A grand op­por­tu­nity for Kwese TV

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

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.

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