Google is searching for scintillating internet experience stories for its new competition; Africa Connected Success stories powered by the web.
The internet giant says five successful entrants will win R250 000 each, and will also have the opportunity to work with a Google sponsor over a six-month period to further their business success. Entries close on 31st October 2013 – categories include Education; Entertainment/Arts/Sports; Technology; Community and NGOs; and Small Businesses.
The online ventures of Mdu Ntuli, the artist hailing from Emalahleni (Witbank) who is taking a shot at the multi billion dollars digital animation media industry are cited in the Google statement to show case the parameters of the search.
Ntuli is the guy who will be known to some for digitalising the popular township game Zwippi or Spinning. He has branded the digitalised Spinning as Zwappe. The game allows for virtual tossing of a coin which on return to the surface is blanketed by hand for an opponent to guess whether it is showing heads or tails.
Many more will know Ntuli for teaming up with Corruption Watch in 2012 to produce animated anti-corruption stories aired via You Tube. Through a number of other animated cartoon titles like Zuluboy & Rudolph, Jesus of the ANC, Shaka Zulu vs Hattori Hanzo and the Izikhokho Show, Ntuli has earned a respectable You Tube base. His website, mducomics.co.za, suggests that he is on to something bigger.
The Google statement says of him: “A great example of Africa’s talent is South African born Mdu Ntuli, an online animator. Mdu grew up loving comics and trained himself in animation using Google and YouTube tutorials.”
Now his successful YouTube Channel, Mdu Comics, showcases his animated films to viewers across the globe. Mdu is also currently working with an international broadcaster on an upcoming project”.
He is quoted in the Google statement saying “My inspiration has always come from South African people.”
After I began uploading to YouTube, people started to notice my artwork and wanted to work with me – YouTube gave me a platform to be seen, therefore created opportunities for me. Once I’ve taught more people, I’ll be able to expand the business even further. If there was no Internet, I can’t imagine what things would be like!”
Ntuli’s story is cited alongside that of a Kenyan music group Just a Band. “After battling to get their unique Kenyan style “electro” songs heard, the group started using the internet and YouTube to upload their videos. Almost instantaneously they found a huge fan base and success.”
The group is quoted saying “The internet enabled us to take back the power into our own hands – once we uploaded our content we were surprised as to who connected with us” says the group. With the internet, it’s like colour, lights, success, and a bit of chaos.”
Google said through the Africa Connected Success stories powered by the web, it hopes to find the most inspiring stories in Africa about how the web has transformed the lives and business ventures of its users.
Luke Mckend, Country Director, Google South Africa, said “We’re hoping to see strong South African representation in the competition entries”.
We already know about many inspiring success stories, like those of Mabunda Royals, SixPackFactory, and The Soil, but we know there are lots more out there”.
Google said 20 lucky semi-finalists will be interviewed and will have the opportunity to create a short promo video. Judges will then narrow it down to 10 finalists, from which 5 winners will be chosen, based on public online voting. Winners will be announced in March 2014.
For more information and to enter the Africa Connected contest, visit www.africaconnected.com