New South African Drama Series to Run Only on WhatsApp

WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT? A SIX-WEEK LONG DRAMA SERIES RUNNING ONLY ON THE WHATSAPP PLATFORM. WELL SOME GUYS IN SOUTH AFRICA HAVE DONE IT!

South African Veteran Scriptwriter, Bongi Ndaba has written a new drama which would run for six whole week on whatsapp. The show will be open to all smartphone users all around the world. Uk’shona Kwelanga, the new drama series which began on Monday, 5th June has some of the South Africa’s favourite soapie actors. This is a first of its kind in South Africa.

Starting from Monday, the story began in a Whatsapp group as a fictional family’s funeral arrangements unfold via text, voice notes and video. Interested viewers are invited into the group as subscribers. Subscribes who follow the conversations on text, photo, voice notes and videos formats do not contribute to the plot, they are as “flies on the wall”.

The plot of the drama kicks off with the sudden and unexpected death of Bab’ Langa, leaving his family completely shocked and saddened. Funeral plans which led to the creating of the Whatsapp group, uncovers several levels of tensions with in the family as issues of financial pressure, secrets and unanswered questions boil up the chats.

The Scriptwriter, Ndaba, has written for many South African TV shows including the popular show Generations, but writing Uk’shona Kwelanga was both a whole new experience and a challenge she confessed - A WhatsApp Drama. Initially she had written the script in TV format but later chose to adapt it into a live, real-time feed show on WhatsApp. The drama will run for six weeks, up until mid-July. 

Despite WhatsApp having 1.2 billion monthly users globally, very few brands have successfully tapped into the platform due to its technical challenges. This was an opportunity to engage Sanlam’s audience in a new way via a channel they actively use. A first for advertising, and a first for me.”

“By using relatable characters and a relevant storyline I hope to grip the attention and imagination of subscriber’s immediately. They’ll be part of a family WhatsApp conversation as it unfolds in real-time – no other drama is as real, instant or engaging.

Speaking on the motive for choosing to adapt the drama into an Instant Message live feed format she said 

Building the hype of the movie, the all-star cast choose a unique production, relevant and on par with mainstream entertainment and offering powerful viewing materials. A preview for the Drama was released with cast voiceovers, videos, and images to accompany the WhastApp messages. The teaser featured popular SA actors such as  Bongani Madondo from Shabangu and Mtunzini; John Nhlanhla from Isidingo, Stokvel, and Generations; Linda Sokhulu from Isidingo; Makgotso M from Isidingo and Muvhango; Thembi Mtshali from Stokvel and League of Glory; and Ivy Mkuthu from Generations.

This a completely interesting and intriguing twist to entertainment. One new and exciting, this might be to an extent the future of entertainment. Whatsapp indeed has over 1.2 billion active monthly users globally and has taken over to become one of the leading Instant messaging platforms if not the most loved and most used these days. Leveraging on this huge number, stories can be told in real time reaching interested subscribers round the world. Intriguing right?

To find out more SMS your name and surname to 45603 to watch the drama unfold over 7 days.