As technology keeps evolving, new innovations spring up daily. The phrase, “The world is a global village” may sound cliché but in actual sense, the “village” shrinks by the day, as interaction gaps between people and from one business to the other are being bridged.
Many years ago when Cable TV providers launched into the African market, the experience could be likened to the peak of technological innovation. The Cable TV providers have given many people the opportunity to keep abreast of global affairs by watching foreign channels.
In Nigeria for example, there has been an influx of Cable TV providers in recent years. Many households now subscribe to at least one or two of them and the nation’s entertainment industry, especially the movie and music sectors, are reaping huge returns from it.
Nollywood is a name many Africans are familiar with because of DSTV –the most popular Cable TV provider on the continent; which gives Nigerian movies a notable percentage of their channel options, with more than one channel showing movies produced by Nigerians. This has popularized the industry across the African continent. It has also enabled video content makers to produce content and get paid for them.
However, in the light of the new innovation by some South African actors, it appears that Whatsapp is set to give Cable TV providers a good run for their money.
The popular and traditional mediums for drama projection have always been the stage, audio and video recording, but these South Africans are adapting Whatsapp for a drama series.
A veteran Scriptwriter, Bongi Ndaba has written a new drama titled Uk’shona Kwelanga. This drama will run exclusively on Whatsapp for six weeks.
The producers intend to create a Whatsapp group where subscribers will be added to watch the drama series. The play will run as chat feeds from the actors and subscribers will read through the drama chats. They get to be a part of the drama, but as readers. There will also be visual and audio content accompanying the chat dialogues.
This is the first time something of this sort is happening in Africa.
Whatsapp has over 1.2 billion active monthly users globally and remains one of the leading Instant messaging platforms, if not the most loved and most used these days.
Despite its acceptability and popularity in many African countries, there hasn’t been any innovation leveraging the social tool. Nevertheless, this move by the producers of Uk’shona Kwelanga will serve as an eye opener for many Africans who will look to the same direction by using Whatsapp innovatively.
As for the Cable TV providers, Whatsapp may become a strong competition for them in no distant time, and this might spur them to up the ante especially as regards providing quality service delivery.