Nothing for Mahala: a frayintermedia success story

In 2013, award-winning NGO HEARTLINES in partnership with Quizzical Pictures, took edutainment to the big screen with the release of the film Nothing for Mahala. The film dealt with issues of money and values in a changing society and spread-headed the NGO’s money and values campaign - which urged South Africans to reflect on how they earned, spent, saved, borrowed and gave away their money.

frayintermedia ran the media-based advocacy programme in support of the film and the campaign across print, radio, television, and online platforms. The aim of the advocacy was not to give financial advice but to stimulate a debate about the values that drive our decisions with regard to money.

The target was to reach 12 million South Africans and result in behaviour change in 500 000. The programme targeted local, regional and national media and comprised the following:

  • Generation and placement of content in print media - articles written by a network of freelance journalists across the country were placed in various publications including The Star, Saturday Star, The Star Africa, The New Age, Sunday World, Daily Sun, City Press,, and the Germiston City Times.

  • Columns by HEARTLINES board members - thought leaders in their own right – were also placed in various publications. The columns tackled the subject of money and values.

  • frayintermedia was also responsible for the public relations function – we produced and issued all press releases, set up interviews for the media, kept track of all publicity about the movie and campaign. Coverage of the release of the film in particular was overwhelming and even made it onto the Wall Street Journal’s website.

  • Generation and promotion of radio and television show ideas – frayintermedia conceived and organised radio and television shows featuring actors and HEARTLINES spokespeople. SAFM, Kaya FM, Classic FM, YFM, Voice of Wits, Radio Pulpit, Shift on SABC1 and Talk to me on Tshwane TV are some just of the platforms that showcased Nothing for Mahala and the money and values campaign.

  • Social media management - we also managed HEARTLINES’ social media platforms to promote the film and the objectives of the campaign. Particular focus was directed towards growing the Twitter following, which was non-existent before frayintermedia got on board. Both Nothing for Mahala and HEARTLINES trended on the night the movie premiered on SABC1 and resulted in over 3 million impressions. We also facilitated a Twitter chat with lead actor Thapelo Mokoena and brought the money and values campaign to his following of more than 30 000.

  • Creation of multimedia content – videos, slideshows and Storifys were produced, enabling multiple means of consuming campaign content.

  • Creation and distribution of talking points (with key messages) to all brand ambassadors, spokespersons and partners. The profile of the actors in the film made them perfect brand ambassadors to carry forward the message of the money and values campaign. Big names like Thapelo Mokoena, Marius Weyers, Jamie Bartlett, Mmabatho Montsho, Warren Masemola, Lilian Dube, Desmond Dube, Kenny Nkosi intermeshed their personal experiences with the campaign’s key talking points making it more authentic.

  • frayintermedia provided media training to HEARTLINES’ spokespersons and key partners.

  • Key partnerships with organisations such as National Debt Mediation Association (NDMA) were formulated to amplify the campaign’s messaging.

  • Creation of advocacy materials such as FAQs, briefing documents and list of experts to contact;

  • frayintermedia also leveraged HEARTLINES events like the premiere of film in cinemas and later on SABC television channels to generate maximum media coverage.

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