IN May this year, multi-platform broadcasting television network Kwesé TV network marked its grand entrance into the Lesotho market with a glamorous gala event at ‘Manthabiseng National Convention Centre where the who’s who of the corporate world were in attendance.
Kwesé TV’s arrival is seen in many quarters as a game changer in the industry which for a long time did not have many players.
The Kwesé TV network, which was brought to Lesotho by Econet Telecom Lesotho, is the brainchild of world-acclaimed Zimbabwean entrepreneur Strive Masiyiwa, who is founder and chairperson of the Econet Group communications giant.
Lesotho joined 12 other African countries where Kwesé has been launched, namely, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Kwese TV services comprises a bouquet of TV broadcasting channels offering news, sport, children’s and general family entertainment.
Deriving inspiration from the Shona word kwese which means ‘everywhere,’ Kwese TV is “premised on the concept of TV everywhere and anywhere” in Africa.
Lesotho Times (LT) reporter Bereng Mpaki held a wide-ranging interview with ETL Public Relations Officer Puleng Litabe (PL) to get an update on how the new product is faring in the market.
LT: What has the reception been like for Kwesé TV in the market since its launch in Lesotho?
PL: It has been excellent. We are selling and installing Kwesé TV decoders and satellite dishes in people’s home every day. The most interesting thing is the feedback we are getting from customers on how great and entertaining Kwesé TV channels are. There is lots of word of mouth referrals. TV is never the same.
LT: Please update us on the available bouquets, the total number of channels, the pay packages, as well as the costs involved for each package.
PL: The Kwesé TV kit cost M540. That includes a satellite dish, decoder, free installation and free one-month subscription.
Kwese has over 60 channels and the customer views all of them regardless of the subscription package. The packages range from three days for M56, seven days for M105 to 30 days for M350.
LT: As a multi-platform network, which other platforms are currently available in Lesotho apart from the satellite TV platform? And how can these be accessed by customers?
PL: We have other platforms that are not launched in Lesotho yet but they will be introduced very soon.
LT: What new channels have been added onto the Kwesé TV menu for Basotho in recent times? Are there any more channels likely to be added in the near future?
PL: New channels like NTA – 254, Cbeebies – 520, Hillsong – 815 and others have been added on the Kwesé TV menu and more channels will still be added as we go along.
LT: When the brand was launched in Lesotho, there was interest towards generation of local content that could be aired through Lesotho Television. Is that still the case and what is the progress to date?
PL: Yes local content will be aired on Kwesé TV and currently, submissions of such content are still made on kwesified.com to ensure that the content meets all the terms and conditions
So, it is still work in progress as we closely monitor the quality of the submitted content.
LT: When is the local content likely to start airing on the screen?
PL: As soon as we are satisfied that the content meets the set criteria
LT: The coming of Kwesé TV to Lesotho has been billed as a major investment by Econet which is expected to bring lucrative job and business opportunities for Basotho. What are some of the opportunities available for Basotho to exploit?
PL: In terms of job opportunities, all our current Kwesé team members are Basotho men and women and some were not Econet employees. We have also opened up for the local Basotho to become our dealers for Kwese and any interested party can contact us on +266 2221 1000
LT: Are there any synergies between Kwesé TV and the EcoCash platform to allow TV subscribers to pay through EcoCash?
PL: Yes, Kwesé TV customers can pay their subscriptions through EcoCash by dialing *199# then select option 8 (Pay bill) on the main menu.
LT: What new exciting developments can be expected by Kwese TV users in the near future?
PL: Like the name, Kwese, implies, Kwese TV will be available everywhere and anywhere in the future and it will include the local content that they have been asking for.