What now?

How are you doing in this madness? ‘Vasbyt’, as the Afrikaans people say…

I write one of these blogs every week and normally they’re not as controversial as the last two, but they might interest you if you’re thinking about what happens next. Just like any other mammal, I don’t have any special powers to predict the future, but I think it’s becoming clear that the lockdown will have far-reaching ramifications.

The Coronavirus pandemic has swept across the planet, leading to global chaos and extraordinary changes to all our lives. We’re all spending almost all our time at home and consuming media very differently. There are many confusing messages, and not many sources you can completely trust.

In contrast to everything else, podcasting is experiencing a massive uptick. Compared to the same period last year, CliffCentral.com has seen a significant increase – our numbers have doubled. Social media engagements have also been consistently higher. This might be because people are hungrier than ever for information, maybe they have more time to listen or maybe they’re losing faith in the traditional sources – newspapers, radio and TV. We’re also looking for inspiration and honesty in a media environment that has always given us low-hanging fruit in entertainment, alarmism in news, and mostly horrible advertising for products. Right now, the way to communicate is to talk about the things that are affecting people’s lives directly – their health, their money and their relationships. You have to be totally authentic about it too, and you can’t do that in old media.

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

Just this week, it was announced that Joe Rogan, America’s biggest podcaster, has signed an exclusivity deal with Spotify that will earn him an estimated $100-million and give even more legitimacy to podcasting as a commercial and audience medium. I hate to sound like a stuck record, but if your business isn’t doing anything in podcasting, you’re not doing your job. Talk to us and we’ll help you craft some content that counts, and even turn webinars and staff communications into great podcasts. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg either.

While some brands have gone ‘dark’ and stopped communicating during this crisis, the clever ones have seen the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives and make their presence felt during tough times. This will no doubt be rewarded when the economy starts opening up – and so will you if you aren’t frozen in terror. You’re not alone… we turned six this month and we can share our expertise with you.


  1. Sylvia Patel says:

    Gareth Cliff i am so proud of you cannot Express words cause no one has the Guts to say what you are saying. This country is already heading toward a communists country. We work and they grab the cash. Who is honest there. cyril is employing all the corrupted people in order for him to look like a saint…cele mcbraid just a few to mention. Dont give up u are saying what we all want to but is afraid.

  2. Wendy Toerien says:

    Dear Gareth
    I’ve been enjoying So What Now very much, for your honest, searching questions and the calibre and variety of your guests; leaving me hopeful that there are enough educated, intelligent, sensible and inspirational people out there to somehow save South Africa from its downward spiral. But tonight’s So What Now (2 June 2021) has left me gobsmacked by the inanity of the approach and the general demeanour of good ol’ boy chumminess and chuckles and laughs among you and your guests. The levity of your asides about tenders, electricity shortages, the tax system’s demise et al, greeted by amusement from the Ramaphosa and Zuma sons particularly, was appalling. Duduzane Zuma’s track record as a ‘businessman’ has no merit given his association with the Guptas. His father is a corrupt, crooked, immoral man who has taken South Africa to the brink of economic collapse. Duduzane is clearly no better, for all his plummy accent and smooth talking; all sound and no content. The ‘legacy’ he wants to achieve as an aspiring politician is laughable: ‘seeing the big picture’, ‘changing the mindset’ and saving South Africans from ‘victimhood’; that’s his manifesto, the same words repeated twice… what does that even mean? There’s not much cheer in hearing his support, as you alluded to, for Reserve Bank nationalisation, free tertiary education, land expropriation (with or without compensation?). That’s straight out of his father’s rule book, and plays to another ‘good ol’ charmer’, Julius Malema, doesn’t it. Ramaphosa’s son came across in not much of a better light: Blue Crane Capital, with 10 employees, apparently ‘prides itself in having a level of integrity and innovation, being disruptive and HAVING FUN’? But granted, both he and Wantu Madonsela with his Thuma Foundation involvement in ‘youth development’ are presumably forging ahead with laudable, presumably independent endeavours. There must be big bucks there, somewhere, though, I suspect. My biggest disappointment of the evening, however, was that the admirable Thuli Madonsela’s daughter is a politician affiliated with the EFF. Jacob Zuma, who quite possibly seems to be navigating towards a challenge for ANC leadership/SA presidency again (and you say that he’s at least better than poor Joe Biden?) should be charged, prosecuted, ‘pay back the money’ and sent to jail for the rest of his life. His flouting of the courts and Zondo Commission (courtesy of the NPA whom he all but scuppered during his corrupt presidency) is untenable, but allowed by the ANC leadership (remembering that Cyril Ramaphosa sat by as deputy president while Zuma plundered). But tonight, it was all about Zuma’s charm and friendliness (as you yourself noted in jocular, fond tones) and a welcome to the son upon whom, as far as I have read, the sins of the father should very much be visited. Hugely, hugely disappointed and frankly incensed by the tenor and content of tonight’s programme. I respect children’s right to forge their own path and not be judged by their parents’ actions. But tonight’s banal, saccharine attempt to let these three, dare I say, privileged young individuals shed any kind of light or knowledge or hope regarding their role in any kind of positive outcome for this country, was awful to witness.

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