BBC Media Action
Kwizera Charugamba, Senior Producer
Kwizera Charugamba explains how BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra helped shape a brand new BBC Media Action youth radio show in Tanzania.
Actress, Amran Mahad plays "Ugasso" in Maalmo Dhaama Maanta (Better Days than Today)
We are making a fun but educational drama in our Somalia office, with drama very much being the imperative word. When characters from different backgrounds come together in storylines, from Shakespearean classics like Romeo and Juliet and Othello to modern day TV shows Grey’s Anatomy and Days of Our Lives, I’ve always found it makes the drama juicier. But never could I have predicted that a Somali love affair in our fictional drama could generate a political drama in the real world.
As project coordinator in the BBC Media Action Hargeisa office, I am working with our team to create the radio drama Maalmo Dhaama Maanta (Better Days than Today). It’s Somalia’s first interactive programme where the listener gets to influence the fate of the characters. The weekly drama explores a variety of issues facing youth today, from jobs and relationships to migration.
With “Somali” being an ethnic term regardless of borders and regions, we hoped that a focus on “Somali youth”…
Senior Production Manager, Kenya and Somalia
BBC Sema Kenya production team
I first met Joseph Warungu in 2012 when he handed me a report he had written on the media environment in Kenya and the possibility of a programme themed on governance. None of us knew then that not only would he become the familiar face and host of the BBC Sema Kenya (Kenya Speaks) TV show, but that we would still be on air three years later.
It will be a bittersweet moment for all the team when we record the final show with Joseph and our most recent host, Bonnie Musambi in January. As we say “Kwaheri” (“goodbye” in Swahili) for the last time, I want to take a moment to reflect on what Sema Kenya has achieved.
We were on the road for the first two seasons of Sema Kenya. Our entire production entourage would pack its bags and head deep into the towns, cities and counties of Kenya. Advance teams of audience producers would already be on the ground speaking to local people about their issues and recruiting them to participate in the ‘studio’ audience. As many as 140 people would…
Project Manager and Senior Journalist Mentor
"Well, I am made of latex, and I come in lots of different brands, shapes and sizes. I am anything from small to extra-large, strawberry and banana flavoured," says Mr Condom, one of the stars of a brand new radio show in Zambia. "Sex is still sweet with me and you save yourself stress about STIs, HIV and unwanted pregnancies."
Mr Condom appears on Tikambe Natulande (Tikambe and Natulande means "Let's Talk" in Nyanja and Bemba languages respectively), a show broadcast on Radio Mkushi which aims to get young people talking about sex, STIs and how to prevent HIV/AIDS – a taboo subject in Zambia. Listen to another clip of Mr Condom on Soundcloud.
Mr Condom is only a small part of a much larger sexual and reproductive health programme in Zambia which BBC Media Action is running in partnership with the youth-led development organisation, Restless Development. As well as the radio show, over the next three years we’ll be creating TV shows, broadcasting from live events and building a…
Last summer, as we started the mammoth task of building a national youth radio show in Tanzania from scratch, a few of us (myself included) set off on a fact-finding mission to BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra’s London studios.
We wanted to find out “what works” at one of the UK’s most popular youth radio stations and how we could adopt – and adapt – some of their best ideas.
Mary Kolu Massaquoi
Script Writer, BBC Media Action
I recently spent a week away from my home in Bradford, in the north of England, working with a team in London on scripts for a new BBC Media Action radio drama for West Africa called Mr Plan-Plan and the Pepo-oh. Our focus is Ebola and our aim is to use familiar characters and situations to help people feel confident about getting early treatment for Ebola Virus Disease (known as just…
Yvonne Macpherson and Radharani Mitra
Director, USA and Creative Director, India, BBC Media Action
In the three countries most affected by Ebola, information and communication play an important role in curtailing its spread. There is a lot of information out there, from posters displaying symptoms, to celebrity-featured public service announcements and Ebola songs. In the early phases of the crisis, communication focused on the fact that Ebola is real was important when denial was a…
I have a strong bond with my mother and we are often in contact. She lives in the city of Makeni, northern Sierra Leone and I live in the capital, Freetown, a two hour drive away.
When she called me in September, in tears, I knew something was very wrong. “My family is being wiped out,” she told me, barely able to get her words out. Since August - in just a matter of weeks - 16 of our…
Director, Policy and Learning
BBC Media Action was awarded the President's Medal at the 2014 MRS Awards.
It was a proud moment for our research team when BBC Media Action was awarded the President’s Medal at the annual Market Research Society Awards this week. The medal is given to an individual or organisation that has made “an extraordinary contribution to research”. The society paid special tribute to the rigour of BBC Media Action’s research and to its innovative Climate Asia…
Research Manager, BBC Media Action
A girl attends class in Kibera, Kenya
Academics have been mulling over the tricky term "collective efficacy" for decades. Collective, what? Well, exactly. In its essence, collective efficacy is the belief that taking action with others can make a positive change. But I learned last week that if you want to really get to the bottom of what collective efficacy looks like in practice, Kenya is the place to find out.
Project Manager, Nigeria
Condom Awareness Day for the BBC Media Action Flava team
World Aids Day is a chance for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV and AIDS. It is a chance to show solidarity with the 35 million people living with HIV today and commemorate those who have died from AIDS.
For me, December 1st will be even more poignant as this will be the last World AIDS Day of ENR (Enhancing Nigeria’s response to HIV & AIDS), a project I’ve been…