IN THE past few years, we’ve seen a plethora of streaming services make their debut online. From Amazon Prime to Netflix, watching original content online has become the norm and thanks to actor Michael Maponga, we’re now able to stream original content which focuses on our own representation.
Afroland TV, created by Maponga, provides video content starring and aimed at the African diaspora.
With plans to challenge how the film industry views African content, Maponga spoke to The Voice about his ideas for 2017, inspirations, and why he doesn’t care to compete with the likes of Netflix.
What was your inspiration behind creating Afroland TV?
The motivation behind AfroLandTV was to fill the lack of real African stories being told. We have beautiful stories but nobody is telling them. So, I decided to create a platform for African filmmakers and the African Diaspora audience.
How do you feel Africans are often perceived in mainstream media and how does your channel aim to change that?
Africans are perceived to have come from a place of destitute. My network will change that perception. We want the platform to highlight the wonderful creatives Africa has to offer, and to show what African’s are actually capable of creating in the entertainment industry. Africa will soon be a hub for premier filmmaking!
What was the production process behind creating Afroland TV and how long did it take?
I believe we’ll always be in the building phase, I don’t want to be a complacent founder. I’m always seeking for ways to improve so, this is a never-ending project for me
Tell me a bit more about your background and how African television inspired you
I’m an actor by skillset. I’ve been blessed to be professionally acting for 8 years, from Hollywood films along side Stephan Baldwin to my most recent film, a foreign film titled ‘Finding Mother’ that was filmed in California along with some extraordinary foreign celebrity cast and crew. ‘Finding Mother’ is premiering in all theatres in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in February 2017 and in the US in April.
There’s a lot of streaming services out there, from Netflix, Amazon Prime and more. What is it about Afroland TV – beyond having an African perspective to film and TV– that people should be encouraged to watch it?
We’re not going to compete with the Netflix’s of the world but want to be included in the lineup selection. We want to bring a sense of African pride with this, and for our stories to be told in high quality cinema. We want the African Diaspora to have entertainment that’s relatable to them.
How do you see Afroland progressing this year?
In 2017 we want AfroLandTV to be profitable. We’ve been blessed to reach the point we are toady, and we want to continue making innovating moves.
What advice would you give to other creatives who want to start their own businesses?
Best advice I can give is to just do it. You don’t have to have a clear path, just jump and build your wings on the way down. Do your research.