While South Africans usually enjoy watching drama series on television screens‚ they will soon be treated to a world-first opportunity to watch a seven-part drama series through social network application‚ WhatsApp.
The drama‚ penned by former Generations soapie head writer Bongi Ndaba‚ will unfold through WhatsApp videos‚ pictures‚ voice notes and text messages and details a tragedy that befalls the Langa family.
Ndaba told TimesLIVE she accepted the challenge when approached by production company‚ King James‚ to assist in creating what would be a fresh way to advertise an insurance company’s services.
“I have never written like this before and it was especially tricky because it’s never been done before so we had no reference‚” she said.
The drama‚ titled Uk’shona Kwelanga – which has a double meaning: the sunset or also ‘the death of Langa’ – is anything but your typical insurance company infomercial.
“There is nowhere in any of the episodes where we mention [the insurance company]. It’s all about silent advertising‚” Ndaba said.
It was a perfect concept for the South African market.
“South Africans love soapies so it really is a great way to pull them in and on top of that‚ Whatsapp is accessible to almost everyone‚” Ndaba added.
The drama‚ which boasts an all-star cast comprising of veteran actress Thembi Mtshali‚ Linda Sokhulu‚ Makgotso Monyemokhathoe‚ Ivy Nkutha‚ Bongani Madondo and John Nhlanhla‚ will unfold in real time.
Media analyst‚ Arthur Goldstuck has hailed this as an ideal initiative.
“It is a world first but there have been similar initiatives in the past when Mxit was still flying high‚” said Goldstuck.
“But it was more conventional and just text based‚” he added.
So how does one join in this experience? Simply sms your name and surname to 45603.
Uk’shona Kwelanga launches on Monday‚ June 7.