Fasi Zaka

Fasi Zaka

Fasi Zaka is a television host, satirist, political columnist, radio talk show host, music critic, academic and Rhodes Scholar in Pakistan. He is recognized for being on of the few media polymaths in Pakistan with a successful presence in print, television and radio, he is a public intellectual who employs humour from a liberal political and democratic perspective in his media forays. Because of this extensive presence he was declared one of Pakistan's newsmakers of the year in 2006. Fasi Zaka also occasionally comments on the Pakistani media and politics to National Public Radio (NPR).

Background

Born on 9 October 1976 to a Pakhtun family from Charsadda, Zaka received his elementary schooling in Peshawar where he stayed until he acquired his Bachelor's degree from Edwardes College in Peshawar and Master's degree from the University of Peshawar. Zaka is also a University of Oxford postgraduate funded as a Rhodes Scholar in the session 2001 - 03 from Somerville College.

Work in Television

On The Fringe

He rose to prominence in 2004 as the host of the off-beat program called On the Fringe which he also scripted for Indus Music and later MTV Pakistan. It was a collaboration with his friend and cousin, Zeeshan Parvez. The show received critical appeal and is the only programme of Indus Music that MTV Pakistan kept in its original format once Indus Music was shelved to become MTV Pakistan. On The Fringe was thematically based as a guerilla interview programme that asked Pakistan's politically powerful entertainment figures counter culture, political questions and challenged prejudices. Fasi Zaka, already known to the public through On The Fringe, first came to the entertainment industry's attention after hosting the 3rd Annual Indus Music Awards, an event marked by mismanagement that became the material of Zaka's adlibbing.

News, Views and Confused

On April 11, 2007, Zaka started to host and script a political and social satire show on one of Pakistan's leading TV channels, AAJ TV. The show is called News, Views & Confused and it is also co-hosted by Nadeem F. Paracha and Mohsin Sayeed and is currently scripted by Zaka. The show received significant international attention through The Washington Post and other publications for its programmes during the second emergency declared during President Musharraf's rule in 2007 amidst a severe clampdown on press freedom.

Columns in Print

He is also a columnist for the leading Pakistani newspaper, The News International, where he writes the weekly political opinion editorial column The Pakistan Report Card and the pop culture criticism column titled His Bigness in the Instep segment of the Sunday edition. He also has a bi-weekly light humour diary column in the weekly magazine the Friday Times under the heading, Man Friday. His columns about branding and branding strategy are also an occasional feature of the advertising magazine Aurora.

Radio

Zaka headlines one of Pakistan's most listened to radio shows, The Fasi Zaka and Haris Hameed Show, on the Pakistani FM radio station Radio One FM 91, which is aired nationally. The show is aired three times a week, and is known for its absurdist humour and liberal politics embedded in the jokes. It was because of show and its appeal that the British Council Pakistan linked up with Fasi Zaka to create Ace Encounter, an edutainment programme that used his appeal with the youth to send out educational advice.

Professional

Outside Fasi Zaka's media work, he is the "Head of Ideas" for the advertising agency, ADCOM, based in Islamabad. ADCOM is regarded as one of Pakistan's most creative agencies and recently bagged the most Aurora Awards for Advertising. He also consults, and has done work for the World Bank and the British Council.

References

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