The acquisition of online magazine, ZKhiphani.com, is just the first move in a strategy that will see M&N Brands – the holding company that owns Avatar JHB, Avatar CPT, Avatar Media Agency, Avatar PR, Mela Events, and Bozza – on a drive to develop its video on demand service.
Co-founders of M&N Brands, Zibusiso Mkhwanazi and Veli Ngubane, told The Media Online their 51% stake in Zkhiphani would provide them with leverage to “create content that is insightful and relevant for all client opportunities that sit with all our partner agencies in the M&N Brands network as well as outside. Our ultimate goal is to grow the video on demand service”.
The acquisition of Zkhiphani.com was a new space for them, but the establishment of the M&N Entertainment division in the network “allows us to grow into TV and content publishing. There are numerous growth prospects in this space, backed by the increase in the demand for online video content,” they said.
Andile Mathobela (journalist), Ally Fathana (graphic designer) and Bonga Mpungose (sales) established Zkhiphani 10 years ago while they were still students. Loosely translated, Zkhiphani means ‘what’s happening’, and that’s what the three founders have delivered to readers.
“Over and above the visitors we get to the site, we also have a collective social media following of 2.7 million impressions, which really puts us at the forefront of South African youth culture,” said editor in chief, Andile Mathobla. “Our payoff line is ‘we are what’s happening’ and our team of nine people keep our brand relevant and impactful”.
CEO of M&N Brands, Mkhwanazi, said the leadership team at Zkhiphani would remain the same, but would be mentored and supported by M&N Brands.
Meanwhile, Ngubane promises that while M&N Entertainment currently only has Zkhiphani.com in its company structure, “there are prospects of future acquisitions – watch this space”.
Mathobela said his team are very excited about this partnership. “After 10 years of independence in the game, we feel that we have to take things to the next level by partnering with like-minded game changers like Zibusiso Mkhwanazi and Veli Ngubane who have built amazing businesses in the digital and advertising space in recent years. We are confident that they will take Zkhiphani.com to a whole new level.”
Mkhwanazi and Ngubane, in turn, were attracted by the tenacity of the young founders who had built a truly remarkable business. “M&N Brands is about value-adding partnerships, and we believe we can combine resources to accelerate the portal’s growth, and provide advertisers with competitive offerings to better engage with young people in South Africa. I am especially excited about further investing in online publishing with the long term goal to consolidate our online sites into a video on demand service for Africans by Africans.”