The City of Tshwane’s mission to be the most connected city on the African continent continues to garner international acclaim! This time the City’s TshWi-Fi TV project is a winner in the FIRE Africa Awards 2016, presented last night – 6 December 2016 – in Guadalajara, Mexico during the 2016 Internet Governance Forum.
FIRE Africa is one of Africa’s leading grants and awards programmes and is designed to encourage, support and develop innovative online solutions to Africa’s needs.
Tshwi-Fi TV was acknowledged by FIRE Africa as an innovative collaboration between the City of Tshwane and Tobetsa, Project Isizwe’s content partner. The citizen journalism project – which brings hyper-local education and entertainment videos to Tshwane’s Free Wi-Fi users via the TshWi-Fi.co.za portal – won the award for being an internet service that promotes social inclusion, strengthens democracy and allows for the exercise of rights and freedoms.
TshWi-Fi TV is at the heart of TshWi-Fi.co.za, a short-form video initiative that facilitates learning and skills development for young aspiring filmmakers from local communities. Together they have created more than 600 original videos with the increasing viewership consistently above 20 000 video views per month.
A recent survey showed that users see TshWi-Fi TV as a motivational and educational resource. “It motivates me to one day make my own thing like WiFi TV” and “I’ve been motivated to pursue more business-orientated ideas because of the people Í see in the featured videos” were some of the responses received when users were asked about their experiences with the service.
Tshwane’s mayor is a fan too. Mayor Solly Msimanga praised the initiative during the recent Southern African Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (Sanec) ambassadors luncheon in Centurion. “Tshwane Wi-Fi is one of the best things that has ever happened to the city; it is one of the best things I inherited as the mayor.”
TshWi-Fi TV’s short-format shooting process, low production costs and focus on content that matters to local communities means that that unique and highly relevant videos can be produced. The model is continually being evolved, and development is centered on building a sustainable model that will be able to be replicated across South Africa.
The award encourages Tobetsa to continue to align content on its portals with the Wi-Fi TV offering, to create a digital ecosystem that supports local communities by giving them access to information they can use to improve their lives.