Corruption Watch will be joining forces with the popular and outspoken young animator Mdu Ntuli, creator of the Izikhokho Show and the animator of the controversial Fish and Chips commercial, recently banned by the SABC, to urge South Africans to speak up and report on corruption.
The Izikhokho Show (recently picked up by Comedy Central thanks to run-away YouTube success) is interrogating topical corruption issues in a 6-part YouTube series sponsored by the anti-corruption organisation. The first animation is now available on YouTube and the Corruption Watch website, appropriately titled 'Something Fishy'.
The launch of this initiative coincides with the UN International Anti-Corruption Day held on 9 December 2012, and aims to get young people to take a stand against corruption by reporting it.
Meet Bra Tjotjo
Ntuli has developed the world's least successful tenderpreneur, a character called Bra Tjotjo for these special edition animations. Together with his silent partner Van Deventer, they are always on the lookout for the next scam, with a little inside help from a corrupt government official.
"I think South Africans will relate to the characters. They are greedy opportunists who always end up behind bars thanks to a good citizen who notices their skulduggery and reports it to Corruption Watch," says Ntuli. "This is an old cartoon convention with some fresh legs."
"Ntuli is one of South Africa's most original and hard hitting satirists and we are excited to be partnering with him on the Bra Tjotjo series," says Corruption Watch's executive director, David Lewis.
A loyal following
"He has developed a loyal following of 2.5 million viewers on his YouTube channel, thanks to fearless commentary that taps into the spirit of our country and our times. We are proud to be supporting young voices like his that are already engaging with the negative effects that corruption will have on our future if we do not take a stand now. This campaign aims to get as many young South Africans on our side as possible."
Cartoon characters have been successfully utilised in other African countries as well as in India to bring issues to life in a way that young people can relate to but this is the first time in South Africa that an anti-corruption organisation has sponsored a talented young digital storyteller, allowing him to tell his own stories in his own way.
"We have given Ntuli total freedom to create his own stories and characters dealing with issues that he feels are the most important," adds Lewis.
"Corruption Watch was established because the people of South Africa are fed up with corruption. Judging from the anger of the public it's clear that there is a growing awareness that if corruption is going to be tackled then ordinary South Africans are going to have to become active participants in this struggle."
Its 'reporters' are also urged to offer solutions in the manner that business, government and the public deal with corruption. It has received over 2800 reports from the public to date. The team consisting of lawyers, investigators, researchers, writers and data managers, then handles these reports.
"Confronting corruption requires an active and engaged public that is willing to hold to account those who wield public power and those who control public resources, including those in the private sector who supply and often distribute those resources," he concludes.
South Africans can report corruption via the Corruption Watch website and its SMS hotline 45142.