Not feeling ZBC or DStv? – here’s how to watch “unlimited” TV for $11 this holiday season

Nigel Gambanga Avatar
VOD services, IPTV, Netflix, mobile only plan package

The festive season is in full swing and by now everyone is in holiday mode. An essential part of this season is some great entertainment that can fill in all those extra hours you have and help pass the time.

That’s where TV comes in. Usually, this means subscribing for a Dstv bouquet, setting up a Free to Air (FTA) decoder, buying a stack of DVDs that are sold on every street corner in Zimbabwe or bravely sitting through whatever ZBC is offering.

The good news, though, is that for a lot of Zimbabweans there are more options this year thanks to the Video on Demand (VOD) gold rush that’s been happening around the world and in Africa as well.

With just $20, here’s how you can have access to thousands of hours of series and movies, including some of the top- rated shows in the world right now.

What you will need

  • A WiFi enabled device (phone, tablet, or laptop) with decent storage
  • An active VISA or MasterCard (the EcoCash Mastercard Debit Card also works)
  • Access to fast internet, preferably a ZOL WiFi hotspot (until mid-January 2017 it’s going to be a free fibre connection)


1. (Applies for anyone using the free internet option) Visit your nearest ZOL spot and log onto the free WiFi that’s available there. (NB At fast food outlets like Chicken Inn where this facility is available you might be prompted to buy something there (breaks you $11 budget) rather than just take up seating space for mahala)

2. Create accounts for three specific VOD services – Netflix (, Showmax ( and Amazon Prime Video (

Part of the registration process for these services requires that you enter your debit or credit card details. If you are using an EcoCash MasterCard you will need to buy a VCN (virtual card number) for 50 cents. Here’s an article that explains how that’s done.

Netflix has a 1-month free trial so the $7.99 for monthly subscriptions will apply after 30 days. Amazon Prime Video and Showmax have 1-week free trials so to access them for the entire holiday season will set you back $11 ($2.99 for Amazon Prime and $7.99 for Showmax)

3. For each of the 3 VOD service select the content you want to watch and use the offline option to download it to your device.

Bear in mind, though that Netflix has only made this available to some, not all, of its content which includes some of its Netflix originals. Showmax downloaded content is only available offline on your device for 48 hours.

You can choose to watch anything else online, provided you can “pay” for sitting at that hotspot either with time or actual money as is the case with Chicken Inn.

*If sports is your thing you can download the Kwese App, create an account and access some of its content which includes limited English Football (the Saturday game is live) and NBA.

The total cost for the content (this is excluding some essentials like transport) will be $11. Over the holiday period you can always get more content whenever you want it and if you can afford it you might even consider using your daily data bundles for downloads and streaming sports while you are at home.



  1. kilotango

    im fairly sure that ZOL will have shaping rules in place to prevent people abusing their free hotspots like this

    1. Anonymous

      No they don’t. They great.

  2. Hi

    Just heads up can you remove that mmm group from the what’s app group

  3. Gary

    Netflix will not accept my Ecocash debit card details for my free trial???