Real treat for teen technophiles


IF YOU haven’t taken the time out to watch www.ex-fron­tiers on SABC3 yet, then you’re miss­ing out. The teen technology show, pre­sented by Ayanda Ny­athi and Ni­cole Nor­man, takes the re­ally broad and in­ter­est­ing world of technology and packs it in a way that is in­for­ma­tive and fun.

Both Ny­athi and Nor­man are both very much part of the tech gen­er­a­tion, but not in a way that is in­tim­i­dat­ing. In­stead they ap­proach guests, top­ics, demon­stra­tions and new technology on the show with an in­fec­tious, child­like en­thu­si­asm.

The show also fea­tures lo­cal celebri­ties – which gives you another rea­son to tune in.

Nazrene Salie, the show’s pro­ducer, says it’s on-point and up-to-date with the lat­est trends in technology and the teenage life­style that goes along with it.

“Ex-Fron­tiers re­sides in the realm of hash­tags, self­ies, likes, fol­low­ers, trend­ing, tweets, snaps, feeds, vi­ral, han­dles and avatars. Ev­ery­day teens are mak­ing strides in technology and this show makes sure that you don’t miss any of it,” she said.

The show has en­joyed sev­eral months on screen so far and was orig­i­nally de­vel­oped after the SABC re­leased a re­quest for pro­pos­als in 2014.

“The teen technology show was one of the briefs. It sketched a gen­eral idea of the aims and tar­get au­di­ence – it was then up to us to then come up with an en­gag­ing con­cept that would ap­peal to both the client (the SABC) and, most im­por­tantly, our tar­get au­di­ence,” Salie said.

She be­lieved although there were other technology shows out there, none spoke to its tar­get au­di­ence.

“Ev­ery idea, all our con­tent, the aes­thet­ics, the pre­sen­ters, our seg­ments and how the show is put to­gether is driven by the de­sire to make technology rel­e­vant, re­lat­able and ap­peal­ing to teens,” said Sal­lie.

She added that the show is also im­por­tant be­cause youth re­side in a tech-filled world: “Technology is fast be­com­ing em­bed­ded in ev­ery­day as­pects of chil­dren’s and teens’ lives – it’s ev­ery­where they turn, it is con­stantly be­ing re­worked, re­vised and rein­vented and the youth in South Africa is part and par­cel of the grow­ing trend that sees young peo­ple grav­i­tate to­wards technology,” she said,

She ex­plained that www.ex-fron­tiers fills in the blanks by try­ing to show teens what’s out there in terms of technology, how it can be help­ful, what ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties ex­ist within the field of technology, how to safely nav­i­gate the tech world and, most im­por­tantly, how to lever­age it to im­prove their lives.

In each episode a theme is ex­plored. This de­pends on what’s cur­rent, top­i­cal, trend­ing and per­ti­nent.

Sal­lie added that each episode is built around a theme and that so­cial me­dia is the great­est in­flu­ence in this re­gard.

“The show is con­sists of var­i­ous seg­ments and in­cor­po­rates in­serts shot on lo­ca­tion, as well as su­dio el­e­ments. This gives us a blank frame­work and, to­gether with the theme, we start fill­ing our frame­work with colour­ful con­tent that will ap­peal to teens,” she said.

So far, the show has been well re­ceived by kids and Salie said feed­back from play­ers within the technology field and who work with teens say that it is much needed and long over­due.

The show runs un­til April and still has loads more in­for­ma­tion-packed episodes lined up.

Keep­ing abreast of top­ics is what makes this show a suc­cess, Salie ex­plained – and that the In­ter­net and so­cial me­dia are their sources for keep­ing up with what’s hap­pen­ing in the tech world.

“What this trans­lates to in re­al­ity is hav­ing a con­tent team that is very pro­fi­cient with so­cial me­dia and who fol­low the big blogs and have signed up for all of the alerts and up­dates.

“It’s an im­mense task, as tech is chang­ing all the time and, while a lot of our fo­cus is lo­cal, we do in­clude trends and up­dates from around the globe.”

The pro­gramme is shot in Cape Town, but each episode con­tains a five-minute in­sert that ex­plores other prov­inces.

The show’s name – a do­main – has also been reg­is­tered and the blog con­tains sev­eral posts that fea­ture con­tent re­lated to that shared on the show.

“The amaz­ing part is that the blog posts are gen­er­ated by our team of six teen blog­gers. So we have real teens gen­er­at­ing con­tent about technology for our teen au­di­ence,” Salie added. www.ex-fron­tiers airs on SABC3 at 9.30am on Sun­days.

Pre­sen­ters of www.ex-fron­tiers, Ni­cole Nor­man and Ayanda Ny­athi... they ap­proach au­di­ences and new technology with in­fec­tious en­thu­si­asm.

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