The Genius About Hlaudinomics

2016-06-01 08:40

Black people were first taught how to speak English properly, the prose of it all. This is later developed to immaculate the brain so not to have "wild imagination" as creative as those of Steve Jobs or Richard Branson or Mark Zuckerberg. Most of these geniuses usually do not have diplomas to decorate their walls and all of them are white males. They are allowed the freedoms of thought dark people aren’t. The privilege goes further to them having access to financing be it via friends or friends friends or friends father who knows a friend’s uncle and so forth. They also mostly learn English in English.

Blacks often learn English in their mother tongue and God knows just how lazy English language is. It's lazy and bizarre. You can count to eight and tell someone you ate lunch and ate is still makes the sound of eight. But blacks are also drilled to believe an English articulate man who pronounces words as King George would is brighter than the one who has his mother tongue accent - is stupid, backward, not worthy and indeed an outclass loser.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng reminds me of that stereotype. Motsoenefng of the SABC occupies a role of equal to Deputy Director General level yet has such bold presence at the organization and many in South Africa have come to know of him. It seems the corporation’s corporate strategy rests with him. He has been vilified and continues to be. Motsoeneng isn't shy to embrace his cultural background and has received much scorn for it in a South Africa with western culture dominating even black peoples minds. His lack of formal education has been ridiculed yet no one has paused to assess his input and the corporation’s output. Critics have not looked at the health of human resources in the corporation nor the financial health or its technical health. They laugh the most when he mispronounces English words or the like, most can not speak the number of languages Motseoneng can. He has consistently delivered the goods. The SABC last asked for a bailout during EFF’s Dali Mpofu’s management of the corporation. He was awarded R14 million golden handshake for messing the group up.

Many regard TV as a dinosaur of the past. The rise of social media and direct platforms like Netflix are said to be a disruptive change.

Despite the skeptics, SABC has been able to finalize technical readiness for digital migration and launched a news network under him. It is now planning to launch at least 20 new channels as broadcast spectrum becomes expanded.

TV and Radio programming is now with higher locally produced content. Radio was decreed to test a 90% local content recently and TV will soon get an 80% local content decree. Welcomed by musicians and producers, this is not only positive for cultural development as our constitution demands but it is smart and important beyond measure business for SABC too.

Why is this important beyond measure? First, SABC cannot compete with DSTV; it has to pave a new niche business model. Direct TV will also impact on SABC. The most strategic thing to do is to develop and be a center of excellence for local productions even venture into locally produced high budget filmmaking. Motsoeneng has realized the economics of TV have changed. This means he must adapt. He must avoid market saturation by TelkomSA direct TV offerings.

Historically, the TVs primary revenue model has been advertising. Advertising is moving sharply to product placement instead of ads shown during breaks. The one who owns content can now pre load ads during filming as part of the storyline. This helps with targeted advertising too.

Targeted content has the power to sell goods and services, the SABC ad model had to change to locate the local consumers by type. This will be achieved easily via local content. Motsoeneng realized that satellite TV (DSTV), direct TV, YouTube and others have led to an abundance of channels offering US products often the same.

SABC must produce local versions of hit shows like The Sopranos. This is what he needs to focus on. He must work tirelessly until he finds the gems to make him the silver. SABC has the key to make an industry out of film SA. The formula is in Hlaudinomics and this may become a serious contributor to GDP.

Likewise, for radio, paying Air Play fees to America meant sending more rands out of the country; it meant betting on an exchange rate SABC would never be able to properly forecast thus risky for cash management. It meant starving off local talent development. Local talent essentially had only live gigs to rely on. With more radio play more can be produced and more talent unearthed.

Motsoeneng is brave, smart, innovative and needs public support. This doesn't mean he won’t make mistake and upset people now and again, but the man has the right ingredients for leadership.

Bo Mbindwane on Twitter @mbindwane

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