ALLY “The algorithm”: An edutainment based on Cyberbullying in the Zululand region

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ALLY “The algorithm”: An edutainment based on Cyberbullying in the Zululand region

ALLY “The algorithm”: An edutainment based on Cyberbullying in the Zululand region

Enthusiasm was exceptionally lofty at the University of Zululand’s Creative Arts Department, 8 March 2023 as academics were preparing to present the enlightening show of anti-cyberbullying- ALLY “The algorithm”.

Masedi Manenye, a lecturer in the Creative Arts department, presented a warm reception to the attendees which also included the KwaDlangezwa High School learners.

ALLY “The algorithm”, directed by Tshireletso Nkoane and dramaturge by Manenye, was based on the influence of social media, as it is a potent marketing and communication tool, but also a platform for cyber bullying. This was carried out by personifying the “algorithm”, into a living robot (Ally), as the play highlighted what social media would say, if it had the opportunity to speak out.

The production was inspired by real life stories shared on social media and news, stories of cyberbullying, esteem challenges and suicide amongst teenagers. The production took a stand to usher children and adults securely into this new wave of technology that can be helpful and instrumental in their daily lives, education, careers, and social lives.

The high rate of suicides among youth in South Africa has left many families lingering in uncertainty on how to incorporate the fourth industrial revolution, whilst elements of evolution are highly influential and distracting young people. The production aimed to draw attention to constructive use of the internet and social media while shedding some light on the repercussions of the abuse and misuse thereof. Encouraging creativity and innovation in the youth and internet users in general, creating inspired young people especially in the wake of teenage suicides and cyberbullying.

Creating safe relatable platforms where young people can open and receive guidance about social ills, while exploring their creative sides to showcase their skills and talents hence contributing to audience development and demand. In service training for learners studying towards careers in the creative and cultural sector. Employment opportunity and job creation for professional and aspiring artists. Play our part in making social media and the internet a safe, fun, social and educational space for all of us.

This production was supported by the National Arts Council (NAC) presidential stimulus program to assist unemployed graduates. This edutainment production will be shown around Zululand region from March 2023 until the end of this year, educating learners as a part of the community engagement.   

The drama was an interactive and included a question-and-answer session during and after the production, giveaways in the form of stationery, sweets, and caps.

– Sinenhlanhla Ngcongo

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