April 28, 2015
The Soul Beat

Soul Beat Africa

The Soul Beat 251 - Television for Social Change in Africa
April 28, 2015
From SOUL BEAT AFRICA - where communication and media are central to AFRICA's social and economic development

This edition of The Soul Beat e-newsletter looks at the role of television in supporting social change in Africa. It offers a selection of programme experiences and evaluation reports from the Soul Beat Africa website, which highlight how television edutainment dramas, reality shows, and factual and educational programmes are supporting healthy lifestyles, entrepreneurship, children's education, and peace and good governance.


  • 1. Newman Street Television Programme - Nigeria
    Launched in October 2014, Newman Street is an entertainment-education television series in Nigeria promoting family planning and malaria-prevention practices. Set in an urban slum in Nigeria, the story is a "tale of the quest for fame, love and, acceptance" and how far people will go to accomplish these. Newman Street is a collaboration of the Center for Communication Programs Nigeria (CCPN) and Nollywood Concept Promotions (NCP).
  • 2. Réseaux Television Series - Ivory Coast
    Launched in March 2014, Réseaux ("Networks" in English) was a six-episode Ivorian television drama series designed to help promote safer sexual behaviours among sexually active young girls, and adult married men and women. The story follows the lives and relationships of three middle class family fathers in their 40s, and seeks to show how sexual networks develop and how they increase the risk of HIV infection for everyone in that network. The series was developed by Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (JHUCCP)'s Active Prevention and Transformative Communication (PACT) programme and the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) in partnership with Spot Line.
  • 3. Zamuka Reality Television Show - Rwanda
    Launched in November 2013, Zamuka (Rise Up) is a reality television series in Rwanda designed to encourage entrepreneurship and creative thinking among young people. The weekly series follows three budding entrepreneurs who overcome obstacles and receive coaching to set up new businesses. The series is produced by Search for Common Ground.
  • 4. Ubongo Kids Cartoon Series - Tanzania
    Ubongo Kids is a Tanzanian edu-cartoon series designed to help children "discover the joys of math and science through fun, local stories, and songs". Produced by Ubongo, a social enterprise based in Tanzania, the show premiered in January 2014 on national television and can also be viewed online. In addition, the initiative has developed an interactive mobile learning platform.
  • 5. Wize Up Television Talk Show - Zimbabwe
    Developed by Action Institute for Environment, Health and Development Communication (IEHDC), this 13-part half-hour television talk show seeks to reach young people (age 15-24 years) in urban and rural areas of Zimbabwe in order to create awareness and discussion around sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The primary objective of the programme is to promote safer sexual behaviour and advocate for increased access to SRH rights and services for young people.
  • 6. Soul City Series 12 - South Africa
    Produced by the Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication, the twelfth series of the edutainment drama series "Soul City" premiered in July 2014. Comprising 26 half-hour episodes, the series is based around a community clinic in a fictional township in South Africa and deals with the challenges and triumphs of the clinic health workers and the people living around the clinic. This new series deals with issues related to the re-engineering of primary health care in South Africa, maternal and infant care, contraception, surviving sexual assault, and financial literacy.
  • 7. Siri ya Mtungi Television Drama - Tanzania
    Siri ya Mtungi (Secrets of the Gourd) is a television drama series that examines love and sexual relationships among a community of family and friends living in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The first series was launched in December 2012 and, following its success, a second series was produced and started broadcasting in December 2014. The programme was created by Media for Development International (MFDI) and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs as part of the Tanzania Capacity and Communication Project.
  • 8. How Fo Do? Television Drama - Nigeria
    This was a ten-week television drama that sought to contribute to and promote meaningful participation in the 2015 election process in Nigeria. The objective of the drama was to educate eligible voters on their voting rights, the voting process, and the need to participate in the election process. In particular, the series sought to raise awareness of the strategies, deceptions, and misinformation used during electoral campaigning to mislead potential voters. The series was supported by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and produced by Dasamal Television Network.

  • 9. Assessing the Impacts of Shamba Shape Up [October, 2014]
    This report discusses a study to assess the impact of the Shamba Shape Up (SSU) make-over style television series on small-scale agriculture in Kenya and to research how the programme influences farmers' activities. According to the findings, "Shamba Shape Up has clearly influenced a large number of small-scale (particularly dairy) farming households in the area of Kenya that it targets and the innovation systems within which farmers operate."
  • 10. Search for Common Ground: The Team Project Evaluation Report (Zimbabwe) [2014]
    By Leonard Maveneka and Nathan Mhungu
    This report discusses the findings from an evaluation of "The Team" in Zimbabwe, a media-based peace-building campaign to help communities understand the importance of team work and peaceful coexistence. The initiative included a television drama, which followed the characters in a soccer team and how they tackled issues such as ethnic and socio-economic differences, intergenerational relations, gender equality, and the importance of unity and working together.
  • 11. Evaluation of the Television Drama Series, Intersexions: Episodes 1–26 [September, 2011]
    By Helen Hajiyiannis, Laura Myers, Alice Clarfelt, Jacky Mendes, Tshego Bessenaar, and Ts'elisehang Motuba
    This executive summary shares the findings of a qualitative evaluation of the first series of Intersexions, a 26-part South African entertainment-education television drama series to communicate health- and HIV-related messages, with a focus on sexual networks. This report presents qualitative research findings about audience responses to the first 26 episodes and discusses how viewers engaged with and responded to the drama series.
  • 12. Ruka Juu II: Young Farmers in Business: Impact Study [December, 2013]
    This report shares findings of an evaluation of Ruka Juu - Young Farmers in Business, season two of a reality competition television show produced by Femina Hip in Tanzania. Ruka Juu means 'Jump Up', and the aim of the show is to see young people 'Jump Up' and take charge of their lives and futures through sustainable livelihoods in small business and agriculture.
  • 13. Final Draft Report for Progress Evaluation of SFCG's Entrepreneurship-Focused Initiatives Programme: "Let's Do It Project and Legacy for Tomorrow Project" [September, 2014]
    By Cliff Bernard Nuwakora
    This report discusses the evaluation findings of the entrepreneurship components of two projects implemented by Search for Common Ground in collaboration with media partners in Rwanda, Burundi, and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since 2011. The evaluation research included an assessment of the Zamuka television show discussed in Point 3 above.


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