‘The universe is made of stories and not atoms…’ Muriel Rukeyser’s powerful words speak to a fundamental part of human nature; that we make sense of the world through story. Whether it’s through music, film, talk, prose or folklore; content is and always has been king, it’s our form of expression, of escape and of connection. The growth of the digital era and social media has afforded a lot more young and/or otherwise alternative storytellers a platform and space with which to express themselves. The addition of which aid the growth of our indie sector and the diversity of stories being told about the African experience by Africans, something we’ve explored here and here and something my festival work has sought to tackle. The effects of the Lockdown have been catastrophic on the arts. A majority of our social entertainment activities like clubbing, concert, festival and cinema-going have all but disappeared in the wake of Co-Vid’s Lockdown, leaving digital and traditional content consumption as one of the main sources of creative outlet. Despite record-breaking ratings within Lockdown, the number of commissions released within broadcast television are set to decrease. This coupled with the general lack of residual culture for creative professionals like actors, writers, directors and producers have left many within the filming industry incredibly bare. The need to support and explore our stories has rarely ever been as necessary as it is now which is why I’m so excited to be involved in something that could potentially aid in that at this time…
Available on TelkomPlus, MzansiTV is an online channel curated with web-series, short-films and comedy sketches independently produced by some of the most trailblazing youth found here in Mzansi. The channel is available to Telkom Mobile and Telkom Data subscribers, R3 affords you a full-day access to all the content on MzansiTV to consume. It’s a daily subscription that comes with no cancellation fees. Presenting MzansiTV: Short Bites of African Indie. The opening slate of content includes:
Produced by: Of Azania
Starring: Tsholo Maseko, Galaletsang Koffman, Bokang Phelane and Thabo Rametsi
Synopsis: Three friends sneak into a mansion for a day of fun, things get interesting when the owner returns earlier than expected with a body bag.
Produced by Tetelo Nhlapo
Starring: Sechaba Ramphele, Zigi Ndlhovu and Didintle Khunuo
Concept: Drama ensues when love, friendship get mixed in with betrayal in this entanglement.
Produced by: Krieitiv Haus
Starring: Bokang Phelane and Letuka Dlamini
Concept: Angry Amber is a comedy web-series that follows the title character, a modern 20-something girl, as she navigates her life following a break-up. Previous write up available here.
Produced by Artistry Media
Starring: Portia Ncwane, Arnotte Payne, Mattews Mzimela
Concept: 4 men’s lives take a turn for the worst when one of them is killed mysteriously, a twisted plot of events is revealed about what happened that night on Freedom Street.
Produced by: Enraptured Odyssey
Starring: Kibare wa Njuguna, Nikiwe Buhlalu, Sharon Githinji, Kevin J. King and Mbasa Cokile
Concept: Pride and Petty is a comedy web-series following the antics of a toxic couple who can’t get over each other, after infidelity occurs. Previous write-up available here.
Produced by: Promology
Starring: Tanielle Cornwall.
Concept: Smooth Sailing with Tanielle is a cooking show that finds our self-titled host taking us through some of her innovative smoothie ideas.
Produced by: Eccentric Circus
Starring: Sanelisiwe Yekani, Andisiwe Mpinda, Ben Kgosimore and Nina Erasmus.
Concept: Mixed Media is a romantic drama series that explores themes of love and sexuality through the eyes of young black women.
Produced by: Artistic Intent
Starring: Abo Booi
Concept: Abo’s Lockdown is an experimental-type reality web-series exploring this visual creator’s mental and physical journey within Lockdown.
Produced by: Enraptured Odyssey
Starring: Kibare wa Njuguna, Kevin J. King, Lee Morris, Youri Mukuna and Ashley Maritz.
Concept: The Unmanly Men Association is a comedy web-series surrounding a support group for men who struggle to do traditionally masculine tasks as they try make sense of their world.
The universe is made up of stories, come and get a glimpse at ours on MzansiTV. Get your fix of short African indie and see what the next generation of great storytellers are doing to claim their space as they grow. New content will be uploaded and ingested onto the site, so do stay tuned. Search MzansiTV on TelkomPlus.