The 30th of June has, since 2010, been declared Social Media Day by the ever popular social media news and tech site, Mashable. Why would we dedicate an entire day(or two) to social media? Well, it IS pretty big. Social media is rapidly transforming the way we do business and how we interact with each other. Traffic to social media sites is only increasing as other websites appear to fade into the background so you probably want to make sure you’re in the game. On the 29th of June, the first ever Social Media Day Lusaka was organised by the collaborative team of C1rca1964, a Zambian social media management company and BongoHive, Lusaka’s technology and innovation hub.
It was a two day event with a Social Media Panel being held on Saturday here at Bongohive and Sunday tied everything together with the after-party at Polo Grill.The major part of the event was the panel discussions that took place during day. The discussions were being moderated by Mazuba Kapambwe, co-founder of C1rca 1964 and Radio Phoenix’s popular radio personality, Luchi. With both having social media playing an important role in their careers, these made for a great pair to deliver the thought provoking questions to our panel.Nancy Handabile – A journalist and actress Lwanga Mwilu – a professional journalist Anja Savic – Marketing Manager for iConnect Zambia Simunza Muyangana – Co-founder of BongoHive and founder of Digital ICE Media Lulu Haangala – A media consultant and well loved public figure Cathy Phiri – CEO of Media 365 Benny Blow – A young blogger and ZedCreative Chembo – Zambian singer Mwape Kapumba – Advertising and Marketing for Bulletin and Record
One of the most important topics discussed was the long debated notion of whether social media is overshadowing traditional media sources. It was great to see that many of us Zambians understood the role and importance of traditional media and noted how topics through traditional media are usually more complete and maintain respect and consideration for their subjects. Other topics discussed were the improvement of our internet facilities to enable more of us to be active on the web as well as how public figures handle their exposure through social media.
The event attracted a variety of locals to our audience. Among the guests were freelance writers, a variety of bloggers, artists, marketing and many curious to see what the social media scene had to deliver. Aside from our panelists, there were a few other familiar faces from the Zambian Social Media scene which included Ngosa Tembo of Purple Tembo and Masuka Mutenda of ZedHair. There was even a brief discussion on one of Zambia’s up and coming social networks Pulce. The iConnnect team were also very present on the scene as one of our main sponsors.
After the session our guests were free to enjoy some social media branded cupcakes and lots of mingling. The event closed with a raffle that had some great treats including clothing and badges from ZamGear.
Although it may feel like we’re behind the rest of the world, Social Media is already starting to take big steps in Zambia as companies and individuals realize the ease and importance of promoting themselves and sharing. With our increasingly young and curious generation combined with the rapid development of Zambia’s tech scene, we are bound to see our online presence become larger, louder and truly resonant of modern Zambian.