About Us

ZANEWS is the home of Puppet Nation ZA – South Africa’s award-winning satirical puppet show, and a great place to get some laughs whilst keeping up with what’s happening in South Africa and the world.

The first satirical ZANEWS video was made back in 1999 when producer Thierry Cassuto and award-winning cartoonist, Jonathan Shapiro (Zapiro) decided to build a Nelson Mandela puppet. The producers took the idea to the SABC, with the hope that ZANews would be aired on national TV. Long story short – vibes were good at the start, a full half-hour pilot was made a few years later but the plug was eventually pulled by the SABC (and a mysterious invisible hand).

Not to be TKOed by the first blow, in 2009 the producers managed to convince low-cost airline Kulula and the Mail&Guardian to sponsor the show, and the first season was launched online at a time when video over the interwebs was still in prehistoric age in South Africa.

Fast-forward to 2012, when not only did we manage to finally make it to television thanks to our friends at StarSat, but we launched a way bigger website, the “ZANEWS Network”, meant to be the online portal for quality South African satire. This is where you are now, by the way. The site hosts our weekly episodes and daily videos shows as well as the best satirical columns, cartoons and user-generated content. Awesome.

Which brings us to today!

The new show is now called Puppet Nation ZA. It broadcasts on Saturdays and Sunday nights on StarOne, a StarTimes channel – but you can watch also the whole thing on the interwebs. If you’re reading this, you’re at a good starting point to find them. Our YouTube and DailyMotion channels are pretty popular too, and our friends follow us on FaceBook and Twitter.

We’ve got even more new local and international puppets dopplegangers to bring you hilarious sketches, from Oscar Pistorius to Jacob Zuma, Julius Malema, Helen Zille, Mamphela Ramphele, Barack and Michele Obama, Vladimir Putin, Christiano Ronaldo, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and loads more of the famous and infamous from near and overseas.

We even have a sister website in the US called Puppet Nation USA, where we not only track but also make interesting things happen across the pond.

So, take a look around. Let us know what you think. Sign up for our newsletter and get our daily updates right in your inbox if that’s your thing.

Oh. And one more thing:

Make Laugh. Not War.