Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh launches new WhatsApp channel ahead of elections

11 March 2019 - 15:07 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh has launched a new WhatsApp platform for young South Africans to share their political views.
Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh has launched a new WhatsApp platform for young South Africans to share their political views.
Image: Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh via Facebook

Author, musician and activist Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh has created a WhatsApp news channel to serve as a platform for young people to air their political views ahead of the elections.

Following its launch on Sunday, when Mpofu-Walsh shared a link to the channel on his Twitter page, he said the channel already has more than 5,000 subscribers.

"The idea was to use technology and media to help to express the youth voice in this election. It had to be groundbreaking and easily accessible. That's when we realised that WhatsApp was the key. We then worked tirelessly to build the content and integrate it with the technology," said Mpofu-Walsh.

"The channel is simple! You click on the link and it takes you to WhatsApp, and then automatically opens a channel with prompts. You are served a menu of all the available options on the channel," he explained.

"From there, you can subscribe to a host of different media options, from music videos and episodes to information about the guests."

He said the channel was intended for people looking for alternatives to the current media landscape, particularly "South Africans who are tired of seeing the same faces protect the same corruption and lies; those unapologetically opposed to racism, gender discrimination and myriad other forms of intersectional oppression; also those committed to overcoming the economic legacy of apartheid; young people who are tired of being left out of the narrative; and anyone out there who’s tired of feeling misrepresented and under-represented."

Mpofu-Walsh said he developed the channel specifically for the election period to create a platform for young people to speak out.

"This country was built by young people and we have seen in recent years how young people have held power to account, with #FeesMustFall, for instance. We want to take that innovative and revolutionary spirit into a new era of media and technology."

The channel will feature interviews with political parties, analysts, activists, authors, designers and artists, he added.

"There will be at least two live interviews per week, some editorial content and music videos on political issues. We'll also carry election events live, like election results and rallies."