Nigeria : HIV Positive Muppet for Sesame Street in Nigeria

cherryblossom

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HIV-positive muppet to star in Nigeria's 'Sesame Street'
By George Webster for CNN
October 6, 2010 --


CNN) -- Big Bird and the Cookie Monster have some new friends, but they're a long way from "Sesame Street."

One of America's best-loved children's shows, which began life on a fictional New York street over 40 years ago, is about to land in Nigeria under the title of "Sesame Square" -- bringing with it some distinctly West African twists.

The show stars Kami, a girl muppet who is HIV-positive, has golden hair and a zest for adventure; and Kobi, an energetic, furry, blue muppet whose troublesome escapades help others learn from his mistakes.

In a country with a population of over 150 million -- where, according to the CIA World Factbook, nearly half are under the age of 14 -- the show will address some of the biggest challenges faced by young people in the region: AIDS, malaria, gender inequality, religious differences -- as well as many positive aspects of Nigerian life. In the case of Zobi, this is characterized by an obsessive love of yams -- a staple food in the Nigerian diet.

"We have a very focused health and hygiene umbrella concept area that we're concentrating on," Naila Farouky, senior director of international projects at Sesame Workshop, told CNN. "This is something our local advisors have prioritized -- something that absolutely has to be addressed on the show."

In one episode, Zobi gets tangled up in a mosquito net, much to the amusement of the local kids. But there's an important message behind the antics -- mosquito nets are the best way to prevent infection from malaria on a continent where, according to the World Health Organization, a child dies from the disease every 45 seconds.

There are also an estimated 278,000 HIV-positive children in Nigeria, according to the National Agency for Control of AIDS.

However, like its American predecessor, "Sesame Square" is not solely focused on health and social issues, but a host of essential learning skills.

Farouky told CNN, "The thread of the show continues to be about basic life skills -- literacy, numeracy and pre-school education."

We work with our local teams to find ways in which we can infuse the project with the cultural values

--Naila Farouky, Senior Director, Sesame Workshops

So how did the producers go about adapting such an iconic show for a Nigerian market?

"If we're writing scripts for programs in Nigeria, the writers will be Nigerian scriptwriters," explains Farouky. "We'll often look for people who already have some experience in writing, but because we're aware [of] the format that we use and the methodology that we use, we'll provide training on how to write."

According to Farouky, collaboration is at the heart of the production process. "We work with our local teams to find ways in which we take the content that's important to them, to infuse the project with the cultural values, making sure we know which the taboo issues are and which are not," she told CNN.

Farouky recalled how, when making an Egyptian version of Sesame Street called "Alam Simsim," the character of Oscar the Grouch was firmly rejected on grounds that he glorified living in a garbage can -- something at odds with the cultural values of the region. Were there any similar issues in the making of Sesame Square?

"Our program is hosted by two muppets, a boy and a girl," she told CNN. "And because there is an entire region in Nigeria up in the North which is very Muslim, we had to be very sensitive. Even our publicity pictures could not have the muppets hugging, which we would normally have," she explained.

Roughly a quarter of households in Nigeria own television sets, according to the country's National Bureau of Statistics, which will inevitably limit the scope of its reach. However, the Sesame Workshop has used a significant proportion of its funding to produce additional learning materials, and is examining ways that it can use radios and mobile phones to help promote the messages in the show.>>>>


http://edition.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/TV/10/06/sesame.street.nigeria/index.html?eref=edition_world
 

cherryblossom

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So, in the US, Sesame Street is telling our little girls to "love what they have on top" about their natural hair....


And in NIGERIA, they have a little girl with "GOLDEN HAIR."

And a little boy who is BLUE.


THIS is what we should be protesting! :whip:

THIS is what we should be exposing! :whip:
 

cherryblossom

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Feb 28, 2009
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Originally Posted by info-moetry
peace

Shut 'em down.....

Ray Hammerman
212-875-6434 (New York)
ray.hammerman@sesameworkshop.org

Alicia Durand
212-875-6223 (New York)
alicia.durand@sesameworkshop.org

Ellen Lewis
212-875-6396 (New York)
ellen.lewis@sesameworkshop.org


The Public Broadcasting Service
www.pbskids.org

- Hit 'em up and be heard

Also, we can get at their sponsors.........McDonald's is and has always been a huge sponsor of Sesame Street, so some of ya'll might want to ease up on the Cancerous Fries and murder burgers!

Yes, I agree to "hit 'em up" but I think our aim should be to turn any
perceived negative into a positive.


We could use this to our advantage by putting the pressure on for more detailed Afro-centric muppets and themes on Sesame Street.

The blatant hypocrisy between THIS muppet and the Nigerian "Sesame Square" program is a slap in the face to all African descendants.

So, we should be addressing this issue internationally, IMO.


How they gone give African American little girls some "self esteem" about their hair and then in Nigeria have a little girl with GOLDEN hair?! :whip:



And I aint happy 'bout the little boy being BLUE either! :whip:

Sesame Street and Sesame Square need some ACK RIGHT! :whip:
 

cherryblossom

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Feb 28, 2009
19,187
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HIV-positive muppet to star in Nigeria's 'Sesame Street'
By George Webster for CNN
October 6, 2010 --


We work with our local teams to find ways in which we can infuse the project with the cultural values....

--Naila Farouky, Senior Director, Sesame Workshops



http://edition.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/TV/10/06/sesame.street.nigeria/index.html?eref=edition_world

What kinda "cultural values" is it teaching when you have a little NIGERIAN girl with "GOLDEN HAIR?!" :whip:

Good Grief!.....Are there any actual NIGERIANS working for "Sesame Square?"

And if so, WHERE is their voice in this??
 

river

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Mar 22, 2004
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Where the Niger meets the Nile
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So, in the US, Sesame Street is telling our little girls to "love what they have on top" about their natural hair....


And in NIGERIA, they have a little girl with "GOLDEN HAIR."

And a little boy who is BLUE.


THIS is what we should be protesting! :whip:

THIS is what we should be exposing! :whip:

Actually there are Africans with naturally blond hair. We don't see it in America because the slavemasters killed any babies that were born with blond hair to perpetuate the myth that such hair is unique to white people. It isn't. Neither are blue eyes. Because Africans don't share our experience of equating blond hair with white people they probably would not understand our protest.
 

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