Multichoice prioritises investment in local film and TV entertainment
6 October 2017
The Southern Times (TST) spoke to MultiChoice Namibia general manager, Roger Gertze, about the role the cable network plays in promoting local content.
TST: Please give an insight on how Multichoice has moved to encourage local content on some of the channels?
RG: Firmly rooted in Africa, MultiChoice has continuously prioritised its investment in promoting local film and television entertainment. Our flagship channel, M-Net, invested heavily in obtaining the best possible content from around the world and remains committed to producing the best local content in which millions of dollars have been invested with productions such as Big Brother, Idols, Survivor, The Voice, etc. The Africa Magic channels have become the primary provider of movies produced in Africa. In terms of Namibia specifically, the Namibian channels carried include NBC1, NBC2 and One Africa TV alongside eight audio channels, including NBC National Radio, Kosmos, Radio Energy and Channel 7. Afrikaans channels such as kykNET and VIA feature Namibian content filmed on location, including Jan Braai, Groen Namibië, Toks & Tjops, Weg! Agterpaaie as well as Kwêla Dorp Van Die Jaar winner, 2016 (Hentiesbaai). Many international channels feature Namibian landscapes, including National Geographic, Travel Channel and The Weather Channel. Most recently, Namibian drama series, The Third Will premiered on Zambezi Magic (DStv Channel 160) in June 2017 on Zambezi Magic which is viewed throughout Southern African region.
TST: How has the recent featuring of Namibian celebrities on Trace Africa and the Big Brother Reality Show helped in making your brand popular in Namibia?
RG: Over the last 25 years, MultiChoice has taken pride in showcasing Namibian talent on its platforms and one of our key objectives is to ensure that we bring our viewers relevant content that they can connect with. Our platforms offer over eight music channels to cater for everyone’s tastes and we hope to see an increased in Namibian content on these channels to show the continent the best that Namibian has to offer. Since the launch less than a year ago, TRACE Africa has featured videos from Namibian artist The Dogg with his hit, ‘Bye’, Namibian pop queen Sally has also been trending on the channel with the video of her hit single ‘Natural.’
Former Namibian contestants in Big Brother Africa such as Stefan Ludik, Dillish Mathews, Lady May, and Luis Munana have all made great successes of their respective careers that followed the competition.
TST: Could you talk about how much you pump into the Namibian economy, in taxes, dividends and the sub sectors?
RG: Through investing in infrastructure, technology and most importantly in people, MultiChoice Namibia has a direct economic impact of some US$11.9 million each year.
TST: Please talk to us about the number of jobs your create, directly and indirectly?
RG: At Multihoice Namibia we employ 140 staff members. Our Namibian footprint has evolved over the last 25 years. It now spans three branches, 13 agents, 120 accredited installers and 70 formal retailers.