We were introduced to Stephen Horn by Carly from our partner EasyEquities. Carly meet him through her boyfriend Jack Esterhuizen, the director of Chill Box Studio and current editor of The Bachelor SA. Speaking of the Bachelor, our Rob went to school with this years Bachelor. It’s amazing how small and connected the world really is. With elections in a month, lets keep and stay informed, here’s a bit more about Politically Aweh.
Inspired by South Africa’s greatest celebrity export, the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, Politically Aweh is creating high quality local news videos with a dose of humour.
It’s no secret that Trevor Noah embodies the contradictions and complexities of the South African condition: he is hugely popular and seen as a beacon of hope and aspiration to many young South Africans, but at the same time his meteoric rise eventually saw him move to the USA. The gap he left behind and the need to find innovative ways of getting South Africans, the youth in particular, to pay attention to and engage with the country’s most pressing issues, was the catalyst for the creation of new SA news and politics infotainment show, Politically Aweh.
Originally conceived back in 2017 by 28-year-old video producer Stephen Horn, he has since amassed a team of journalists, video professionals, comedians and presenters, and established a publishing and editorial support relationship with award-winning news platform, Daily Maverick. The show has produced episodes covering topics like protests, Mandela’s centenary, gay rights, gender-based violence and the Eskom crisis.
“Politically Aweh aims to solve the well documented fall in news consumption by the youth in particular, and put news and politics at the heart of Mzansi’s social media feeds, by creating engaging content that cuts through the noise and unpacks news stories in short infotainment video format,” says Horn. “The 2019 IEC registration numbers, which despite our growing population show a declining trend in new voter registration, especially in the 18-19 age category, paint a worrying picture of voter apathy or disillusionment with our democracy. I feel strongly that our content offers a much-needed new format of journalism that can start bringing “awehness” to important national issues, and hopefully drive young people to participate in our democracy,” Horn adds.
The show has a few tricks up its sleeve to set it apart from the competition. Its unique infotainment format presents itself as neither comedy nor pure news but a mix of both. Serious interviews with the likes of Thuli Madonsela (in next week’s episode) and location reports by young reporters from the heart of breaking news stories sit alongside hilarious memes and sketches. The production values of the show are also setting a new benchmark for local online content production, with high quality picture, sound, animation and editing.
The team is a diverse mix based in Cape Town and Johannesburg, where the project is being incubated at the Wits journalism backed Jamlab Media Accelerator Programme. Comedian Tyson Ngubeni, who is currently featured in Showmax’s new stand-up comedy series “Funny People Africa”, is a key figure, producing, writing and soon to be featured in an upcoming studio taping of the show in front of a live audience in early May, just in time for the elections.
The show is presented by Zipho Majova, who auditioned for the role in an open casting call in Cape Town last year. She is taking the internet by storm with fans frequently commenting on how they love hearing her take on the news. As a young black female voice, she is also pioneering in the comedy news space in South Africa. “I got involved because I’m passionate about telling stories,” says Majova. “It’s a culmination of my love for and educational background in politics, being on stage and my dream of being a talk show host. More importantly, I believe in the values of Politically Aweh – the idea that we need to disrupt the traditional methods of how we convey SA news stories. And break political apathy amongst my peers, because for me, the personal is political and the political is personal.”
You can catch the latest video from Politically Aweh on the Eskom crisis below,
Watch more episodes and subscribe to their YouTube channel and follow them on Facebook . The team are also offering their explainer video production services to brands through a new offering called Get Aweh. You can reach the them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Stephen on 0726210457.