old school thing of like, I've got to dance for 10 years. And then maybe I'll be good enough or I’ll make the connections all get spotted. Like, no, be strategic. Be the CEO of your business and learn the business side, which is basically what I teach my clients. So it's like, learn how to present yourself in the best way possible that anyone who doesn't know who you are within a few clicks, will get your vibe and go like, Oh my gosh, I love this person. And I want to get to know them. And in fact, I'm going to reshare you know, look at them like Viola Davis a good example, if you just hit the right thing at the right time. She's gonna she's gonna reshare your stuff. She'll be like this is dope. Yes, yes. Yes. And then next thing you in front of her followers. That's the world we live in?

Vongai: Yeah. Part Two, are there any resources, whether they're books, podcasts, websites, classes, whatever that you would recommend people should check out? Keep them inspired, or keep them going?

Ryan: Absolutely. So that's a really good question. There are a few depending again, on on who you are and what you're doing. So coming from the musician's background, what I would recommend is, as a musician, if you're not doing it already, go and follow CD Baby. Most musicians know who they are, because they are a distributor and they get your music onto Spotify, but CD Baby are an independent company that really thrive on empowering the independent artists. So they've got a plethora of amazing information that you can learn all the stuff I'm talking about, they'll be like, Hey, this is how you can get onto Spotify playlists, hey, this is how you can do this. Hey, and it's not a guess guess. It's like, dude, do this. If you're not doing this, then you're not serious, right? So check out CD Baby. Another one is Ari Herstand and who is in the US as well. And he's a musician too, but he's got a huge In fact, I think he is the leading author in terms of music business success right now. So get his books. So check him out as well. So from a music perspective, I think those are two very important channels. There's quite a few. And I mean, if you want I can actually send you a list and we can literally have a resource page of people who can just going to dive into stuff, because there's a lot of good stuff out there.

Vongai: I mean, if you have the time, that would be awesome. And then I just put the resource page link on the show notes. Okay, lightning round. First question. What's your zodiac? 

Ryan: I am Aquarius.  There we go.

Vongai:  Mister forward thinker, early bird or night owl?

Ryan: Oh, definitely not. Oh, I see the early birds because I'm going to bed when they're waking up.

Vongai: I'm like, I don't even know what that is anymore. Because time zones, I'm just catching whatever time zone I need to catch that day or like within that hour. What is the last song you listen to?

Ryan: I'm going to say it was an album actually. And it's from one of my favorite singer songwriters. His name is Andrew Belle. He's incredible. He's like, if you like Coldplay, this is your guy because he's basically like a singer songwriter, Coldplay, and he's a beautiful songwriter and his voice and I love his stuff like his last two albums were my most listened to albums each year they came out. So that's why I've been spinning because he dropped his album last year on Friday brand new album just came out.

Vongai: Last book you read right now I am. It's a double whammy. Actually. It's a two and one. So Mark Manson. Of course, people know who he is. A lot of people know his writing is very unique, unfiltered writing. And the first book is called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F.

Vongai: Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Yes. That book has been on like the top charts of Amazon, New York Times for like a good couple of years now. Maybe 5. Yeah.

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. So because he used to have maybe he still does, I guess he still does, he used to have a blog I used to really enjoy because I used to read at that point. That's what he was the title, the subtle art of not giving an F was a blog post on his website. And so that went on for a long time. And I loved his writing in other ways. So I just for some reason, recently, when you know, I'm gonna go and get the book because I was written an entire book, but then I tacked another book on top of it, which is a book is written called. I think the title is, Everything is F-ed.

Vongai:Yes, yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Ryan: Or everything in the world is F-ed. Again, coming from it's all self development, but he's just really good at being able to say, hey, again, the same thing like choose your battle, like you're alive, and be passionate about something. That's the whole point in this whole reason. It's like, don't be you know, whimsical about everything. Like choose what you stand for and fight for that is basically what he's message is. So yeah, I think is dope.

Vongai: Amazing. Last TV show you binged on a streamer.

Ryan: Oh, so like the last one. So my girlfriend and I were going through something that's really old school. It's like, from like, 2010. But I love it. And so I'm kind of taking her through it now. And that is Leverage. Do you remember it?

Vongai: Oh, yeah. I don't think I've ever watched it. I've heard of it. And I remember when it was on TV early 2000s. But I don't think I ever sat down and watched a whole TV show. I was a CSI girl back then.

Ryan: Right? Yeah.So why like Leverage is because it's got this light, comedic sort of value to it. The they're all these ex cons and stuff. But they've turned good guys, because they help people who are being bullied by all the big corporations, right? And then they go and they basically say, provide leverage and steal things back.

Vongai:  Oh that makes me think of hustle.

Ryan: Right? Yeah, and so and a bit of a you know, almost like A team kind of vibe, but just without. Actually there are some scenes where they go and literally steal a country because the bad guy has gone and extradited himself to a country and so they go and literally rigged the election so that the bad guy loses his power over the election. It's really cool. I love it. It's light hearted. And it's my love for me for relaxation, I want something that's not going to be heavy hitting and too violent. So and the hitter, or the the body guide, or the muscle in this TV show hates guns. So that's kind of give you an idea, right? He's like, he's badass. who just disarms everybody. And like, you know, just stop shooting guns. 

Vongai:That's super fun. If you could have any superpower, what would it be.

Ryan: Superpower would be…

Vongai: And you did the Yoda voice just now.

Ryan: I'm just gonna have to say yes. [Yoda voice] Power, super, hmm possible. So I would say flying because that's from I was young. I mean, it's weird, because ever since I was able to speak and think and whatever tool I left school, I was going to be a pilot. I love flying. So that's this weird thing of if I was superhero, I guess that's definitely the thing. I'm like, man, I do it all the time. Now. I'm like, man, I could just leave the ground right now. Just literally whizz across the island to the north and just fly there. I'd be there in like three minutes. That'd be amazing.

Vongai: Do you have a favorite country that you've played a gig in? Is it the one you’re living in?

Ryan: I've got favourite countries. Nah Spain wouldn't be it unfortunately, because I live on an island in Ibiza and I moved here not because of the gigging I have because of the lifestyle I basically live in Inyanga. That's where it's the vibe. I mean, I'm in the countryside in the hills. It's like Eastern Highlands, Zimbabwe, where I live right now. So in terms of gigging there wasn't really a gigging scene as much here. But yeah, I've loved playing as I said, America, absolutely love America. I've really enjoyed Scandinavia, I've played there a lot. And I know that - Australia I love Australia loves live music, like they're really into their vibes. So I've enjoyed that. So I'm one of those guys. I'm kind of like, there's a whole bunch of like. It's not like a winning formula. It's like there's a few countries that just have vibe. But Americas is very, you know, when you get that thing where a lot of people say Beyonce said that, Rihanna said that. So like, you're in London, at Wembley or whatever. And you're like, come on London! Give me some vibe. It's like, they don't live up there. But in America, they're like YEAAAH c’mon! Vongai: Jason Mraz, he's one of my favorites. He loves San Diego. He's like, that's my favorite place to before. Favorite Zimbabwean musician?

Ryan: Oh, that's gonna be okay. So I want to I want to think about this because you know, because you also start to spend errors and go like okay, Is it someone from like before? Or is it someone now that I know that you know, the people should really be into.

Vongai: It's okay, we can find pass.

Ryan: I'm finding it really hard to kind of come on to one person, if anything. Again, I'm quite happy to do that I'd love to write a list of Zimbabwe musicians that people should totally check out. And in fact, in fact, let's do that. I have already got a Spotify playlist of Zimbabwean musicians, like people should check out like Shingai like a few other people. You know 

Vongai: Tell me Shungudzo is on the list, please?

Ryan: She's amazing. I am in fact. Okay, if she's listening, she's totally like, in my DMs in terms of Spotify. Spotify release radar every week. She's in there, because obviously, but she's releasing stuff that's so culturally appropriate and epic in the sense of the breath. I love what she's doing. And actually, you know, that came up just now  as a possibility of the people I could have said. But like, I'd rather Yeah, I'd love to put like a playlist and say check out these people because there's this great stuff going on out there that Zimbabweans should be listening to or anyone to be honest.

Vongai: Yeah, favorites, Zimbabwean childhood snack. We all have at breaktime when you went to tuck shop.

Ryan: do you know, I'm gonna have to say for now Chicken Flings, this is another whole list. But that would be the big one. If I was gonna go back now and say what do I want?
Vongai: Okay, time for a controversial question. Mazoe orange versus Mazoe green.

Ryan:  I know, a lot of people like eiiish what? But for me 100% I'm cream soda all the way, green. For me, it's easy. Oranges are just not my thing, which I will add to that very quickly. I recently did a blood type, blood type diet. And fascinating. You basically put your blood type diet into this app and it tells you which foods are basically Good for you, aka medicine and foods that are kind of poison in your body or not helping and oranges are on my red list. Which, which totally makes sense. I've never been into it. It was so interesting. So many foods that I love were on my green list of like, Oh gee, my body knows what it wants and then the things that I'm not feeling that it was like yeah, that's not good for you.

Vongai: It's probably less inflammatory for your body.

Ryan:  Yeah, yeah, stuff like that. Yeah, totally. So funny enough, the orange was never gonna win even if I wanted to.

Vongai: Okay, the next one is a power statement. It begins I am ZimExcellence because blank and fill out the blank.

Ryan: I am ZimExcellence because every single day no matter where I am in the world and whoever I'm talking to I always show up as a Zimbabwean. 

Vongai: Amazing. If you could nominate someone for the Award of Excellence, who would it be?

Ryan: Oh, these questions are like hectic.

Vongai: Yes I stress people out, anxiety.

Ryan:  You know all of them that you asked me I literally end up going okay, so how long is my list? How many people can I say.

Vongai: This is lightning round!! [pretends to be angry] I’m joking okay. 

Ryan: Okay, I'm gonna I'm gonna go with Lucian Msamati. 

Vongai: Ani? (who?) 

Ryan: Lucian Msamati. 

Vongai: Lucian Msamati.

Ryan: Yeah, he is. He is an actor based in London. And he is from the same group of Thespians as Chipo Chung, and Danai, they're all from there. They were rocking my world as a teenager. They were at Prince Edward. And they were just putting on amazing shows like the girls would come and rehearse. And they did HIFA. And they toured internationally. And Lucien has just got this thing about him. He is a talent. Actually, you may have seen him because he is alongside Jill Scott in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. He's the mechanic. And he's currently in Gangs of London, as well. And a few other things that he's done on his resume. There's a long list there. But I find that for him, and as I'm talking to you about like, you know, from a Zimbabwean slash I think Tanzanian background like he's just out there crushing it and doing his thing and that's what his focus is. So it's not necessarily someone who's got a big PR campaign or going out and saying who he is but he's got this gravitas about him and this like power on screen, you know, and on stage and he was also Iago in the Royal Shakespeare. They did it up in Stratford, I believe. And he was he was the first Black Iago you know, to do that and also Amadeus he was on stage doing that. So he's like, between the theatre and he's just incredible. Like, definitely check him out. He's got amazing, amazing energy.

Vongai: Lucian Msamati, you've officially been nominated for the award of ZimExcellence by Ryan Koriya. And Who would you nominate to come on the show? It's a trap. [laughs]

Ryan: Again, how long is the list? Well, it's funny because obviously very, very make sense. Like, now that we're talking, of course, Lucien would be someone I would nominate. Because it makes sense. We're just talking about him. And as the person who I would be like, Hey ZimExcellence award goes to. So it's natural for that point of view. So I would say him Yeah.

Vongai: Dope well, Ryan, thank you so much for all of your passion, your insight, your musings and perspective on life. Your energy, you've got like really great energy. It's interesting. You have like, like, an energizer bunny Aries energy. So it's like surprising, but to me, you're an Aquarius, it's probably somewhere in your chart. Anyway, as we wrap up, I would love it. If you could share a message with our listeners, as well as letting them know where they can continue to follow your journey. You don't necessarily have to spell anything out, because it'll be in the show notes. But let us know if there's a website, Instagram or Twitter.

Ryan: Totally, I would recommend following my personal account, which is Ryan Koriya, on all of the above. So I'm on Instagram. I'm on Twitter, Facebook, and the website is RyanKoriya.com. And that's where you can sort of see what I'm up to. And then all my various projects, obviously are linked in there as well.

Vongai: Amazing. And then people can always check out the swag you have going on at ZimXcite, as well.

Ryan: Absolutely. I'm so excited about ZimXcite. That's gonna be really cool.

Vongai: Sweet. Oh, and the message that you want to share with the listeners final words.

Ryan: Final words for me are I honestly believe that we're living in an incredible time right now. And it's never been as better as it is now. And so it's almost like that thing that goes around where people say you've got two wolves fighting inside of you. One is a wolf of darkness and fear and you know, all the bad things you can think about and another wolf is a wolf of love and light. And my advice to you is feed the wolf with light because that's the one that wins. It's the one you feed. 

Vongai: Amazing. Thank you so much, Ryan.

Outro : Mazvita. Tatenda. Siyabonga. Thank you so much for tuning in to this week’s episode of ZimExcellence.  If you found value from this episode please share it with a friend and go ahead and subscribe, rate and review.
If you send me a screenshot of your review I’ll make sure to give you a shoutout on future episodes. Feel free to tag us on Instagram. @zimexcellencepodcast
And if you identify as Zimbabwean I want to hear your story so go ahead and email zimexcellencepodcast@gmail.com. Til then have the best week and stay ZimExcellent! 

The Complexity of Race and African Identity
Ryan's Hope For African Arts Industry
Music Biz Resources