Johannesburg - The Moozlie ‘crash’ video that got South African social media users in a frenzy (and worried sick) on Thursday night and Friday morning really was an awareness campaign, it turns out.
On Friday afternoon, Volkswagen South Africa issued a statement confirming that this was, in fact, a ‘bold campaign’ aimed at encouraging South Africans to drive dry.
“This month, as South Africans are making their new year’s resolutions, Volkswagen in partnership with Drive Dry, seeks to make a positive change when it comes to drinking and driving by urging people to pledge to #VWDriveDry in 2019 in order to make the party stop before their life does,” the car manufacturer said in a statement.
Volkswagen SA also released a video on YouTube, where rapper and TV presenter Nomuzi Mabena, otherwise known as Moozlie, explains the video and campaign:
The earlier ‘campaign’ video that was released on Twitter, showed Moozlie get into in a freak accident while doing an Instagram live broadcast.
In the video, the popular celebrity can be seen making an appeal for aspiring artists to sign with her label. The live feed lurches and the car windscreen can be seen shattering before the feed is abruptly cut.
Subsequent Tweets and articles made out that details about the accident as well as Moozlie's condition were unclear and that repeated attempts to contact her manager Sbuda Roc had been unsuccessful.
The campaign actually kicked off in 2018, with Moozlie posting images on her social media pages that implied she was drinking and driving.
She was seen getting behind the wheel shortly after partying, making stops at a popular fast food outlet at 2am with a red beer cup, sharing her secrets on avoiding metro police, and blatantly drinking what appears to be gin, all whilst behind the steering wheel.
“With another December of devastating road fatalities, many caused by drinking and driving, Volkswagen and Drive Dry wanted to create an impactful campaign that will make South Africans wake up to the realities of the behaviours that are condoned on social media,” Volkswagen said.
'Don't play with death' - fans react
However, fans had mixed reactions to the stunt, with many taking to Twitter after the truth was revealed.
"This is disappointing. Probably could’ve been done in a different way. Death isn’t something to play around with (sic)", one Twitter user wrote.
Another user accused her of doing it for her own financial benefit and making everyone worried sick in the process:
You did for your own selfish financial benefits, you coursed us a beautify sleep we where worried sick an praying for your safety kanti wenzi mali with our emotions, Ayi suka man. The least you could have done was say this after an hour or two just to make us at ease #BlockNomuzi— Ayanda Qongqo (@Ayanda_q) January 11, 2019
Yet many believed that the campaign was well worth it.
"#VWDriveDry did what it was supposed to. It has managed to do what advertisers have been trying to do for years in a VERY organic manner. Call it unethical and distasteful, but it made you think twice about your own actions!" @kltso wrote on Twitter.
#VWDriveDry did what it was supposed to. It has managed to do what advertisers have been trying to do for years in a VERY organic manner. Call it unethical and distasteful, but it made you think twice about your own actions! 🤗— keletso the brand scientist (@kltso) January 11, 2019
Another user wrote: "Personally I think everything went according to plan and they got the reaction they wanted. Kudos to them to be fair."