Cesiri Tono

Multiple Countries

PMC produced Cesiri Tono (“Fruits of Perseverance”) to air in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, and Mali. This 144-episode radio show aired November 2004 through October 2005 in Dioula, which is a widely spoken language in all three countries.

Cesiri Tono was distributed to 169 community radio stations across the three countries (Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, and Mali) by First Voice International, reaching more than 5.5 million people. The Ashoka Foundation awarded PMC the Changemakers Innovation Award (one of three worldwide) in their global competition for the most creative programs designed to prevent human trafficking.

As with all PMC radio shows, Cesiri Tono was created using PMC’s radio show methodology.

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Making a Difference

More than 5.5 million people listened to Cesiri Tono in the three countries where it was broadcast and it was awarded the Changemakers Innovation Award by the Ashoka Foundation as one of the most creative programs designed to prevent human trafficking. A random-sample, household evaluation survey was conducted in all three countries in December of 2005 (two months after the broadcast finished) indicating the following impacts:


96% of listeners in Burkina Faso could identify at least one place that provides family planning/reproductive health services, compared to 80% of nonlisteners.

(PMC Endline Research)


32% of listeners in Côte d’Ivoire knew at least three factors that can lead to child trafficking, compared to 14% of nonlisteners.

(PMC Endline Research)


The belief that it is acceptable for women to work outside of the home was 53% higher among listeners in Mali than it had been at baseline.

(PMC Endline Research)

Project Information

Title: Cesiri Tono (“Fruits of Perseverance”)
Format: Radio Show
Location: Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali
Language: Dioula
Duration: November 2004-October 2005

In-Country Administrative Team:
Country Representative: Tandia Fatoumata Dèdè Keita
Technical Assistant: Almoukoutarh HaidaraFinance Assistant: Amara Sidibé
Administrative Assistant: Fatimata Traoré

In-Country Creative Team:
Producer: Ousmane Sow
Writers: Fily Traore, Karim Diarra

News Related to this Project:

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Woshi’s story

Woshi is a beautiful, young peasant woman who runs away from her rural village to escape an arranged marriage. Unaccustomed to life in the city, Woshi looks for work. She ends up at Tanti’s bar and inn. Tanti pretends to be Woshi’s friend and offers her a job and a room. She introduces Woshi to her friend Filiberi, a rich, corrupt plantation owner, and Woshi becomes his mistress. Sibiri, Woshi’s ex-fiancé, shows up one day at Tanti’s bar. Before eventually throwing him out, Woshi again becomes involved with Sibiri. Tanti, increasingly resentful of Woshi and jealous of Filiberi’s attachment to her, casts Woshi out of her inn and informs Filiberi of Woshi’s infidelity. Heartbroken, Woshi ends up on the street, until her friend Akissi invites her to move in with her. Akissi teaches Woshi to sell fruit at the marketplace. Woshi eventually makes enough money to run her own bar and live in her own apartment. She spends the remainder of the series helping improve the conditions of the children employed at Filiberi’s plantation and campaigning against child trafficking.

Akissi’s story

Akissi is an orange seller, and has many lovers. Others in her community, particularly her friends Amijan and Jigiba, disapprove of her behaviour around men. When Akissi visits the clinic, she discovers she is pregnant. This is devastating, as she is unmarried and does not know who the baby’s father is. Zangoroba, an older admirer of Akissi, asks for her hand in marriage. Akissi, who had being drinking heavily that evening, rudely repels his advances, announcing to him that she would never marry a man his age. As her pregnancy advances, Akissi drops out of the life of the marketplace and town centre. Solo, a friend of Akissi’s, returns to the town after being away and asks about Akissi. He is told of her pregnancy just as she arrives with neither a pregnant belly nor a baby on her back. Akissi informs him that she has lost the unborn child. After this sobering event, Akissi resumes her activities at the marketplace and becomes very successful selling fruit. She drinks less, abstains from relations with men, and concerns herself with the welfare of her friends Jigiba and Woshi. As Akissi’s situation improves, she helps support her friend Woshi on the road to self-sufficiency.

Kunandi's Story

Kunandi lives in Kassisso and he is ten years old. More than anything in the world, he wants a bicycle, especially after he sees his friend Barou riding one down to the swimming hole one day. All of the children talk about leaving to find their fortunes, knowing that if life continues as usual, they will never be able to afford bicycles. Abdoulaye and Lagare, two other young boys, find work in town helping Senteja at her bar. Kunandi, however, is promised work – and a bicycle – by a local cocoa plantation owner. He and his parents immediately agree, counting the offer as a stroke of good luck. Unfortunately, Kunandi’s initial enthusiasm evolves into fear and misery when he arrives at a remote and inaccessible plantation where he is forced to work ten to twenty hours a day. Daily survival becomes an acute challenge and Kunandi wonders whether he will ever be able to escape.

Issues this storyline addresses:

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