PhonesWhen Mxit decided that it was time to close down its servers at the end of September, we knew we would lose all those readers who didn’t have access to a smartphone (as they wouldn’t be able to access our app or mobi site) and we were devastated. With FunDza’s goal to get South Africa reading, we felt utterly bereft for those who might feel abandoned by FunDza.

So, we came up with the idea of doing a smartphone drive whereby we could collect fully-functioning and good condition smart phones and/or financial donations towards smartphones for some of the top readers who would otherwise be left behind. We now have our first FIVE handsets to send to devoted FunDza readers!

Selecting candidates who would receive a new phone was done fairly – the readers had to not currently have a device that would access FunDza content and then readers were selected according to the amount of time spent on FunDza.

We’ve contacted the first five candidates and given them the exciting news that they were soon to be the proud owners of a smartphone! The response was amazing – the recipients were so happy to be receiving a smartphone and said they couldn’t wait to “get reading!” again. Exactly the response we wanted.

There was a condition though – we wanted them to switch over to Cell C so that they could “get reading!” without using data by utilising FreeBasics.Com (FunDza is zero-rated with this app and site) so they will get a Cell C simcard, and make the swap.

This drive, and the persuasion to switch to Cell C for free (no data costs) reading is all part of FunDza’s goal of getting South Africa reading. The fall of Mxit has been a blow to our readership, and thinking of ways to recover some of the loss has been a challenge. Most importantly, we want to let our long-standing and loyal readers know that they’re not abandoned and forgotten. We hope that FunDza’s phone drive will send that message.

Want to help? We’re looking for 15 more smartphone devices – preferably Android phones – that we can gift to the rest of our keen Mxit readers. If you have a handset that’s gathering dust in a bottom drawer, please contact Shelley Bolle ( who will arrange the best way of getting it to us or directly to the FunDza reader. Alternatively, if you are wishing to donate some funds to the cause – so that we can buy some cost-effective handsets for these users – please make your donation via PayFast or contact Shelley for our banking details. R500 would help us to buy a new device for one of our needy readers. Your assistance will go a long way to making a difference to the life of a FunDza Fan!