MC Phill is a 36-year-old Zimbabwean Master of Ceremonies born Phillip Macherenje who enjoys international status and is undoubtedly one of Zimbabwe’s top performers. I specialise in MCing and advisory services for those planning their weddings and corporate events and I have been doing this since December 2010. A skilful, smart and engaging entertainer who performs at the highest level, with my irrepressible sense of humour, I bring the house down whenever I stand on stage. My original, off-the-cuff performances and ability to adapt material to suit client and audience requirements, ensures that I get invited back to perform time and again.
It all started at childhood when I was participating in church services, I gathered the courage and confidence from the audience responses I got all the time that I MCed. From the overwhelming responses I got, I then realised I was gathering large crowds and every event held in my presence I was given the honour to MC. I then managed to partner with well-known MCs which gave me professional exposure. With time I managed to start running my own events, it was so amazing to get positive feedback from various people. I don’t MC fulltime as I am employed elsewhere, I hold an Executive Certificate In Public Relations and Business Promotion with University Of Zimbabwe and currently doing my final year Hon Degree In Marketing Management with Midlands State University. I am also married and a father who inspires to make my family proud of the work that I do.
What have been your most memorable events and what was the secret to their success?
With 10 years of emceeing it would be difficult to list them all as I have enjoyed all the work I have done. Events and ceremonies are unique and always bring different feelings. I build relationships with clients and enjoy, learn and appreciate each of the events. I however will always remember my first MC job at a wedding in 2010, my first corporate event was beyond my expectation I could see and feel business people paying attention and being drawn by my presence, I practiced, dressed and spoke professionally which made my work that day commendable. My first event outside Zimbabwe (a wedding) challenged me and gave me confidence in what I can do I had a group of people with different cultures, speaking different languages. The work I did over a period of 6 months prior to the event led to the smooth flow of the event as I learnt basics necessary for communication with the audience and learnt about the different cultures (thanks to Google). For the first wedding I had to deal with my own fear of it being my first professional MC Job but at the end of the event I was overwhelmed by the positive feedback I received.
It is amazing noticing that each time you start saying something everyone is attentive and very expectant to hear from you and even request you to say more. Being an MC is an art, so you must be blended with lots of strategies because you will be dealing with different types of people with different values, religious background and beliefs. You must always come out with something new and adjust to the situation without losing yourself. I consider Emceeing not just as directing order of events but as accepting to be trusted to break or make a success to someone’s day that they would have planned for ages. I will be accepting the burden on my shoulders to make sure at the end of the day everyone has something to talk about and the hosts have a sigh of relief and happiness having been fully satisfied. In this case we are talking of high-risk approach, you are the cornerstone of the event and everything that you say should bring satisfaction to everybody being of great relevance and in this you must avoid come backs as much as possible. This makes me to love my job and be one of the best MCs now.
If individuals are from a particular background or have certain religious beliefs how do you ensure you meet up to their expectations without offending anyone?
This is not a threat as I mention above, as an MC I mastered several religious beliefs, cultures and background. I take my time to seat down with owner of the function and discuss their backgrounds. What they want, their dos and don’ts, expectations of the day, fears and anything that will help me to help them achieve what they want on their dream day. This approach has helped me to managed functions without drawbacks. The interviews that I have with couples before their wedding help me get to know them as well as their dreams for the special day and how to handle cultural issues that may hinder realisation of the dream.
What differentiates you from all the other MCs that are around and how many functions have you MC’d before?
I build relations and put a lot of effort to understand the client such that when the day comes, I stand there like a childhood friend, like a decade old corporate partner, which makes my performance splendid. As an MC I understand that I should be part of the auxiliary advisory mechanism for the couple. In the planning journey, the newlyweds may be so ignorant and excited that they can easily make wrong final mistakes, within some fraction of a second. The MC should be ready to guide like a loving parent and be willing to be with them in the whole journey. I also thrive more on relevance rather than just cracking jokes and If need be, I do put the relevant joke at the right time making sure that my material is appropriate for all ages and allow smooth flow of the function. For me it is a gift from God that I was born an MC and I was never trained to be an MC, I was Born to entertain and when you see me doing that you will know what am talking about.
My personal view of being an MC is like a bridge, in this I mean you stand in between the hosts of the event and their guests. You stand as their voice to their guests, in the case of a wedding there is no way the bride or groom can say something to their guests at any time. They risk leaving some important messages and if all that has been communicated to the MC then he will make sure on the day every message from the bride and groom reaches the intended recipients. To sum it up all I can safely say I am eloquent, humorous, professional, time conscious, open and frank, reliable and very smart. I have a great way to transition, I am culture sensitive, I have mature humour that doesn’t embarrass your audience and most importantly I have so much respect for my clients and I do pay attention to their detailed request. To date I have hosted over 500 functions that include weddings (being the majority), Corporate functions, Anniversaries, Birthday Parties and Graduation Parties. I have a dedicated Facebook page (MC Phill) where I interact with clients, get their feedback and showcase my skills, which brings me closer to people.
Given your years of experience, what’s your advice to upcoming MCs?
While competition is good it is good to know who you can compete with and who you can learn from. Many have lost the plot in their bid to compete and got blinded that they forgot they still have a lot to learn. Mentorship keeps one in line and can take a brand to another level and it is important at least to have someone you look up to as a mentor. Someone who can hold your hand until you have established yourself as an acceptable brand. Those who have defied the need to have a mentor, many of them have hit the wall and some have found themselves at the top of the roof with untraceable steps resulting in unexpected downfalls. I would rather be guided and take it step by step to the rooftop than just enjoying overnight success. I would say Mentorship is important, not only because of the knowledge and skills one can learn from mentors, but also because it provides professional socialisation and personal support to facilitate success in one’s career and beyond. Quality mentoring greatly enhances one’s chances for success.
What frustrations do you come across as an MC and how can those planning an event help make your job easier?
There are lots of frustrations, in case of a wedding the most complicated of them all is upon arrival realising that there are two disjointed families and people are just in attendance half-heartedly or to prove a point and the fights that had been going on leading to the day. It only takes God’s wisdom and favour for you as an MC to understand that smooth flow is only guaranteed when you have managed to get them all to bury the hatchet. At times having a debate started just before the event commences and everything is delayed as MC you must re-strategise without drawing attention from the guests already in attendance.
The other challenge that people mainly overlook is the issue of PA system. We should look at the sound quality of the system as the sound constitutes to a lot of things on such events ranging from the videos, you will never enjoy watching a DVD with poor sound quality, sound can easily determine your audience’s mood and if it’s not appealing they won’t be motivated to dance and people should take it seriously and try not to compromise on their sound systems. Before an event, I need to sit down with people involved so that we discuss their expectations as well as mine and when this meeting does not take place it becomes frustrating when people expect you to do what you did not discuss and being in the spotlight everyone just assumes you know everything. I firmly advise people to sit and discuss with MC, pre-empty all that you wish for on your special day to the person who will be in charge and in this case is the MC and have a rundown of everything even the presentation will be awesome.
How would you like to be remembered?
The man who changed the Emceeing Landscape who shared his tips with anyone who cared to listen with a chain of mentees in his book, and for a good understanding that when EMCEEING is done well, it looks incredibly easy.
“In fact, the Art of EMCEEING is hiding all the prep work that has been done beforehand with smooth confidence, individual style, deft elegance, and good sense of humour”
That has driven me to make it a point to establish a personal relationship with each client who has entrusted me with their special day. From intimate affairs to faraway destinations, I do customize my emceeing services to exceed your wildest expectations.
Why do I customize?
Clients all have different wishes, dreams and needs. Luckily, I’ve got the voice and personality to meet them all seamlessly. It’s not just any wedding/event; it’s your wedding/event. That makes it the most important one of all. It’s my job and passion, to make it the fairest one of all.
I infuse persona, entertainment and character into every event that I do. I take special care and Pay meticulous attention to every detail. The result is a seamless experience to “WOW” your guests. And, of course, YOU!
Get in touch with MC Phill
Call: 0772 962 052
FB: MC Phill
Twitter: MC Phill
IG: M.C _Phill