Think Impossible. Think Ideology.
This is the first of three reviews called “The BADMAN Story” Series, by a registered NetOne subscriber.
Let us look at the first brand to grace the scene; NETONE in Mobile Communications in Zimbabwe, as did NINJAMAN in dancehall music in the 80s and 90s, the prophets as they are called now.
The Generations (1G, 2G, 3G)
In Brand Ideology, NINJA MAN, BOUNTY KILLER, and BEENIE MAN are brands with radical thinking, communication, yet different mind and market share and capitalisation.
NINJA MAN, the number one don, though going earlier into the Badman world, has been left behind, and still demands respect from all.
The First in the First Generation (1G)
Ninjaman, alias Don Gorgon, is a one of the most popular dancehall deejays and actor, known for his controversial and pro-gun lyrics and his stuttering and melodramatic style that earned him the title “Number One”.
As mass media developed, exposing more dancehall artists, Ninjaman was regarded the first to radicalise dancehall music, hence the self-proclaimed alias of “Don”.
Just like dancehall was the new form of Reggae, GSM was that to telecommunications and NetOne in Zimbabwe was first to lead.
NetOne is the first cellular network operator in Zimbabwe based on GSM; a private company wholly owned by government, was formed as a subsidiary of the Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (PTC) in 1996.
Since then, service has been extended to all cities, towns, tourist resorts, mining, farming and rural areas. NetOne boasts of the widest coverage in Zimbabwe.
Just like Ninjaman, none could contend with NetOne in the market, delivering exceptional services, dazzling its audience like an experienced Crowd Scientist.
The question is, who is this NINJA and where did the NINJA go wrong.
NINJAMAN, the number one don, though going earlier into the BADMAN world, has been left behind, and still demands respect from all.
PERFORMANCE: Coverage and Quality
First to breakout in the BADMAN Story with his lyrical fitness that gave crowds a performance second to none in the early days, NINJAMAN was the number one Don Gorgon.
His first popular hit was “Number One” a song that set NINJAMAN’s performing journey guns blazing as none dared go head on with this “gunman”.
Product offering of NetOne in the first generation of GSM services was exceptional; being a client of NetOne was considered a prestigious thing in Harare and Bulawayo.
IDENTITY: From Raw Green to Blazing Orange
Ninjaman followers were clearly seen in dance floors and concerts world over as they were the trendsetters in radical fashion varying from ninja suits to militant regalia, and sometimes colour blocking.
The lyrical fitness of Ninjaman was top notch and deejays often borrowed his style and words, and the Don Gorgon would punish these infidels or prisoners of his gun slinging.
As time went by, an identity crisis kicked in for Ninjaman, thus so did for NetOne, as competition from younger artists stiffened causing Ninjaman to change his style from green to orange.
Green signifies raw talent, as is nature and the wild that is evergreen; as opposed to orange that is a signification of blazing fire.
Ninjaman nor NetOne could not match with performance and zest, the change over from rawness to passion in the course of time; punishable by competition.
The guns are no longer blazing as the orange Don Gorgon would desire, but no one can forget Ninjaman’s raw green style when he was Number One.
IDEOLOGY: Number One to One World
Ninjaman entered a public argument with new age dancehall artists, the most popular being that with KIPRICH and recently with SPECIALIST at Sting and song called “DWEET”.
In the song “DWEET” Specialist calls Ninjaman a dinosaur and should retire. In response Ninjaman argues that he is not “Fred and Barny”; evidently qualifying Specialist’s argument as that was a hit cartoon in the 90s.
Ninjaman, just like NetOne, assumes that being the first to radicalise guarantees perpetual leadership; it does not.
Borrowing from his lyrics, only “hollow point bad boy” consider themselves leaders in a market then get surprised when their new brands and product offering are not as popular in consumption as their snot-nosed nemesis.
Enter Bounty Killer and Beenie Man
BOUNTY KILLER, the warlord, is evidently growing the industry, grooming more of his kind, yet still has an eternal frenemy, Beenie Man.
BEENIE MAN, the doctor, is the King of the Dancehall, ruling in the market with vocal sweetness, yet still does not produce after his kind as Bounty Killer does.
This is “The BADMAN Story” of Ninjaman aka NetOne; next we proceed to BOUNTY KILLER aka ECONET.