‘Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous…the planners, the doers, the ones with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground…’ This highly rotated quote on social media springs to mind when thinking of these three extraordinary South Africans.
Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, Maps Maponyane, and Verashni Pillay, are thinkers and doers with their ears on the ground, 'heads in the clouds and feet firmly on the ground.' Whereas most SA celebs have opted for developing their own apps, Mpofu-Walsh, Maponyane and Pillay have turned to WhatsApp instead—a platform that boasts roughly 1.5 million users, to engage with and to share content ranging from current affairs, to fashion, fitness, health and wellness.
The Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh Xperience was launched just before the elections, in March 2019. The channel is spreading fire with fresh content every week focusing on the intersection of politics and popular culture in SA. The host has been doing a sterling job so far, not pushing any agenda or trying to become the story. ‘SMWX is about new voices coming to the fore and ensuring that they are heard during the elections and beyond,’ said Mpofu-Walsh just before launching. Currently on episode 29 and with over 15000 subscribers, the channel has consistently dropped daily updates, news, riveting interviews with the likes of Eusebius McKaiser, Sipho Hlongwane, Karyn Maughn, Slikour, #CountryDuty activist and lawyer Tumi Sole and many more. It recently dropped super lit exclusive interviews with advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, and former president Jacob Zuma. #Ayeye
Verashni Pillay is an award-winning journalist and editor, renowned for her previous roles as editor for the Mail & Gaurdian and The HuffPost SA respectively. Pillay has kept it moving and recently established a fresh news platform, Explain. It does what it says—the news made simple. According to Pillay, ‘mainstream South Africa media provides elite news that alienates most citizens.’ Explain is an innovative and much needed service that carefully selects news topics that affect South Africans and their lives and breaks it down, making it easy to understand. Verationality is a WhatsApp offering of the news platform where you can get updates and your news summary for the week as a text, voice note or video. The video features presenters and comedians who unpack complex issues and helps uses understand the sometimes-unnecessary jargon that gets thrown around in news stories and articles.
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Quick plug: If you haven't already, hop on over to our sister publication, House & Garden, to peep Masego ‘Maps’ Maponyane’s uber stylish Joburg pad. Maps recently launched Modern Maps because there is a 'lot he does not share' on social media. He wanted to share his thoughts, daily experiences and give access to what his life is like behind the scenes. The media personality, philanthropist and brand ambassador, aims to empower his followers with daily updates, tips and musings ranging from fitness, recipes, mental health, fashion and much more. ‘I did not want to create an app for that, because I didn’t want people leaving what they were doing and logging into an app. Most people use WhatsApp as a tool of communication and it is always open, so it is a great platform,’ he said.