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Excitement is building over Canon sharing testimony from two leading African film directors who applauded the latest Cinema EOS range after exclusive use in their latest movies of Canon’s EOS C500 Mark II; Canon is also launching 42 pro-video webinar program called Canon Tech Talk Series in three languages to share the knowledge of industry leaders with the African filmmaking community

 

Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA) (www.Canon-CNA.com) a leader in imaging solutions, proudly showcased the compact and versatile 5.9K CCNA next-generation professional Cinema EOS System cameras. Leading African directors, including Kunle Afolayan and Merzak Allouache, hailed the EOS C500 Mark II with elevating their latest productions. Alongside the inauguration, Canon unveiled a knowledge-sharing initiative for the African filmmaking community.

This is the Future of Filmmaking

The latest model in Canon’s Cinema EOS Camera range features Canon’s newly developed Super 35mm 4K CMOS sensor and comes with 16+ stops of dynamic range, professional codecs in a compact, modular body. Created with the expertise and technical knowledge at the heart of Canon’s innovative products, the latest in the EOS range offers a customisable full-frame cinema camera experience that is built for creative freedom.

Canon’s Cinema EOS Camera range new features include a full-frame sensor powered by Canon’s new DIGIC DV 7 processor. The sensor’s expansive native cinema gamut goes beyond current standards to help the Cameras in the EOS range achieve more natural tones, which allow for greater colour-grading freedom in both SDR and HDR productions.

At the pinnacle of the offering is the first camera in the range with the ability to record 5.9K Cinema RAW Light onto new, faster storage media – CF express cards. Providing professionals with greater flexibility and efficiency plus simultaneous recording of the same file format is also possible due to dual CF express card slots.

“Canon’s continuous relationship with empowering the African creative market via innovative technology has supported the rise of Africa’s content. Our focus is on offering leading industry know-how and award-winning cameras and lenses built for enthusiast and professional level creatives,” says Amine Djouhara, Sales and Marketing Director at Canon Central and North Africa. “The Cinema EOS range is the perfect expression of form and function, exceptionally adaptable to virtually any production with its modular design, and we are excited to see what Africa’s talented filmmakers create.”

 

 

Collaborating for World-Class African Film Production

In Nigeria, award-winning actor, producer and director, Kunle Afolayan, knows how independent filmmakers can be empowered by technology to share their stories with a global audience. Afolayan’s films are part of a growing number of African contributions to the global online platform Netflix. His latest creation, Citation, explores the important issue of sexual exploitation of young female Nigerian students by their professors. For this gritty, hard-hitting movie, Afolayan chose the new EOS C500 Mark II from Canon.

 

 

“I first saw the Canon EOS C500 Mark II at IBC 2019 and I was amazed at its capabilities.  Normally it’s not a director’s place to tell a director of photography (DOP) what kit to use, but I always wanted to shoot in 4K full-frame, and I knew that this camera would make it to the Netflix approved list, which was vital for this production,” said Nigerian actor, producer and director, Kunle Afolayan. “Thankfully Jonathan Kovel, the DOP working on my new film, loved the camera, therefore, we were able to shoot Citation with the Canon EOS C500 Mark II, which gave us another level of authenticity and creative freedom.”

 

 

In Algeria, legendary director Merzak Allouache also selected the Canon EOS C500 Mark II for his latest film, as part of a technical partnership with Baya Productions. Following a glittering 40-year, 22 film career, which included 1994 Cannes Film Festival award-winning production, Le Repenti. 86-year-old Allouache marks his come back with a new cinematographic masterpiece UNE FAMILLE, that plunges the audience deep into an intensely real political and family drama.

 

 

“The film benefited from the technology provided by Canon. The production team was provided with a Canon EOS C500 Mark II camera and a range of Cine Lenses and accessories so that the film could be shot entirely in 5.9K at 24 fps. The EOS 5D Mark IV and EOSR were also used throughout, to shoot the film and to photograph the behind-the-scenes footage,” said Hamoudi Laggoune, the gifted Algerian cinematographer chosen to work alongside Allouache on the new film. “The camera provides complete flexibility and freedom to choose the image formats, bokeh effects and lenses that are best suited to the filming conditions,” he added.

 

 

Sharing the Best Industry Knowledge

The Canon EOS cameras are more than just the choice for the established leaders in the film industry. Their agile imaging solution is well suited to a wide range of tasks and experience levels. Canon’s cinema cameras, EOS DSLRs and lenses continue to be adopted by the movie industry for their high quality and dependable design. They are also the first choice with professional filmmakers, as evidenced by the 2020 Academy Award nominees and winners.

 

 

To help support all aspiring and established filmmakers during these challenging times, Canon will begin a three-month knowledge-sharing initiative with over 42 pro-video webinars called Canon Tech Talk Series for the film market in Africa. On August 11th, the first webinar will feature Canon’s Amine Djouhara, alongside African film legends Hamoudi Laggoune and Kunle Afolayan. The opening session will explore the features of the Canon C500 Mark II, sharing their experience with the camera during their recent high-profile productions. Fans of these talented directors will get an exclusive behind the scenes perspective on their work and the equipment they trust.

 

 

After this special first webinar, the CCNA team will continue with a series of Canon Tech Talk webinars on changing the face of filmmaking, covering vlogging, streaming, colour science, post-production, and a range of other film-making classes. The remaining 18 webinars divided between beginner and professional courses in three different languages (English, French and Arabic), ensuring everyone can continue to learn and grow during these strange times.

 

 

“Now more than ever, we must come together to ensure that the global standstill does not set us back in our careers or our passion-projects,” says Amine Djouhara, Sales and Marketing Director at Canon Central and North Africa. “During these challenging times, this series of webinars offer a virtual developmental tool to maintain the evolution of critical skills for continued and sustainable growth of the film industry,”

 

 

To register for the first Canon Tech Talk Series free webinars starting on August 12th, please click on the relevant links below:

12th August – Kunle Afolayan
Topic – Discover C500 Mark II
Languages – English
Time – 1pm NG|3PM KEN

IG : https://bit.ly/3afYV0P
FB :  https://bit.ly/2DOEvjt
LinkedIN – https://bit.ly/2FdfZZW
Twitter – https://bit.ly/2DTMeMS

13th August – Raul Gabat
Topic – Introduction to 4K Series
Languages – English

FB – https://bit.ly/3abE8eS
IG – https://bit.ly/3alOnxi
LinkedIN – https://bit.ly/3kznhYc
Twitter – https://bit.ly/31HoqEi

13th August – Andrew Emil
Topic – Introduction to 4K Series
Languages – Arabic

FB – https://bit.ly/3gLTtW3
IG – https://bit.ly/3ad0eNY
LinkedIn – https://bit.ly/33OL9kK
Twitter – https://bit.ly/2PIhZvm

13th August – Jean Mazel
Topic – Introduction to 4K Series
Languages – French

FB – https://bit.ly/3gNlGeO
IG – https://bit.ly/3irxggf
LinkedIN – https://bit.ly/3kxkuPc
Twitter – https://bit.ly/2XPnOvh

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The Gagasi FM Shero Awards are back. Now in its fourth year, the awards celebrate extraordinary women who push boundaries and excel in their respective fields. Recognition is given to women who are making a difference in their communities, oftentimes with limited resources and without expecting anything in return.

This year, the Gagasi FM Shero Awards will once again pay tribute to such remarkable women and it’s all happening in August as part of celebrating the Women’s Month. The big change this year is that the awards will take place live on -ir and online, there will be no awards ceremony this time around due to Covid-19 pandemic. Listeners can look forward to the exciting Gagasi FM Shero Awards live winners’ announcement, full details to be shared in due course.

 

 

“We are very excited with this year’s edition of Gagasi FM Shero Awards and we believe that being unable to host the awards ceremony gives us an opportunity to explore other creative ways to execute. The awards have been growing each year and we are aiming for an even greater impact this year. From the listener’s participation in the form of submission of entries, to the selection of nominees and getting to know who they are and, ultimately, the announcement of winners and celebrating them, we are anticipating a very successful campaign,” says Gagasi FM head of brand Phinda Magwaza.

 

The overall Shero Award category for this year has been named after the late television icon Mama Mary Twala. Every year, this award is named after a female icon whose journey has been inspirational and whose life significantly represents a true Shero. The winner for this overall award is chosen among winners of the other categories.

 

 

Submission of entries is now open, listeners can visit www.gagasiworld.co.za and click on the Gagasi FM Shero Awards 2020 banner to access the nominations page. More details will also be available on the official Gagasi FM social media pages with a link to the nominations page.

The categories for the Gagasi FM Shero Awards are as follows:

  • Entertainment and music

  • Sport

  • Science and technology

  • Big Business Professional (legal, medicine, finance, administration, HR, marketing etc.)

  • Enterprise (small business)

  • Social entrepreneurship

  • Education

  • Public service

  • Community leadership

  • KZN ambassadors

  • Mama Mary Twala Award

The winners’ announcement will take place on the 28 August 2020 live on-air and online.

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How to keep kids edutained during load shedding

Posted by radio On August - 6 - 2020 ADD COMMENTS

Lights out doesn’t have to mean the fun’s out. With DStv Now, kids can watch a wide range of edutaining shows on their favourite devices, at no additional cost to you.

 

We’re all too familiar with the famous cry of the little ones when the electricity goes out. Unable to entertain themselves as they normally would, they can become antsy – particularly when the power is out for long than expected.

It’s moments like these that DStv’s School of Laughter was created for. Committed to supporting customers navigating the journey of parenting, DStv partnered with some of the best kids channels in the world to collate a comprehensive viewing environment that is both entertaining and educational.

This offering, which we like to call our School of Laughter, delivers exciting content for children of all ages. In particular, nursery and primary school learners are spoiled for choice when it comes to the wide variety of ‘edutainment’ on offer via the DStv platform.

So, the next time the lights go out and you’re looking for an efficient way to keep the kids ‘edutained’, look no further than the DStv School of Laughter. The School of Laughter webpage is filled with awesome activities for kids to do on their tablets or mobile phones. And when the lights come back on, ensure your child’s favourite School of Laughter shows have been downloaded to your mobile devices so they can watch them during load shedding.

How to download and watch with DStv Now

  1. Make sure you’re registered for DStv Now.
  2. Download the DStv Now app (Apple or Android)
  3. Log in, and search for a series or movie to download.
  4. Tap the cloud-shaped icon.
  5. Select the quality of video file being downloaded (Highest, High, Medium or Low). Tip: the lower the quality selected, the smaller the file size and the less storage space it takes up on the device.
  6. Once the selection is made, the download will begin.
  7. Happy watching!
  8. Important: After clicking ‘play’, watch the content within 48 hours, before it expires and it has to be downloaded again. If you don’t click ‘play’ right away, the content stays on the device for a while before it expires.
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Simphiwe Dana drops a new music video

Posted by radio On July - 10 - 2020 ADD COMMENTS

Award-winning singer Simphiwe Dana has released her first music video – Masibambaneni off her new album Bamako.

The songstress has re-imagined and re-worked Salif Keita’s Africa featuring the Grammy award-winning legend himself. Recorded in Bamako, Mali, the video shot by Dale Fortune tells a beautiful story on black beauty and how powerful we are united.

The video sees beautiful scenes of carefree children running wild in the open fields, on the streets with glee. It shows Simphiwe making the music with Salif Keita and his band at a studio while some showcase the beautiful songstress spotting big hair singing through the mic.

 

Simphiwe has consistently been making thought-provoking, social change-driven, love and loss-defining music since getting her big break with the release of her debut album Zandisile in 2004.  A Universal Music signee, Simphiwe is thrilled to finally share the visuals of her latest with someone she considers her icon.

 

Watch Masibambane here:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCTSIhjo41U

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  • The show will focus on bringing about change and driving solutions through conversations.

  • The first and second episodes will unpack the triggers and trauma of rape through the stories of three incredible young women.

  • The first two shows will interrogate the idea that South Africans do not understand consent.

  • Perspective on Y will explore legal structures available for victims of rape, the criminal justice system’s resources and shortcomings.

  • The conversation will end with a discussion on the way in which boy children are being raised.

 

YFM 99.2, Gauteng’s number one youth station is launching a one-of-a-kind talk show – Perspective on Y. The hard-hitting show will air between 7pm and 9pm every second Thursday, starting on 9 July.

The first two episodes of Perspective on Y will focus on the prevalent and very serious issue of rape, its consequences, victims and the people behind the laws that are meant to protect. The Perspective on Y, rape episodes, will be hosted by guest presenter and YFM news editor, Mfundo Mabalane.

 

“There are several burning issues in our country that need honest conversations but, more importantly, solution-driven conversations. Perspective on Y will be that platform. This generation must play its part in the deconstruction of a society, which has enabled a culture of violence against women and children, corruption, and injustice against the marginalised,” says Mabalane.

The Perspective project is a concept created by YFM’s weekday producers, who are also at the helm of their respective daytime shows. This is the team behind Y Mornings, Krunch with Khutso, The Shakedown, The Best Drive, Anathi’s Nights on Y and Y Talks. The group has teamed up to share their talents and editorial skills on this latest addition to the YFM programming lineup.

 

Taking the reins as senior producer of the first Perspective episodes is Lumko Johnson, who also produces Anathi’s Nights on Y.

Johnson is a Wits University-trained creative content specialist, who over a career spanning close to 10 years, has conceptualised content solutions in the urban youth space, for television, digital advertising as well as radio.

 

Episode one

Expect a raw and frank discussion about rape and the subjects that underline it. Mabalane will be joined by three experts who have worked extensively in the space of gender-based violence and the show will address multiple talking points such as rape culture, structures and resources available for victims, trauma and triggers, toxic masculinity as well as the psyche and/or pathology of South African men that incite violent behaviour towards women.

 

Date and time: Thursday, 9 July 2020, 7pm–9pm.

 

Episode two

Here, the topic of gender-based violence will remain front-and-centre, with the focus on consent. Joining Mabalane in the studio will be a panel of guests sharing their stories, including the devastating and traumatic impact the abuse has had on their personal lives and the experience of someone refusing to hear the word no. Accompanying them will be credible voices from the legal, justice, and psychology fraternities to explore the topic even further. There will be a discussion on the Sex Offenders Register, its purpose in our society, and ways in which the general public can gain access to it.

 

Date and time: Thursday, 23 July 2020, 7pm– 9pm.

Says YFM’s MD, Haseena Cassim: “The effects of gender-based violence can be life-long. We want to use our platform to create a safe space to provide some kind of guidance about how to deal with the horrors of this type of violence. This show is one that we are very proud of at YFM and hope that we can make a difference in our listeners’ lives by offering a voice to those who need it most.”

 

In the following months, many other topics and themes will be tackled and produced by YFM’s top brains behind some of the great content that is heard on YFM.

 

The show plans to educate listeners by tackling a wide range of social issues affecting the South African youth by having frank and honest discussions on air. Each episode will feature well-informed guests, thought leaders and credible experts to discuss the issues and solutions.

 

Listeners are encouraged to join in the conversation by sending any questions, comments, or relevant stories on the YFM app or YFM’s social media channels.

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Showmax launches new live-streaming service

Posted by radio On July - 8 - 2020 ADD COMMENTS

Showmax is launching a new service, Showmax Pro, which bundles the existing Showmax entertainment service with music channels, news, and live sport streaming from SuperSport.


Showmax Pro features all Premier League, Serie A, La Liga and PSL games, as well as a wide range of other live sport events. The service will initially roll out in Nigeria and Kenya, with additional countries following shortly after.

Showmax Pro will begin to roll out in Kenya and Nigeria from 7 July. Additional countries will go live in the following weeks. The entire process is expected to be completed within 6-8 weeks with coverage across sub-Saharan Africa. This table gives details of the new Showmax Pro service in Nigeria and Kenya:

Showmax Showmax Pro
Showmax Showmax Mobile Showmax Pro Showmax Pro Mobile
Series, movies, kids’ shows, documentaries
IAAF Athletics, pro boxing, major international marathons, & more
Music channels Trace Urban, Trace Gospel
News channels Africa News, Euronews, Newzroom Afrika
Football: all Premier League, Serie A, PSL and La Liga games
Number of concurrent streams 2 1 2 1
Smartphone and tablet apps
Smart TV, laptop, Android TV, Apple TV apps ✓*
Maximum video resolution HD SD HD SD
14-day trial
*Supported smart TVs: Samsung Tizen (2017-2020), LG WebOS (2014-2020)

Showmax originally launched in August 2015 and is available across sub-Saharan Africa. Speaking about Showmax’s history and what sets it apart, Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of the Connected Video division of MultiChoice, said:

 

“Showmax is an African video on demand service with many years’ experience operating on this continent. We’re local-first, which means listening to our customers and delivering African stories told in familiar voices as well as the best that Hollywood has to offer. Our local-first strategy is an advantage because it allows us to tailor our content, apps, packages, and partnerships specifically to what’s most important in Africa.”

 

In June 2019, Showmax began testing sport live-streaming, and the new Showmax Pro service is based on the results of this. Ekdahl said about sport streaming:

“The live sport test we ran on Showmax in conjunction with SuperSport has been well received, so that’s forming an integral part of our new Showmax Pro service.”

 

Another key development for African markets has been adapting the service for the data connectivity constraints on the continent and focusing on the most-used viewing devices. In November last year, Showmax launched a mobile-only service for smartphones and tablets featuring all of the Showmax content but at half the cost of the standard Showmax service and consuming less data. This service has also proven popular, so in addition to the standard version of Showmax Pro there will also be a mobile-only version at half the price.

 

Talking about the role of a mobile-only option, Ekdahl said:

“What else have we learned about operating an internet video service in Africa? Mobile usage is mainstream, so having a one-size-fits-all big screen service may not be the best solution here. With the mobile-only version of Showmax Pro, anyone with a smartphone in sub-Saharan Africa will be able to get the best African content, the best of Hollywood, and all of the best sporting action. This is something no other service is doing and we think it’s a game changer.”

 

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Mi Casa is one of South Africa’s most exciting and consistent success stories. With a sonic uniqueness that has not only stood the test of time, but shaped South African dance floors for the past decade, the band has gone from strength to strength with their Afro-Pop/House grooves and shown the world that nothing can keep positivity and a good formula down.

Now, ten years, countless awards and 5 albums later, the group has signed an international record deal with Afroforce1 Records and Universal Music Group, making them a priority act for their region. The brand new album
We Made It is a testament to a decade of raw pushing that saw this self-made success story emerge once again on top.

 

April 2020 saw a strong kick out the gate with the first single, ‘Church Bells’. Released alongside a powerful video of a space-inspired traditional African wedding, the single immediately topped SA’s most played charts and firmly
reminded audiences Mi Casa are leaders in their arena. They have returned to South African airwaves with more
determination, growth and relevance than ever before – and fired up about dropping their 5th album at home,
in the African continent and in Europe this July.

 

Aptly titled, We Made It makes J’Something beam with happiness and speak about it as if it’s his newborn child. “We are completely re-energised with this record. It feels like we have emerged on another planet compared to where we were before we started the recording process”, he states. The band, with close musical companions such as producers Jay Em, spent 3 months writing from a house in Mpumalanga with no distractions, pushing through a tough time when the band was probably at its weakest in terms of spirit. Amidst the rumours of break-up and song-writing apathy they emerged with an offering that leans more towards a ‘band act’ than the ‘club act’ they felt they may have been before.

 

Lyrically, J’ Something takes the helm as always. With love still remaining a strong lyrical undercurrent, there’s no doubt that this time the sex appeal is definitely riding high too. The album is probably one of the smoothest Mi Casa offerings to date. Tracks such as ‘Mamela’ speak to the tender side of all of us as J aches for quiet time with his partner.

Vocally, it gives a definite nod to 90’s R&B, whilst smatterings of musical beach vibes bring the listener closer to that holiday. ‘Obsessed’ takes it right to the top with fire lyrics cradled in a sexy Latin-House beat.
‘How Could You’ is a gut-punch that speaks almost tangibly to anyone who’s ever been played in a relationship while party tracks like ‘Chucks’ and ‘Love Everything about You’ remind fans why this band is still on top of their game.

 

A stand-out track is without a doubt, ‘Eve’ – a deeper, socio-political look at the dark place we find ourselves in as mankind. With a definite African angle to the lyrics, the sadness of the track is visceral and although perhaps not destined for dance floor dominance without a remix, the sheer vocal mastery by J’Something, Mo’s melancholy pull of the trumpet and the slowed-down beat take the listener on a journey of awareness.

 

In short, it’s pure re. Another stand-out track is ‘Home Alone’, featuring AKA. The song speaks to long distance relationships, longing, isolation and all the hard times people experience when being alone, much like what so many people have been experienced worldwide right now with the Covid 19 pandemic.

 

The 3rd July sees the official release of the album, as well as the second single, ‘Eve’. The band plans to support it with an exciting 9-province virtual tour and a host of other awesome digital content, until such time as they can perform live.

 

As a complete record one could be forgiven for feeling like they’re witnessing the blossoming evolution of their favourite OG’s. Emerging the other side as a more mature, slick and sexy force of nature. Mi Casa has literally, never sounded so good.

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Legacy – coming soon to M-Net

Posted by radio On June - 15 - 2020 ADD COMMENTS

First, M-Net took authentic South African story-telling to the next level with Trackers, the action-packed adaptation of Deon Meyer’s crime novel, which is taking the world by storm on HBO’s sister channel Cinemax. Hot on its heels came the beautiful family saga Still Breathing. Now, M-Net is expanding its slate of world-class series with more dynamite drama– this time in the form of a classy, first-of-its-kind South African telenovela called Legacy.

 

 

With startling storylines set in the fast-lane world of investment billionaires and a sterling, diverse cast, this new daily, designed for DStv’s Premium audience, is destined to become the talk of the town when it launches in September 2020.

 

“Imagine the machiavellian mega-rich characters living dysfunctional lives in the award-winning HBO series Succession in a fresh, distinctly South African context,” says Jan du Plessis, Director: M-Net Channels. “Add a daily dose of The Bold and The Beautiful, colour the concoction with pure escapism in the topical and aspirational style of the best Brazilian telenovelas, and you have Legacy in a nutshell.”

A new frontier

This is the first time in many years that M-Net viewers can come home to the magic of a daily local drama. Legacy is M-Net 101’s very first telenovela.

“Moving into this popular genre is an exciting step for the channel,” du Plessis adds. “ We managed to sign up the most acclaimed production company currently working in this field as well as a cast that combines top-flight established soap stars and hottest up-and-coming talent. We’re also pulling out all the stops to ensure that Legacy will be remembered for its arresting plots and new ways of filming. Expect all kinds of innovation to cement M-Net and MultiChoice’s reputation as Africa’s most loved storyteller.”

Web of intrigue

Legacy’s locus of conflict is an upmarket investment empire that was established by Sebastian Price, the patriarch of the super-wealthy Price family, decades ago, when he was in his early twenties. Now he is a silver fox approaching retirement and it is clear that a family member will soon have to take over the reins. But who will it be? And, at what cost? Sebastian’s bitter ex-wife and ruthless first-born daughter will do whatever it takes to ensure that Sebastian’s second wife, Dineo, does not push her playboy son into the position of CEO.

Of course the power struggle turns nasty. A witches’ brew of betrayal, secrets, lies and revenge.

Expect the best

Stepping into the roles of the current Mrs Price, Dineo, and Sebastian’s ex-wife, Angelique, a former lawyer who is now a woman of leisure, are two of South Africa’s most formidable leading ladies: Kgomotso Christopher and Michelle Botes, both known for creating unforgettable soap characters. After a long stint on Isidingo, Kgomotso this year clinched a SAFTA award (her third) for her performance in Scandal. She is cut out for the role of Dineo, a beautiful yet tragic second wife with a heart of gold beneath all the Gucci. Michelle rose to fame in the eighties with star turns in series like Arende and Konings, and ruffled the feathers as At Koster’s wife in Binnelanders. And who will ever forget how she called the shots as Isidingo’s super-bitch, Cherel de Villiers?

 

 

In Legacy, Mary-anne Barlow will be the villain everybody loves to hate – Felicity, Sebastian’s eldest daughter. Mary-anne has proved her mettle in shows like Egoli, the British drama Wild At Heart and 1 Magic’s The River, for which she scooped a Best Supporting Actress SAFTA award.

 

 

Seasoned film, television and theatre actor Deon Lotz is Legacy’s Sebastian. Deon had a starring role in Skoonheid – South Africa’s Academy Award entry for 2011, and the first Afrikaans film to be shown at the Cannes film festival, where it won the Queer Palm Award. He also played government kingpin Kobie Coetsee in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and boasts a long list of accolades for his work in kykNET films.

 

 

The charming stud who will set the hearts aflutter with his dazzling good looks is Sebastian’s wastrel son, SJ. The role fits Anton David Jeftha like a glove. He has made international inroads in US series filmed in South Africa – most notably Strike Back, Homeland and Dominion.

The rest of the cast will be announced in due course.

 

 

Get ready

Legacy is the brainchild of Phathu Makwarela and Gwydion Beynon from the multiple-award-winning production company Tshedza Pictures. Their latest feat, The River, made a clean sweep at this year’s SAFTA awards with ten Golden Horns. Johnny Barbuzano (Still Breathing) shares director’s duties with Catharine Cooke and Krijay Govender. Trevor Brown is the director of photography.

 

 

Legacy will be screened in September 2020 on M-Net Channel 101. DStv Premium viewers can also catch the series on Catch Up, or stream the episodes live via their mobile devices on DStv Now. Follow all the breaking news around the show on the M-Net Website , and join the conversation with #LegacySA on Twitter (@MNet), Instagram (@mnettv) and Facebook (@MNet).

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Africa’s leading video entertainment company, MultiChoice Group (MCG, or the Group) delivered solid financial results for the year ended 31 March 2020 (FY20). Highlights include 38% growth in core headline earnings to R2.5bn, with consolidated free cash flow increasing by 59% to R5.2bn, driven mainly by an improvement in the trading results from the Rest of Africa (RoA), a focus on cost containment and a reduction in working capital.

“We are certainly facing unprecedented times but are pleased with our performance and the resilience we have demonstrated this year,” says Calvo Mawela, Chief Executive Officer. “Our healthy balance sheet positions us well to weather the uncertainties in our markets going forward. We have also honoured our commitment to shareholders by declaring a maiden dividend of R2.5bn, on top of some R1.7bn in share buy-backs executed during the year.”

Despite global and country-specific macro-economic challenges, the Group added 0.9m 90-day active subscribers, representing 5% growth year-on-year (YoY). This took the overall subscriber base to 19.5m households, split between 8.4m households in South Africa (SA) and 11.1m households in the RoA.

Revenue was up 3% to R51.4bn and included R42.8bn in subscription revenue which increased 4% YoY. Top line momentum was affected by modest subscriber growth due to rising consumer pressure, a decision not to increase prices of its Premium package in South Africa, and the fact that last year’s growth benefitted from specific once-off events. Nonetheless, a strong focus on cost containment underpinned a 14% increase in trading profit to R8.0bn (29% organic), with some R1.4bn in cost savings generated during the year and a R800m (R1.8bn organic) reduction in losses in RoA.

 

 

The like-for-like core headline earnings increase, which excludes the impact of the additional 5% allocated to the Phuthuma Nathi (PN) shareholders in March 2019, was 57%. The Group reported R9.1bn in cash and cash equivalents, which combined with R5bn in undrawn facilities provides R14.1bn in financial flexibility.

 

 

MCG continues to position itself as Africa’s leading video entertainment platform, both now and into the future. Local content remains a strategic differentiator, with a sizeable 3 850 hours produced this year to bring the Group’s total local content library to nearly 57 000 hours. This focus on local content and innovative production models is yielding results, with MCG’s first local co-production Trackers becoming M-Net’s top performing series for the year, outperforming established global shows such as Game of Thrones.

 

 

In addition to compelling local stories, MCG continues to broadcast the best of sport and international content and will now be integrating third party streaming services onto its DStv platform. The recently signed distribution agreements with two major international Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) providers will ensure that customers have access to a wider variety of content, all in a single place.

 

 

“We have long been a content aggregator, and this is proof of our aggregator model at work – providing simplicity, choice and convenience for our customers,” Mawela explains. “As our industry evolves, we believe that we are well positioned to benefit from both worlds – a large, growing pay-TV market in Africa, as well as an emerging over-the-top (OTT) opportunity, where our own OTT services and aggregation capabilities can drive success.”

 

 

The Group also has an exciting product line-up that will launch during the year, including the much-anticipated DStv streaming product.

FINANCIAL REVIEW

The Group achieved its target of generating positive operating leverage by keeping revenue growth ahead of growth in costs. Organic revenue growth of 2% compared to a 3% reduction in operating costs on an organic basis resulted in improved operating leverage of 5%. A focus on tight cost controls and the early implementation of cost cutting initiatives underpinned an expansion in the Group’s trading margin from 14% to 16%. Cost savings included a reduction in variable costs such as decoder subsidies due to supply chain consolidation and lower unit costs, as well as close to R1bn in fixed costs savings through a broad range of initiatives across multiple areas of the business.

 

 

Capital expenditure (capex) of R0.8bn was slightly down on the prior year and included a R0.2bn investment as part of a multi-year programme to futureproof the Group’s customer service, billing and data capabilities. As one of the largest taxpayers in Africa, MCG paid direct cash taxes of R4.0bn, slightly higher than the prior year driven by higher Group profitability.

 

 

The Group’s strong balance sheet has supported the repurchase of 15.6m ordinary shares over the course of the year, to the value of R1.7bn. R1bn was executed as part of a general share buy-back programme between September 2019 and March 2020 at an average price of R96. These shares are currently held as treasury shares. The remaining R0.7bn related to the funding of the Group’s restricted share plan.

 

 

The Group remains fully dedicated to broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) and transformation. In line with prior commitment, the Group’s offer to PN shareholders to exchange up to 20% of their PN shares for MCG shares was finalised on 28 October 2019 and resulted in 3.7m shares being issued to PN shareholders, while MCG acquired 3.8m shares in PN in return. Following the conclusion of this share swap, the Group’s overall interest in MultiChoice South Africa increased from 75.0% to 76.4%, with PN owning the rest.

SEGMENTAL REVIEW

South Africa

The SA business held up well in a tough consumer climate, delivering subscriber growth of 6% YoY or 0.5m subscribers on a 90-day active basis. The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in South Africa and associated lockdown saw an uplift in subscribers towards the end of March. Revenue growth of 1% to R34.2bn was muted as healthy subscriber growth in the mass market was negated by the strategic decision not to increase prices on the Premium bouquet. Trading profit increased only 1% YoY to R10.3bn due to modest revenue growth and the cost impact of broadcasting three major sport events in the reporting period, but the trading margin remained stable at 30%.

The business continues to focus on growth, retention, strategic upselling of bouquets and operational efficiencies to support margins. Digital platforms saw strong uptake during the year, with self-service channels now handling 66% of all customer interactions. This follows the restructuring of the customer care division during the first half of the year.

The year saw strong, ongoing growth in Connected Video users on both the DStv Now and Showmax platforms as online consumption increases. Showmax, the Group’s standalone OTT service, gained solid traction this year following the launch of a mobile-only offering, improved marketing and further enhancements to the user interface and the content slate. The platform now boasts more than 50% local content.

Rest of Africa

The RoA business grew its 90-day active subscriber base by 4% YoY or 0.4m subscribers, to reach in excess of 11m subscribers for the first time. Growth was affected by non-recurring sport events in the prior year and some country-specific challenges. In Zimbabwe, the current hyperinflationary economic environment and lack of US dollar liquidity caused significant pressure on consumers, while severe drought-related electricity shortages of up to 18 hours per day in countries like Zambia impacted demand for services like pay-TV. Similar to SA, a slight increase in subscriber numbers was seen in March 2020 as lockdowns were initiated in various markets across the continent.

Revenue was up 4% (3% organic) to R15.5bn, with subscription revenue growing at a similar rate and contributing R14.3bn. While material currency depreciation in the Angolan

kwanza (47%) and the Zambian kwacha (25%) affected the segment’s financial results, the business continues to make progress towards its medium-term breakeven target. Trading losses narrowed 22% (47% organic) or by R0.8bn (R1.8bn organic) to R2.9bn, representing a 7% improvement in trading margin.

Despite challenging conditions, the RoA business still enjoyed several operational successes. Across many markets the Festive Season campaigns achieved higher growth than in any of the preceding 8 years, and the popular #DStvStepUp campaign served well to win back customers and increase engagement. The roll out of digital products to enhance customer service is now complete in all major markets, with the MyDStv and MyGOtv apps servicing 1.3m monthly users.

Technology segment

The Technology segment, Irdeto, delivered positive results, despite being the business segment most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the last quarter of FY20. It contributed R1.8bn in revenues, an increase of 12% YoY (4% organic). This momentum combined with cost efficiencies, resulted in a 25% (40% organic) increase in trading profit to R0.7bn.

Irdeto continues to gain market share in its media security segment, while also investing in connected industries as part of its strategy to diversify its reliance on traditional broadcasting revenues. New services such as security solutions for online video, online gaming and the Internet of Things (especially connected vehicles) are gaining traction. In the current year, the first vehicles incorporating Irdeto security technology were manufactured and a second long-term customer win with one of the world’s largest automotive groups was secured.

 

 

COVID-19 AND FUTURE PROSPECTS

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact across the world, adversely affecting the lives of the Group’s customers and its employees.

“Our absolute priority has been the health and safety of our employees and moving swiftly to implement business continuity plans well ahead of the forced lockdowns. Content line ups were adjusted, including making news channels more widely available across the continent, as well as adding more kids’ shows, movies and curated sports content,” Mawela explains.

The aftermath of the virus and low oil price, although uncertain in quantum, will likely have a negative impact on the economies of many of the Group’s markets, with weaker currencies and higher levels of unemployment expected. The impact of this on the Group’s performance is not yet known.

“While macro-economic implications are largely uncontrollable, we are taking steps wherever we can to counter potential future headwinds. These include implementing further cost savings initiatives across the organization and continuing to do what we do best – provide our customers with great entertainment,” says Mawela.

Going forward, subject to a stable regulatory environment and the unknown impact of COVID-19 pandemic, the Group will be looking to continue scaling its video entertainment services across the continent, focusing on the mass- market for pay-TV services, as well as on OTT. In addition, it plans to further increase its investment in local content and adjust its cost base to deliver acceptable returns.

“We remain well positioned with a sought-after product offering, significant scale, a diversified footprint across the African continent and a robust business model with a low reliance on advertising revenue. Importantly, we have hedging programmes in place to offset some of the currency pressures we’re exposed to and a healthy balance sheet, which includes R9.1 billion in cash. These organisational strengths provide us with confidence that we can withstand the impending macro-challenges and demands and continue to enrich lives through our video entertainment services,” Mawela concludes.

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Today Spotify is excited to announce that South African rapper Willy Cardiac is the second artist to join RADAR – Spotify’s global emerging artists program featuring artists from over 50 markets worldwide. RADAR is Spotify’s commitment to emerging artists across all stages of their career development.

Willy Cardiac’s new single “Fan of Me” is available for streaming on Spotify

This announcement comes with the release of his latest single “Fan of Me” that is now available for streaming on Spotify. ‘Fan of Me’ serves a high energy iteration of Trap&B, with equal parts thump and rhythm, the track marries both worlds perfectly. Flexing on production by KindlyNxsh, the irresistible melodic trap that Willy Cardiac delivers features a suave verse by Los Angeles crooner Eric Bellinger. Bellinger is renowned for working with artists including Justin Bieber, Usher and Chris Brown. ‘Fan of Me’ is bound to gain Willy Cardiac even more fans.

 

Back in 2017 Willy Cardiac dropped his debut track “Sippy Dippy”, which saw him go viral and earn a league of fans dubbed the Willy Gang and it is this growing fan base that fuels Willy Cardiac’s performances. The 19-year-old rising star, who has been described as ‘authentic’ and ‘forward thinking’, has a raw energy that captured the eye of popular rapper Ricky Rick and earned him an invitation to perform at the inaugural Cotton Fest.

After years of online success, Willy Cardiac has finally broken into the mainstream and bagged himself a spot on MTVs ‘Hottest MC List 2020 New Wave.’ Now, his inclusion in Spotify’s RADAR program will further accelerate his career by helping him deepen his connection to his existing audience as well as extend his reach globally.

 

Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s Artist and Label Partnerships Manager for South Africa, said: “Now more than ever, emerging artists need as much platform support as possible to showcase their music to local and international audiences. Spotify has always been committed to artist development, and to connecting fans with the music they will love. We believe that RADAR will help set up Willy Cardiac for long term success with a worldwide Hip-hop listenership.”

 

Together with the RADAR program, Spotify also recently introduced the On Our RADAR: Africa playlist, which will highlight music from new African artists and their latest releases. The playlist will also serve as a content hub for all the must-know tracks and hot new artists across a full spectrum of genres from the continent and the African diaspora. The playlist will continue to solidify Spotify as the ultimate destination for artist discovery and a powerful partner for rising artists.

 

Under the RADAR program, Willy Cardiac will be supported across different verticals. From first-hand editorial and on-platform support, to bespoke Spotify social media content to broaden his fan base and more.

 

“I am thrilled to be chosen by Spotify to be a part of their RADAR program,” says Willy Cardiac. All the hard work I have put into my music continues to be recognised and having Spotify support me on my journey will make my music accessible to millions of users around the world, from South Africa all the way to America. There’s no limit to where your music can go.”

 

Willy Cardiac joins Spotify’s emerging artist program, following the footsteps of international superstars such as Lil Baby,  Rex Orange County, and Lauv who not so long ago were just starting out. Each one was assisted in this journey by Spotify’s dedication to bringing up-and-coming artists to music fans’ radar.

 

Earlier in March, Spotify announced Elaine as their first South African RADAR artist and continue to support Elaine’s music to date with forthcoming fan-driven events and editorial support from all around the world.

 

This weekend Willy Cardiac will kick off an IG Live series where he will be joined by some of his popular industry friends to trade ‘fan encounter’ stories. The IG Live series will start on Monday 1 June from 8pm (SAST) and run as per below –

 

Download the Spotify app via the Android or iOS app store or by heading to www.spotify.com – to embed Spotify into a website – right click on any playlist, go to ‘share’ and copy embed code.

 

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