Zambians mourn President’s death over SMS

Text messages are cool, aren’t they? Expressing yourself in words and hurrying it across to your loved ones was never so interesting. Over the years, as technology advances, text messages and the technology behind it has been put to use in a lot of places.

Be it twitter, reality-show votes, ebay update notifications or simply device activations, SMS has ridden the interesting express more than once. But could we have thought they way the Zambians did?
According to a report, thousand of people in Zambia are mourning the death of their President Levy Mwanawasa, through text messages. A number of SMS (Short Message Service) codes have been set up at radio and television stations in Zambia to facilitate mourning at the larger level.

The SMS service, which began on August 19th, 2008 will continue throughout the 21 days of national mourning. Lumai Mubanga, an IT executive, said:

The SMS facility is available on all mobile phones in Zambia, and 90 percent of the people know how to use it. My own observation is that the SMS facility has been used effectively by many, and this platform has allowed many Zambians, even those with little means, to convey their heartfelt condolences to President Mwanawasa’s family.

Interesting use of technology or simply crazy?

4 replies on “Zambians mourn President’s death over SMS”

I think it's a good idea, but my only question is who actually reads the messages. If there are thousands or even millions of texts then this idea probably collapses under its own weight because there's just too much to handle, and the messages end up unread on a database somewere, and suddenly the whole thing is pointless.

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