Ngelawu Nawet


PMC produced Ngelawu Nawet (“Winds of Hope”) in Senegal. This 168-episode radio show aired November 4, 2008 through December 6, 2009 (with rebroadcasts through 2011) in Wolof, a recognized regional language in Senegal and neighboring countries.

Ngelawu Nawet aired on RTS National 95.7 FM, a station with national coverage in Senegal. It was one of two PMC radio shows on the air. Coñal Keele (“Harvesting the Seeds of Life”), the second drama in Senegal at the time, was written in Pulaar, and broadcast in the Matam region of Senegal. As part of the Whole Society Strategy, PMC set up monthly radio debate shows featuring a panel of experts and an open forum for callers to ask questions, hosted by Ngelawu Nawet’s lead writer. This idea stemmed from some of the reactions to the program leading to the first radio debate on August 1, 2010. The debates were broadcast live on the first Sunday of the month on the national radio stations and then rebroadcast on the regional stations throughout the week.

As with all PMC radio shows, Ngelawu Nawet was created using PMC’s radio show methodology.

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Making a Difference

PMC worked with RAES (Réseau Africain de l’Education pour la Santé) and the University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health, who provided technical assistance to the Senegalese research team for the baseline and endline studies that were used to determine the program’s influence.

Listeners were 6.5 times more likely to state that “HIV/AIDS can be prevented by using condoms” than non-listeners
Listeners were 10 times more likely to state that “they think they are personally at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS” than non-listeners.
Listeners were 77% less likely to agree that “a breastfeeding child should be weaned from the breast if the mother is pregnant” than non-listeners
52% of clients surveyed said they listened to “Ngelawu Nawet
More males (62%) listened to the program than did females (50%)
When asked to name the principal source of information where they learned about family planning or reproductive health service, 12% of clients said “radio”
Of those who said the principal source that informed them of the service was a health worker, spouse, relative or friend, 40% said that “radio” was the source of information where that person learned of the service
Listeners were 6.3 times more likely to state that women should be 18 years old or older before marriage


Listeners were 74% less likely to agree "the practice of female genital mutilation is a cultural requirement" than non-listeners.

(RAES and the University of California)


Male listeners were 63% less likely to believe that "Tuberculosis can be transmitted through sharing of utensils" than non-listeners.

(RAES and the University of California)


Listeners were 6.3 times more likely to say that the "ideal age of marriage for a woman was 18 years or older" than non-listeners.

(RAES and the University of California)

Project Information

Title: Ngelawu Nawet (“Winds of Hope”)
Format: Radio Show
Location: Senegal
Language: Wolof
Duration: November 4, 2008-December 6, 2009

Administrative Team:
Country Representative: Fara Diaw
Radio Serial Drama Coordinator: Arame Ndoye Sene

Creative Team:
Producer: Mansour Sow
Producer Assistant: Maty Ndiaye
Head Writer: Daour Wade
Writers: Bineta Mbaye, Cheikh Charles Sow, Abdou Sèye Ndiaye, Mansour Khouma Dieynaba Guèye


Adiwoo’s story

Adiwoo is a 20-year-old girl who lives with her father and mother. Her father has a stressful administrative job, which he deals with by frequently drinking, beating his wife, and sleeping with other women. He eventually leaves Adiwoo and her mother for a second wife. Throughout her father’s drama, Adiwoo encounters drama of her own. She falls for Lengs and repeatedly sneaks out to see him against the will of her mother, even though one escape attempt results in a broken leg. Eventually, fleeing from the violence of her father, Adiwoo spends the night with Lengs and they have unprotected sex. Adiwoo is later diagnosed with gonorrhea and HIV. At first reluctant to be honest with the doctor and continue her visits to the clinic, Adiwoo eventually goes on medicine to help with her infections. Her father is also diagnosed with HIV, and, refusing medication, dies in Adiwoo’s mother’s home; her mother cares for him until his final days. Adiwoo, Lengs, and her friend start a group to talk with others about sexuality and the best ways to protect yourself from pregnancy and sexually transmitted illnesses. Adiwoo gets a job as a street sweeper and takes night classes, eventually becoming a midwife.

Bakk’s story

Bakk is a teacher at the primary school in the capital city. He is married and has a 13-year-old daughter. He often goes to the plaza to drink and gamble with his friends. One night, he bets all of his wages and loses. This is the beginning of a terrible spiral. He must lie to his wife about his activities; he gets drunk frequently, and starts missing work. His alcohol abuse and violence get worse and worse. He starts cheating on his wife and begins getting a terrible cough, but he refuses to see a doctor. He’s coughing and spitting up blood, so his friends and mistress refuse to spend time with him. Eventually, he agrees to go to the hospital and discovers that he does not have HIV, but he does have tuberculosis which can be cured with strict adherence to the treatment schedule. He takes his wife and daughter to be tested and returns to teaching. He speaks in schools, community groups, and women’s groups about the dangers of tuberculosis.

Maakoy’s story

Maakoy is 23 years old and lives with her husband and small child, Góora. Her husband adores her and she gets along well with her mother-in-law, although her sister-in-law detests everyone. Maakoy’s son cries often and her husband tells her to take him to the health clinic. When Maakoy finally takes him, she learns that Góora is malnourished and that she needs to prepare special meals for him, but she does not follow through. Her husband, frustrated, goes to the clinic himself. His harsh words to Maakoy make her cry. She goes back to the clinic to get the special ingredients, but finds it a lot of effort to remember to leave her market stall at the right time to attend nutrition classes. She must return every two days for recipes because she cannot read them. She asks her husband to translate the recipes for her, and as she follows the regimen, they watch their son become stronger and healthier. Maakoy realizes that her illiteracy lies at the heart of her difficulties. She learns to read and write and starts literacy classes out of her home. She procures a micro loan to create a small business manufacturing local goods for children’s nutrition; her products gain popularity among women across the country.

Wereyaan’s story

Wereyaan is a 25-year-old woman who has three children. Her husband, Sóogi, adores her, but his mother hates Wereyaan because she considers her a rival for Sóogi’s attention. Wereyaan becomes pregnant again, but she suffers from anemia and the pregnancy ends in a miscarriage. Sóogi’s mother convinces Sóogi to find another wife to ensure a successful pregnancy the next time. A few months later, Wereyaan is pregnant yet again. Sóogi’s new wife, angered that Wereyaan became pregnant before she did, violently attacks her. The child is born by Caesarean. Not wanting to become pregnant again, Wereyaan sneaks out and buys contraceptives. Sóogi’s mother spots her at the pharmacy and tells Sóogi, who becomes bitter and threatens Wereyaan with divorce. However, the second marriage ceremony has landed Sóogi in serious debt, and he eventually accepts Wereyaan’s view that preventing another child would help the family financially. When Wereyaan’s father dies, she inherits a large amount of land, allowing Sóogi to escape debt and open a restaurant serving traditional food. The restaurant becomes a national success. When the Minister of Health visits, Wereyaan makes use of the opportunity to encourage a largely female audience to think about the benefits of contraceptive use, family planning, and women in the workforce.

This project funded by

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