Kumbra Bot

Sierra Leone

PMC produced Kumbra Bot (“We’re All in the Same Boat”) in Sierra Leone. This 36-episode radio serial drama aired October 1, 2012 through February 2013 in Krio, an English-based Creole that is understood by many Sierra Leone ethnic groups.

Kumbra Bot aired in Sierra Leone twice per week (Mondays and Saturdays) on five radio stations across five different districts: Bonthe District, Bo District, Pugehun District, BombaliDistrict, and Kailahun District.

As with all PMC radio serial dramas, Kumbra Bot was created using PMC’s serial drama methodology.

Kumbra Bot aired in Sierra Leone to bring attention to important human health issues.

Making a Difference

Kumbra Bot aired in Sierra Leone to bring attention to important human health issues. This project deviated from PMC’s traditional longer-running dramas, airing for five months. During that time, Kumbra Bot spurred conversations within families and communities.

Project Information

Title: Kumbra Bot (“We’re All in the Same Boat”)
Format: Radio Serial Drama
Location: Five districts in Sierra Leone: Bo, Bombali, Bonthe, Kailahun, and Pujehun
Language: Krio
Duration: October 1, 2012 – February 2013

Administrative Team:
Country Representative:  Victor Massaquoi (September 1, 2012-January 2013) VickynatuSonia Johnson (started February 1, 2013)
Finance Assistant:  Bintu Marion Koroma (started February 1, 2013)
Technical Assistant:  Fatmata Dainkeh Kargbo
Administrative Assistant:  Aminata P. Saffa
Office Assistant (Messenger): AngelaLavaly
Facilities Manager: Sylvester M. Koroma
Driver:  Hassan Marrah

Creative Team:
Producer:  Abraham Foday
Assistant Producer AbdulrahmanSamurah
Studio Technician: Brima Thomas Davies
Head Writer: Othman Kamara
Writers: Violetta Moody, Moses Sesay


Nedawa’s story

Nendawa lost her parents during the war, so she must live with her aunt Nancy. Nancy is a commercial sex worker and even though Nendawais young, her aunt forces her to become a sex worker too. Nancy does not believe in contraceptives, especially condoms. Instead, she uses a medicinal herb and wants Nendawa to use it as well. Nendawa does use it, but she also talks with her friend Musu. Musu tells Nendawa about the dangers of non-protected sex. Nendawa defies her aunt and refuses to trade her body, but Nancy punishes her by not giving her food or access to toiletries. Eventually, Nendawa becomes pregnant. She takes the medicinal herb to get rid of the pregnancy, but at four months pregnant she decides to get an abortion. Nendawa doesn’t go to a clinic for the procedure and almost bleeds to death. Nendawa realizes she must escape this lifestyle and figures out how to do so with Musu’s help.

Madina’s story

Madina is a 28-year-old mother of two and the second wife of Mr. Bangura, a struggling petit trader. Mr. Bangura’s first wife, Makalay, has 11 children, including nine boys. Mr. Bangura is a chauvinist who prefers boys over girls, and sends the boys to school while the girls stay home and do chores. Their landlord, Mr. Jones, frequently offers advice to Mr. Bangura on family planning and access to health facilities. Mr. Bangura openly detests this and accuses Madina of sleeping with Mr. Jones. Meanwhile, Makalav’s oldest daughter has given birth to twins and is staying in the house because she does not know which partner is the father. Bangura’s business continues to fail. When his first wife goes into labor for their twelfth child, Mr. Bangura doesn’t get her proper medical care and his wife dies. Out of desperation, Mr. Bangura plays the lottery…and loses. He is later sent to prison where he dies of a heart attack. Madina, thankful to have only two children, is able to pull things together to support herself and live a happy life.

Alpha’s story

Alpha is a 19-year-old student living with his parents, but he spends more time chasing girls than studying. His parents get fed up and send him to live with his uncle. His female cousin, Khadifa, is only slightly older than him. She thinks the change will be good for Alpha. One night, Khadifa has friends over to study for exams and Alpha falls in love with Hassanatu. Khadifa forbids Alpha from seeing Hassanatu, but he refuses to heed her advice. Khadifa then forbids Hassanatu from seeing Alpha, but Hassanatu chooses Alpha over Khadifa’s friendship. After final exams, it’s revealed that both Alpha and Hassanatu failed. Afraid that he will be sent back to his parents, Alpha studies feverishly. Meanwhile, Hassanatu is driven from school because she cannot pay her fees. She looks to Alpha for money, but since Alpha has no money to offer, she begins selling her body to men. A few weeks later, Alpha feels a burning sensation when he urinates. Khadifa fears AIDS and recommends that he go to a hospital. He has gonorrhea. Hassantu becomes sick as well, but her trip to the hospital reveals that she has AIDS and is pregnant. The disease has spread too quickly and she dies while getting an abortion. Upon hearing the news, Alpha realizes that he must change his promiscuous lifestyle.

Issues this storyline addresses:

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