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The AD Agency behind vagrant Ras Vikela’s POS campaign.

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A picture of a dreadlocked vagrant hit social media users last December.

The visibly distraught and mentally challenged beggar had a story to tell written on his placard.

“Need help! wife kidnapped by ninjas, need money for karate lessons I take swipe,” the placard read.

What was all the more remarkable about the beggar or is it the “mentally challenged’’ man was that he had his nifty mobile POS machine, ready to swipe.

The beggar in his early 40s grabbed the attention of not only passersby but motorists alike while the picture went viral on social media platforms.

People wondered how on earth a mere beggar would have not just an ordinary POS machine — but one which is mobile, trendy, sleek and fully functional.

That alone became the talking point and Ras Vikela, as he is now popularly known, grabbed headlines for his simplicity which became the ultimate sophistication.

Later, comedian — Admire Kushanga aka Bhutis poked fun at Mbare based Ras Vikela in a skit before reposting what has become an iconic picture which reached over 4000 views on social media.

Also to join the frenzy was Comic Pastor (Prosper Ngomashi) who visited Ras Vikela in the streets and shot a video which he again shared on several media platforms and it reached over 7000 views within a week on his feed.

Soon the wave of popularity spread after Steward Bank’s Chief Executive — Dr Lance Mambondiani shared the picture of Ras Vikela from Bhutis’s Facebook page.

For those who dared enough to donate cash to Ras Vikela, they were caught by surprise as the mobile POS machine had Steward Bank branding, and would give a message to say you have paid Ras Vikela this much.

As if to prove the momentum of the campaign, speculation from Zim Dancehall fanatics was rife on social media, linking the kidnapping of Ras Vikela’s wife by ninjas to the Ninja President.

This forced Winky D who is lovingly called Ninja President by his legion of fans, to vehemently deny the allegations and in the process triggering a new wave of popularity to the campaign.

In the midst of this confusion and melee, it made sense that Steward Bank was behind the massive campaign.

Apparently, at Steward Bank, the whole Ras Vikela idea was the beginning of a launch for the new mobile POS machine (Kwenga).

According to investigations by Gem Nation News, it bogged down to one thing.

Just WHO is behind this big campaign strategy?

That said, which Advertising Agency would convince a Bank as big as Steward Bank to do a radical campaign that is highly risky but successful?

Quite honestly, Steward Bank has, in the last three years, been flighting controversial Ads which caught the eyes of the audience and keen to probe brains behind it all, it led us to DatCitizen Creative Group, a young agency which has been keeping a low profile but making an impact on the market.

DatCitizen was founded in 2013 by Donald Machaya (31), who is the Executive Creative Director with vast experience in handling super brands that include Old Mutual, PSI, Steward Bank and Unilever just to mention a few.

These guys masterminded the Ras Vikela Kwenga POS campaign from start to finish.

They also rigged Ras Vikela to appear as if he was indeed mentally challenged.

Making a sane person appear insane is no mean task but DatCitizen through the Ras Vikela character made the impossible possible such that he even convinced his wife and family that he was now out of his mind.

Yes, his wife was at home and had never been kidnapped but he would argue that she had been kidnapped spiritually and not physically.

Obviously, that argument would convince anyone that Ras Vikela needed rewiring while family members with a bit of traditional background thought that their relative had been bewitched.

Now imagine this, for all his time and effort spent on the roads, Ras Vikela was on a payroll.

This just shows Zimbabwe has upped its game advertising wise and there is a new breed of creatives in Zimbabwe who think that there is no box at all.

DatCitizen hit the spotlight when they first worked with Steward Bank and produced the controversial campaign called — The Bank for People who Hate Banks — a piece which got recognition at the Ngoma Awards for Creative Print Advert of the Year, thereby getting their first mention.

DatCitizen has also won a couple of awards at the NGOMA’s since 2015 and most recently, Donald the ECD  was nominated  Runner-up Entrepreneur of the Year at MegaFest 2017 Northern region.

A visit on the website www.datcitizen.co.zw reveals these guys are top notch and could probably be the rare breed of creatives to grace the advertising space in Zimbabwe.

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About Jonathan Mbiriyamveka

Jonathan Mbiriyamveka

Jonathan Mbiriyamveka is an award winning journalist with special interest in in-depth news analysis, lifestyle and entertainment. A resourceful and well traveled journalist known for his lighthearted stories.

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