Last week, Wadiwa Wepamoyo’s first season came to an end- yuhp, all good things must come to an end. Whilst fans took to Twitter and WhatsApp to ask whether there’ll be a second season for the show, I’ve been more intrigued by how the show can act as the catalyst for Zimbabwean shows.
I haven’t finished watching the series, but the YouTube viewership statistics per episode were quite impressive throughout the first season. The show is currently hovering around the quarter a million views mark for all of its first 10 episodes;
|Ep 1||Ep 2||Ep 3||EP 4||EP 5||EP 6||EP 7||EP 8||EP 9||Ep 10|
|Views Per Episode||453.8k||248.8k||238.5k||253.8k||237k||250k||231k||249k||238.2k||226.2k|
PS: The large drop in views from Episode 1 compared to the rest of the episodes is probably due to the fact that a lot of people try the first episode and decide this isn’t for me. Wadiwa’s viewer retention is otherwise pretty great.
The consistent 220 000+ views the series has had proves that Zimbabweans are more than willing to consume local content but they don’t know where to find it.
In terms of ratings, the 10 episode series has an average like count of 4.7k likes per episode, broken into local meme culture, trended multiple times on Twitter and on one occasion I even saw a TikTok video inspired by the series which suggests that people have undeniably taken a liking to the show.
The missed opportunity
Before Econet Media folded, they announced that they would be shifting their efforts to local content
Through Kwesé Studios, Econet Media will invest in developing its own original programming and provide a platform for African producers, script writers, actors and directors to tell authentic African stories on a pan-African broadcast network.Econet Media statement in November 2018
Econet Media never followed through with the promise of local content – they simply had bigger fish to fry.
TelOne DEOD brought a host of local movies and series to their platform a year ago but they haven’t done a good job of marketing the content on their platform. A year since the shows aired I haven’t seen any of the shows make waves on social media in the manner Wadiwa has done.
If anything, Wadiwa Wepa Moyo’s numbers since airing in February are a signifier that Zimbos are willing to consume local content. Demand is high but supply is low – an opportunity for those willing to take it.