Kwesé Play, a streaming set top box offering Netflix etc, launched in South Africa

Leonard Sengere Avatar
Kwese Play

Kwesé TV announced the launch of Kwesé Play, starting in South Africa, which had been announced as coming months ago. Kwesé Play is a Roku powered streaming box, similar to Apple TV and Chromecast. That means you need an active internet connection, preferably uncapped to watch content. It is basically just a Roku set top box with Kwesé TV content and branding added whilst some U.S content is removed.

If you’re familiar with Roku you may know about their streaming boxes and dongles and the channels available on their streaming devices. HBO (Game of Thrones) is one of the popular channels on Roku but due to geo-restrictions not all channels available to other Roku users, in the U.S for example, will be available in Africa. No HBO here unfortunately. 

Netflix however will be available here as will YouTube, TED, NBA League Pass and RED BULL TV among others numbering over 100 channels. In South Africa Kwesé TV is not yet available and so users there cannot subscribe for that content but the free Kwesé content will be available.   

The price though is not as friendly as we would have liked. Users will have to fork out R1600 (~US$123) for the set top box. That seems steep despite getting Netflix free for 3 months. This means the set top box is just an aggregation of streaming services that you would still have to subscribe to. You do get some perennially free channels but to get the best content one would need to subscribe for each of the good services like Netflix and NBA League Pass. That makes the $123 steep indeed.

Factor in the internet access cost and this Kwesé Play starts to look like a service for the rich. The minimum broadband speed needed to run Kwesé Play content is 4Mbps but for optimal viewing 10Mbps would be required. This alone makes it a non-option for a lot of people.

What do you think about this new product? If and when it launches in Zimbabwe would you consider it? Tell us what you think.






  1. cheg

    What’s the difference between those set boxes that can be loaded with iptv

    1. Robbie Savage

      This one is also an IPTV [Internet Protocol TV] box. It’s just a different product. The Roku is just one of many IPTV products.

  2. Ndaramba

    If you go to IPTV boxes start from £20 which is $22. Netflix cost $5 a month. There is absolutely no need to pay econet that fortune

  3. TheKing

    I feel it’s not worth that much. Like @Ndaramba says, you can get one for $22. Also, if you have a console i.e PS4 or XBox, you could simply buy a remote control unit and use that as an IPTV box

  4. Rufus

    Mmmm see here.. Internet Affordability will always come down.. $7 for 100mb Fiber is pretty affordable.. I saw the price you list too being lower on advertising at the airport – any IP TV box top set has its pros and cons that need to be equally evaluated.. Would be interested to see if you could do an evaluation of the Locally available options / Pros and Cons and pricing.. Netflix must have chosen Kwese for a reason

    1. Cde Fatso

      Netflix did not choose Kwese Rufus, Kwese sought a partnership for local currency subs with Netflix and they charge a markup, Netflix HD inoita R135 at current exchange rates is R164 cia Kwese. Robbery!

  5. Cde Fatso

    Kwese’s strategy is just not well thought out, first of all selling an outdated Roku 3 that streams at 1080p max with no 4k support, A Roku premiere cost $89 from America and has better features and then Netflix is cheaper when paid via a credit card with USD conversion than with them.

    Also why launch an STB with no Kwese paid channels at some attractive price, this is just baffling. I have Netflix, Showmax and many other streaming apps on my Smart TV no motivation to get an overpriced Roku 3 with Kwese branding and Rand value Netflix payments and one EPL match a week on Kwese Free Sports. Sorry Econet Media, you could do better, just recently DSTV gave us all free Showmax access with a DSTV premium subscription, now that’s value! Kwese will die a slow death soon.