Developed, written, and directed by Kenyans, The Team is a 26-part series that premiered on May 21 2009 and is broadcast nationally in Kenya on Citizen-TV and Radio Jambo. Vernacular translations of the radio series are also broadcast on Radio Lake Victoria FM (Luo), Kass FM (Kalenjin), Kameme FM (Kikuyu), and Swahili (Baraka FM). The series tells the stories of 7 young Kenyan footballers from different tribes who must overcome their mutual distrust so that their team, Imani (or "Faith" Football Club - F.C.), has a chance at winning a worldwide tournament. The Team dramatises cooperative ways of handling ethnic and socioeconomic divisions. According to the organisers, the Imani F.C. players and other characters represent Kenya's diverse population: economically rich and poor, male and female, and urban and rural. Each of the players and young coaches has a unique and troubled past, which sometimes makes it difficult to see a teammate's point of view. However, in their quest for the trophy/cup, the team realises they must cooperate in order to score goals. Despite the difficulty that this presents, they manage to resolve the inevitable conflicts that arise and discover that "the commonalities that link them are far deeper than the differences which threaten to tear them apart." Click here to read episode summaries of Series One of The Team.
According to organisers, the use of drama on television and radio is designed to demonstrate that conflicts may be inevitable, but that everyone can respond to conflict non-violently. The Team series also has a website and a Facebook group page. Other activities designed to increase the outreach of the series include:
- DVDs which are distributed to community groups, schools, religious groups, and universities; by the end of June 2010, more than 450 DVDs had been distributed. ;
- a viewer's guide for discussion groups;
- community mobile cinema screenings in areas where television broadcasts are limited or unavailable, which are followed by a facilitated discussion;
- a music video, which will incorporate the theme music of the series and mirror its basic themes; and
- interactive short message service (SMS) and email feedback.
- Facebook ‘friends’ of 5,000+ members.
In Kenya, the production held mobile screenings in 8 locations that saw much of the post election violence. Local youth leaders from CSOs were brought together across tribal lines to discuss the topics brought out in each episode. According to SFCG, in many locations, there was considerable animosity between tribes when the screenings began. However, after a year, people are creating their own groups, across tribal lines. The second season of mobile screenings and discussions runs from June to September 2010.
Season One of The Team aired on Citizen-TV from May till August 2009 weekly with a repeat at the end of 2009 to early 2010 with a viewership of close to 3 million for each episode. Season Two of The Team was broadcast on Citizen-TV from April to August 2010. The second season of The Team on radio is also being broadcast on Radio Jambo.