Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

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Local filmmakers! the ZIFF has a US$500 short film competition

The Zimbabwe International Film Festival (ZIFF) has announced two short film competitions both with a first-place prize of US$500. Smartphone short film competition The first is a smartphone challenge that is running under the theme “My Heritage” and is open to anyone between the ages of 14 to 34. Entrants must shoot a short film […]

Applications for US$10,000 content creators startup week are now open

The Content Creators Network ZW (Content ZW) wishes to announce its inaugural Content Creators Startup Week set to run from 8th – 12th November at Moto Republik in Harare. During the week, there will be a number of exciting activities which include pitch competitions, networking events and media-related training. Media innovators with start-up ideas will […]

Altar, a platform for homegrown Christian content

Churches have had to adapt to the pressures of the pandemic much like every other community in the world. We have seen many congregations move services online either in Zoom meetings or on Facebook and YouTube live streams. Even though restrictions have been relaxed the utility of online platforms has remained and a local SA-based […]

Here’s how much Gateway Stream pays local content creators

So… a little while ago, Gateway Stream announced that it was hosting Wadiwa Wepa Moyo on its platform before episodes go live on YouTube. When we jumped on to see the “exclusive” launch we were a little underwhelmed by the onboarding process and the experience in general. The issues were much the same as the […]

YouTube has cancelled Rewind for good

YouTube Rewind at one point was a way for creators on the platform to look back on the year. In the early days, it featured prominent creators and people generally liked it. But as the years wore on it became something of a “commercial” thing and the viewers were not happy. Some quarters on the […]

Forget TV and the internet. Radio is how you reach Zimbabweans

As a Zimbabwean living in an urban area I find I always overestimate the usage of the internet. It is quite entertaining watching trolls from the different political parties duke it out on Twitter. The noise Twitter users make is quite astounding. To the mind, it feels like everyone is participating in this discourse. That […]

Wadiwa Wepamoyo Season 2 on Gateway Streams, it’s Jah Prayzah all over again…

Wadiwa Wepamoyo Season 2 dropped today on Gateway Stream, the same platform that Jah Prayzah dropped his album exclusively a little while ago. And it looks like the problems that plagued the latter’s rollout affected Wadiwa Wepamoyo but with the added dimension of video. You can listen to or download the podcast with the link […]

Two Zimbos chosen for MultiChoice’s Talent Factory Academy 2021

Yvonne Feresu and Chimwemwe Chipidza have been selected among 60 aspiring filmmakers for the 2021 edition of the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) Academy. The two will undergo a year’s training at the MTF hub in Lusaka, Zambia. “We are thrilled that two Zimbabweans will be among the students of 2021-2022 and they follow four other […]

Comic Pastor makes Old Mutual US$25K Challenge Top 25

Old Mutual has announced the Top 25 of its Value Creation Challenge (VCC) for 2021. The challenge is a partnership between Eight2Five Initiative (Old Mutual’s Hub), and The British Council that was created to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe. Of all the entrants into the competition, the following have made it into the […]

More pressure for DStv, Disney+ is coming to SA

In last week’s Quarter 3 earnings call, Bob Chapek, the CEO of The Walt Disney Company said that his company’s streaming service will be launching in South Africa next year. Sadly for Zimbabweans, he said South Africa might be the only African country to initially get the service. Has that ever stopped us though? The […]

Can free satellite TV services like OpenView get an operating licence in Zim?

Free-to-air satellite service OpenView yesterday said that it would start blocking decoders that are outside of South Africa. The reason they cited was that they are only licenced to operate in SA. OpenView also said that it would be expanding to other African countries at a later date which we assume will mean that it […]

OpenView is missing an opportunity here

There is the famous fable of how an opportunist steals a glass of water from under the noses of a pessimist and optimistic while they are busy arguing about who is right. I think it applies perfectly to the issue of OpenView attempting to block decoders being used outside Zimbabwe. People, including OpenView themselves, are […]

OpenView to start blocking decoders that are outside South Africa

Popular free-to-air satellite TV provider OpenView which offers a range of channels like eTV, SABC, France 24 and more is going to be blocking decoders that are outside South Africa. Chatter of this surfaced on WhatsApp and we reached out to Openview to verify the messages that were circulating and this is the response we […]

Uncle Sho might be gone but his legacy will live on

Shona Ferguson the South African actor, producer, director and business mogul died on 30 July 2021. While initial news articles blamed his demise on complications brought about by some complicated operation it later came out that he had succumbed to COVID-19. He might have died but his legacy will live on. You should really checkout […]

Why YouTubers are always nagging you to subscribe to their channel

If you know someone who creates content, chances are they are always trying to hawk their content on you. “Listen to my new song”, “watch my video” or “subscribe to my YouTube channel”, one of many phrases you’ve probably heard before. It’s pretty easy to understand, how listening to a new song or watching a […]

Van Choga understands the internet better than your favourite artists

Valentine Choga (more commonly known as Van Choga) has been described as many things. Mad man. Eccentric. Clown. What I haven’t seen is many people describe him as smart or brave — which I genuinely believe he is. In fact, I believe Van Choga understands the internet better than most artists in the music business […]

Britbox is coming to South Africa next week Friday

In February of this year, we learnt that the popular streaming platform BritBox would be available to South Africans, which almost certainly means some Zimbos will have access too. South Africa will be the fifth country to get the nod after the United States, Canada, Australia and of course the United Kingdom itself. We now […]

Do you have a Playstation 5? Here is how to get 6 months free of Apple TV+

I am not much of a gamer, to be honest, but even I know that the Playstation 5 is the white rhino of gaming consoles. An elusive and coveted beast that is in constant short supply. There are some lucky people out there though who have managed to get their hands on it. Now, these […]

How to sideload BBC iPlayer and SBS onto your Android TV Box

One free way to watch the Olympics is to do so via BBC iPlayer or Australia’s SBS. Both are free to watch but only in their respective countries. A good way around such geo-blocking is to use SmatDNS. The basics of it are you go to a SmartDNS provider, get two DNS server IPs, use […]

From working in a factory to having an animated show on TV

Christopher Tsamba is a local animator who, through his company Mbasta Animation, got an animated show on ZBC TV. I recently had the pleasure of talking to him about the struggles of trying to make it as a content creator in Zimbabwe. As well as how he got his show on ZBC. You can download […]

Africa’s 1st karate world champion now has a docuseries & here’s more about it from the man himself

Last week we reported on a docuseries that would detail the journey of Africa’s first Karate World Champion Shihan Samson Muripo. The production was done by a local content platform called Yakontent with the backing of First Mutual Holdings Limited. To get more on about the production I spoke to Tafadzwa Munyaradzi from Yakontent, Farayi […]

South Africa’s SABC licence bill is less controversial than expected

Recently South Africa published its South African Broadcasting Corporation SOC Ltd Bill of 2021 as approved by Cabinet on 30 June 2021. At its heart, the bill deals with how SABC licences will be paid and collected from the public going forwards. I have to say, contrary to what we had been warned to expect, […]

Local production house to release a docuseries on one of Zim’s greatest sportsmen

I am sure that anyone reading this has watched their fair share of biopics or TLC styled documentaries of a notable person’s life and exploits. These productions are quite common in western countries, to the point that the most famous people already have a couple made or some that are in various stages of production. […]

The pain of trying to distribute content through Sasai

It’s been a while since I last wrote on this blog. One of the reasons for that is because I just haven’t been journaling as much as I want to but another is because I’ve been incredibly busy… One of the things that has kept me incredibly busy is The Story Untold ZW — a channel I […]

From cassettes to WhatsApp MP3s: How music distribution has evolved in Zimbabwe

Who remembers the days when you had to use a pen or pencil to rewind a cassette tape? It feels like a lifetime ago, and for good reason. The production and distribution of music in Zimbabwe (and the world over) has been liberalized to the point that anyone with a laptop can be a producer […]

How to watch Amazon Prime Video shows in Zim the right way

Here is a little known fact, Amazon Prime has been available to Zimbabweans for years! Just like Showmax they even have a mobile-only plan that’s dirt cheap and sells for below $1.99, although that’s not available to Zimbabweans yet. They did however previously have a special US$2.99, 6 months trial which has since been discontinued. […]

Hotbox the WhatsApp chatbot that replaced Duta is now at 300K users

The was once a WhatsApp service called Duta that shut up shop on WhatsApp in late 2019. This service was particularly useful because you could get sports news and many other updates through it. When it went away it left a void in the market that needed filling and up stepped Hotbox which has been […]

Storytellers! there’s a Netflix sponsored Africa artists lab that you have to check out

Studio Triggerfish and Netflix have partnered up to launch a pan African Story Artists Lab. If you are unfamiliar with Triggerfish or vaguely remember the name, it’s the studio that worked with Disney to bring about the Kizazi Moto Anthology Movie that features Zimbabwe’s own Pious Nyenyewa and Tafadzwa Hove. The Story Artist Lab builds […]

Jah Prayzah fans are not happy with his Gateway Stream exclusive album launch

As I am sure you have already heard Jah Prayzah has launched his latest album Gwara exclusively (audio version) on local super app Gateway Stream. If you have never come across the app it’s akin to Cassava Smatech’s Sasai in that it has a lot of services under its umbrella. You can book hotels, do […]

What I learnt from this African Animator’s journey…

I recently had a great conversation with Pious Nyenyewa. Yes, the Zimbabwean animator who was recently announced as one of the directors of Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire (a Disney Plus Original anthology of animated films). The fact that Pious has gotten this far means he has probably done something right. From our conversation I took […]