Fans have always just seen their favourite celebrities on TV, or even performing at a gig in their town.
But since Covid-19 struck, those in the public space have had to think differently about how to reach their fans in the time of social distancing.
Entertainer Mthokozisi “DJ Tira” Khathi (44) recently partnered with businessmen and information technology specialists Thulani Ngwenya and Aubrey Modise to make this easier.
With a new app called YouDeh, they will give fans access to some of Mzansi’s top media personalities at the touch of a button.
“The app allows users to connect with people around the world that would be hard to reach through paid-for-private meeting requests,” DJ Tira says.
“This is a first for social media as one does not have to hold their breath in hopes or frustration to try and get the attention of the ones they support for different reasons,” DJ Tira says.
No personal contact details of the celebrities will be visible on the app.
“It is important to note that the celebs’ contact details are never compromised as there is no sharing of their emails or contact numbers unless they voluntarily do so during the private calls. These calls are neither recorded nor stored on the app,” Tira says.
“YouDeh is not limited to celebrities and their fans but entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors, tutors, and even sangomas are able to use it for consultations as the scope is endless.”
During the height of the pandemic, entertainers struggled financially when their bookings were cancelled. Co-founder Thulani says the app will create employment from their homes in case another pandemic strikes.
“The app is a safe and fun space to broaden our world while keeping us connected, and a percentage of the booking fee goes to the artist.”
YouDeh can be downloaded via Apple App Store or Google Play Store. You create a profile, set your preferred rates and connect to your star once your meeting has been confirmed.
- For instance: A celebrity can say “I will charge $10 (R139) for my five minutes”. (Every user is a celebrity on the YouDeh app)
- When someone would like to have a private video call with that celeb, they’d login on the app, create a party request of type meeting.
- Invite that particular celeb = When inviting the celeb, the user would indicate for how long. If they say five minutes for instance, the app will notify them that the celeb will charge them $10 (R139). If they agree, they will then make the payment from their wallets on the app. (Users can top up their wallets using credit/debit cards or PayPal)
- The celeb will receive the request on the app which they can either reject or approve.
- Should they approve, the requestor will receive a notification, and when the time comes both the requestor and the celeb connect via a private video call on the app.
- After the call, the funds are paid into the celeb’s wallet on the app within 24 hours. The celeb can either use the funds to request other users’ time or withdraw the funds via PayPal. All rates are charged at USD as it is an international app.