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AFRO-NETS> Positive Experiences with a Youth Soap Opera
- Subject: AFRO-NETS> Positive Experiences with a Youth Soap Opera
- From: Cordula Schuemer <Cordula.Schuemer@gtz.de>
- Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 06:46:42 -0400 (EDT)
Positive Experiences with a Youth Soap Opera
- from Regina Goergen and Akwillina Mlay, Tansania
In the following summary, we briefly describe experiences with pro-
duction, distribution and broadcasting of a youth soapy, developed
with an active involvement of Tanzanian young people.
The soapy of six parts (half an hour each) talks about every day
problems of young people (including health problems like unwanted
pregnancy, induced abortion and drug abuse) in easily understandable
terms. It offers positive role models for youth and their parents.
The soapy will be broadcasted in all the four Tanzanian TV programs
and will be available for schools and youth organizations on request.
It will reach many thousands of young people and their parents all
over the country.
The steps described below give an idea about the process, the product
and the costs:
1. In a brainstorming with lecturers from the Bagamoyo College of
Arts about ways to reach young people effectively, the idea was born
to invite college students for a competition in writing a script for
a youth soapy. Some key issues, which should be included in the
script were formulated together with the Reproductive Health Project
2. During the Christmas holidays 1999 students developed scripts. A
jury ranked the scripts and awarded the best. Experienced scriptwrit-
ers among the lectures of the drama section worked out the final film
3. The Bagamoyo College produced the film. Students played all youth
characters. The camera, sound track, costumes etc. were all realized
by staff and students of the different sections of the College of
Arts. Cutting was done in collaboration with a professional film stu-
dio in Dar es Salaam. The GTZ-supported Reproductive Health Project
financed the whole production (about US$ 20.000 including the launch-
ing, the master copy and 50 video-copies).
4. In August 2000 the final film "Zawadi" was officially launched in
Dar es Salaam in presence of high ranking officials of the Ministry
of Health and Ministry of Education the donor community and the
5. A discussion guide (actually in preparation) will support teachers
and other educators in guiding a discussion for each of the six
6. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education showed inter-
est in getting copies for all schools in Tanzania with access to
7. All four TV stations (two governmental, two private) are inter-
ested in broadcasting the soapy and the national TV has already
started. Together with the Bagamoyo College the following conditions
were set. No money will be paid to the TV station for broadcasting.
The soapy has to be aired in six parts. At the end of each part the
date for the next part is communicated. If the TV station is willing
to organize a lottery among young people sending their comments on
the films, the Reproductive Health Project is willing to sponsor the
prices (bicycles and radios).
That is were we are in September 2000.
The further steps will be a distribution to schools and youth organi-
zations. In the regions with GTZ-supported health projects (Tanga,
Lindi, Mbeya) the already established channels will be used. For the
other regions, collaboration with the Ministry of Education will lead
to appropriate distribution mechanisms. A GTZ project supporting Sci-
ence Education in Secondary Schools will support the distribution in
its respective areas.
If you are interested in more details or if you have suggestions do
not hesitate to contact us.
Regina Goergen and Akwillina Mlay
Reproductive Health Project
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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