A whole new world of learning and fun opens up for local kids on 6 November when the new children’s channel Play Room launches on DStv Channel 300.
Play Room will combine education and entertainment in a uniquely local package carrying original South African and popular international content, including favourite animated titles dubbed into isiZulu.
“We are bringing dubbed content to parents who are eager for their children to learn their home languages,” said Thabile Ngwato, CEO of Ngwato Nkosi Group which owns the channel. “The languages used will be conversational and accessible, with language switching taking place as we do in everyday speech.”
Ngwato said existing children's channels were either explorative or about learning, while Play Room would have both dimensions, with the added local flavour of dubbed content to create a channel that enriches and brings family experiences to life.
“Watching titles such as Peppa Pig and Cocomelon in isiZulu empowers children to explore the world and their feelings in their own language,” she said. “For the pre-teen kid, our content re-affirms that the way they express themselves and experience the world is also valid. Our content will give kids the tools they need to create the world they want to live in. Because at the end of the day, the world is their Play Room.”
“We are constantly looking to give our customers the best entertainment and by increasing our content offering we’re providing more viewing options to them,” said Georginah Machiridza, executive head of general entertainment at MultiChoice Group. “From a local content perspective, we’re excited to expand on local representation in the form of content being dubbed in local languages. The launch of Play Room is an enhancement that we believe parents and children will have a strong affinity to.”
“We will also have a fresh Play Room Live offering every Monday to Friday from 15:00 until 16:00 which will see us bring back a tried and trusted format that audiences love.”
Morning programming will focus on educational material for 4 to 6-year-olds, including interactive shows that encourage physical movement, as well as values-based and creative content designed to stretch children’s imaginations.
Afternoons will feature live action and a local live show with high entertainment value for tweens.
Kids can expect to see everything from popular titles such as Paw Patrol and Game Shakers and new home-grown shows to well-loved learning programmes.
Meanwhile, the afternoon live show will combine the world of television with social media to create an interactive, always-on world of fun and entertainment for teens and tweens. A multi-lingual approach will be adopted across the channel, championing the diversity of our country. There will also be sign language representation on the show, ensuring inclusivity across the board.
Ngwato said the new channel would build on the success of the Ngwato Nkosi Group’s existing channels, Newzroom Afrika and Movie Room, to provide a home of learning and fun for local youngsters.