A grand opportunity for Kwese TV
AS a member of the sporting fraternity, I would like to join the rest of the nation in congratulating mobile communications giant Econet Telecom Lesotho on the recent successful launch of their multi-platform broadcasting television network Kwese TV.
Kwese TV was launched a fortnight ago at a glittering ceremony attended by government officials, corporate players and other stakeholders at the National Convention Centre in Maseru.
It is the brainchild of world-acclaimed Zimbabwean entrepreneur Strive Masiyiwa, who is founder and chairperson of the Econet Group.
Lesotho thus joined 12 other African countries where Kwese has been launched, namely, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
The television’s major selling points centre on the provision of high quality viewing from the everpopular English Premier League soccer, National Basketball Association (NBA from major sports channels like ESPN), major news networks (including Sky News, France 24, Al Jazeera, and Bloomberg Television) to movies and children’s programming.
So finally, here we are, with a television network that prides itself on being an African solution to African problems.
And speaking of problems, one big problem that we have in Lesotho is that of a football league that is crying out for more sponsorship, a league that is crying out for greater visibility nationally, regionally, on the continent and beyond.
We have a league brimming over with talented players who only need the kind of platform that can be afforded by the likes of Kwese TV to showcase their skills and hopefully secure moves to even bigger leagues.
This will, in the long run, boost the profile of our football, our country and indeed help to make our beloved senior national Likuena side a more competitive outfit on the continental and world football stage.
Apart from being an African solution to African problems, the other thing that struck me about Kwese TV is that it derives its inspiration from the Zimbabwean Shona word kwese which means ‘everywhere’.
Kwese TV is therefore premised on the concept of TV everywhere and anywhere in Africa.
Here is a television network that can take the skills of Hlompho Kalake, Tšoanelo Koetle, Bushy Moletsane, Bokang Mothoana, Thabiso Brown, Tsietsi Motšeare, Mojela Letsie (to name a few) into homes in Lagos (Nigeria), Accra (Ghana), Cairo (Egypt), Lusaka (Zambia) and Harare (Zimbabwe).
I believe Kwese TV have landed on virgin territory as far as football is concerned and they have the opportunity to make the most of it by beaming live coverage of Lesotho football which has not received the same treatment as football in some African countries including those in fellow SADC countries like South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
What gives me hope is the fact that Kwese TV is already a major league player when it comes to broadcasting major sporting events.
After all they among the broadcasters with media rights for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
It is an open secret that the South African premier league has become one of the richest in Africa thanks to its partnership with Supersport while in England teams and players are getting lucrative contracts due to the involvement of television in football.
It is therefore my hope that Kwese TV will play a similar role and give Lesotho’s football the facelift it desperately needs to turn professional.
The likes of Bantu, Lioli, Kick4Life and LCS have already taken huge strides towards professionalism and they could do with a helping hand to take their football to the next level.
I know this is not a vain hope especially in light of the fact that Kwese TV showcased various sporting codes such as rugby and basketball in their promotional campaigns during and after the launch of the network.
Besides, Econet are past sponsors of the premier league and they would be aware of the challenges facing football and sports in general in this country.
The shortcomings of Lesotho Television are evident and this is something that Kwese TV can capitalise on to become the biggest television network in the country.
I am optimistic that in Kwese TV, we finally have an African solution to our national problem which has been the failure to showcase to a bigger audience the sultry skills of our premier league footballers.
This is our opportunity to bridge the gap in terms of growth and development of our football and other sports vis-à-vis other countries on the continent and beyond.
KWESE TV was launched a fortnight ago.