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When Telecoms and Tradition Meet: MTN Zambia funds Kazanga Ceremony


It’s no surprise to see a big deal to hear of a mobile service provider sponsoring a traditional ceremony. It’s almost “normal” here n Zambia. Just like MTN Zambia is now putting K30,000 into the Nkoya people’s Kazanga traditional ceremony in North Western province this year, which is a celebration that thanks God for a fruitful harvest season.

What does this mean for the ceremony? Well this year it will be publicized thanks to the cash pumped in so we expect to see it on our screens as it happens (or perhaps as a typical recorded program), but how many people REALLY watch local channels these days, with the rise in cheap satellite TV?

What can K30,000 be used for? Definitely not costumes! Most of the costumes of traditional ceremonies are handmade so not much of an expense there. We’ve all seen them.

The whole aim of the fund, according to MTN Zambia’s Chief Executive Officer Abdul Ismail, “is to integrate it into its corporate social investment programme to preserve the country’s cultural heritage”, by showing the event on TV to anyone who cares to watch.

This is where the mini social guru in me kicked in. I thought Facebook, Twitter and Instagram updates and YouTube video uploads. These would show what is going on on the ground as it happens from every different social media user’s view. It brings about a sense of intimacy with what is happening , from anywhere you are in the world. It’s 2014, the power of social media should not be underestimated. It will put the ceremony in people’s faces and sort of lure them to watch and/or participate.


I would suggest endorsements by gadget companies to showcase their products by being a part of the ceremony e.g they use a phone in stock to capture moments at Kazanga and show how tech and tradition can work together in Zambia specifically. In short, advertise themselves on a traditional platform, just so we can stop with all the foreign advertisements we see on TV. Why can’t they be local? Many argue that it’s costly. I disagree because there are a lot of people who can do a great job right within Zambia  for cheaper than you think if you network right. For example, you should attend the Startup Junction every month which has people from all sectors of job environments for networking purposes. This will help you find people who can work with you to make really Zambian ads. Read a review on the last Startup hour here. Nothing attracts people to a product than showing them its relevance in their home-setting.

That’s just my opinion. Maybe MTN already has similar strategies in place so we’ll just have to wait and find out on the 21st of July.

Picture Credit: MTN Zambia


Tech Blogger & Marketer.