SA based Zimbabwean teams up with South African to create Teta, a zero-rated WhatsApp competitor


Over the past few years instant messaging (IM) has been flooded with services and out of all those services Facebook has emerged as a dominant force with its Messenger platform used by over 1 billion people as well as WhatsApp, the world’s most popular messenger.

Still, that doesn’t mean we won’t see any more new services trying to enter the game and make a name for themselves. One example is Teta, an application (it’s currently available for Android only) developed and launched with South Africa as its primary market that was

One example is Teta, an application (it’s currently available for Android only) developed and launched with South Africa as its primary market that was recently covered by South publication, the Sunday Times.


You can download Teta for Android by following the Google Play link here

Teta comes with end to end encryption(E2EE) and can be used for chat and multimedia communication. It also has a chatroom feature.

The one major point of difference that Teta has over other IM services, including WhatsApp, is that its users can send all types of messages including multimedia (video, pictures) for free as long as they are on Vodacom, the South African mobile network.

Teta does this by accessing a solution that was developed by Vodacom to provide customers for Absa Bank with free access to online banking services.The data consumed by Teta users on Vodacom is charged to Michael Unanne, a company created by Teta’s founders to develop the service

In-app advertising is expected to provide revenue for Teta and this will cover the use of Vodacom’s platform.

Though the app has focused on a zero-rated experience for Vodacom it’s still open to other mobile networks, with data charges being applied.

Zimbabwean and SA tech entrepreneurship partnership

The team behind Teta is a partnership made up of Themba Moyo, a Zimbabwean consultant who’s been providing IT services in South Africa and Lisa Phendla, a South African entrepreneur with a background in finance. The two have been working together since 2013.  

Moyo who started off as a miner in Zimbabwe before moving into IT is a self-taught programmer. He did most of the coding for the Teta application.

According to the Times, the two have also received mentorship from Andrew Mthembu, Vodacom’s former deputy group CEO. 

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