Internews in partnership with the Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE) hosted its first hackathon bringing together media organisations from different parts of the country to pioneer creative solutions to media sustainability.
The hackathon was attended by bloggers, youtubers, podcasters and participants from community radio stations and media organizations amongst them Ntepe Manama, Community Radio Harare (CORAH FM), Community Podium, Community Voices of Zimbabwe (CVZ) among others.
The eight-team group had an opportunity to present their ideas with the winning teams walking away with various prizes and an opportunity for mentorship around issues of sustainability.
CITE technical manager, Sean Ndlovu said the hackathon was meant to assist organisations to be self sustainable.
“CITE in partnership with Internews held a hackathon which was about coming up with solutions for sustainability, the whole point is to try and make eight organizations that work with Internews to be sustainable,” he said.
“We were using the Canvas business model and the whole point is to give them this tool to try and create a business plan where they figure out their key partners, the resources, the revenue streams and basically how they can remain sustainable after this training.”
Meanwhile, Internews Zimbabwe Media Development project manager Makhosi Sibanda said the winners are going to undergo vigorous mentorship.
“The project is about developing grassroot media in the Southern region. What we are doing today is called a media sustainability hackathon, so a hackathon is an innovative way to get people to solve any problems around them, it can be social problems, technical problems, etc., but ours is themed around media sustainability,” said Sibanda.
He said the media sector is currently facing a lot of challenges and the biggest of them being the sustainability challenges, “to say how do they remain viable, how do they make money.”
“The third winner is going to win some money and a five-week mentorship, the second team is going to get US$150 plus four weeks mentorship while the first team is going to win a US$300 plus mentorship program,” said Sibanda.
Meanwhile, one of the participants, Seth Thembelihle Moyo, a podcaster said the hackathon was a great platform for sharing ideas.
“One of the things that I am grateful for is that I learnt how to use the Canva business model, that is the information that I am taking away from the program,” said Moyo.
“The other thing that I am thankful for and has been valuable is working on an idea on farming and the media. I was working with Ntepe Manama Community Radio Station, so we worked on a program and a news letter to try and help farmers in Gwanda to access information,” he said.
Believe Marufu a media production specialist from Nhimbe FM in Rusape said the hackathon was informative.
“I gained a lot especially on business Canva design, it taught me a lot on how to think outside the box and come up with an innovative idea that is sustainable and can actually bring in money, its something that we don’t usually think of when we are out there,” said Marufu.
“On the idea that I pitched, it was an idea that was eliminating the high cost of data in Zimbabwe and that is making people in Zimbabwe access information on the internet. I was trying to cater for those who only afford the WhatsApp bundles so I designed a WhatsApp auto bot with the name YAMU who is able to share information in the form of audio, visuals, adverts and a whole lot of information.”
Marvelous Matsvimbo a student at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and a journalist at Amakhosikazi media said she is going to use the business Canva when designing her own business.