Democratic Republic of the Congo

PMC produced Pambazuko (“New Dawn”) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This 156-episode drama airs from February 2016 to August 2017 in eastern Congo in Swahili, one of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s national languages.

Pambazuko is broadcast over 14 community radio stations, members of the Hirondelle network, in eastern Congo, including the former Oriental Province, Maniema, North Kivu, South Kivu, and the former Katanga Province. Pambazuko is one of three unique serial dramas PMC produced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Vivra Verra (“Time Will Tell”) is broadcast nationwide on Radio Okapi in French and Elembo (“Footprint”) is broadcast in two provinces in the local language Lingala.

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

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Making a Difference

It’s too early in the project to have results, but research will be conducted before, during, and after the radio dramas air. This research will consist of listeners’ focus groups, clinic monitoring, exit interviews, and quantitative research.

The Population Media Center hopes to make the Democratic republic of the Congo (DRC) safer for men, women, and children. Children are being killed by diarrhea, pneumonia, and malaria,” says PMC president Bill Ryerson. “We can help change cultural norms and improve the understanding of available health resources by opening conversations about child health, reproductive and maternal health, children’s education, and gender equality. Many people live in the DRC, and we hope to make life better for as many of them as we can.”

Project Information

Title: Pambazuko (“The Dawn”)
Format: Radio Serial Drama
Location: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Language: Swahili
Duration: February 2016 – August 2017

Visit Pambazuko’s Facebook Page!

Download DR Congo Broadcast Map

Administrative Team:
Country Representative: Gabin K. Mabanzila
Technical Assistant: Philippe Ntonda
Finance Assistant: Lucien Koli
Administrative Assistant: Carel Mvuama
Driver: Charles Mfutila Tokodiangani

Creative Team:
Producer: Mathy Babaka Vangu
Studio Technicians: John Kabuika Tshibasu, Patrick Mayamba, Grace Mbuya Ntembo, Déogratias Luzitu Uyonduka
Head Writer: Trésor Amis Mandanda
Writers: Ella Iranga Nshombo, Tharcille Kahindo Munyenze, Erick Kayembe

News Related to this Project:

Birth Control in Kinshasa: It’s Not All About Availability

July 3, 2017 — In December, a new study from the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital city, Kinshasa, analyzed the barriers preventing... Keep reading.

Past Successes and Looking to the Future in DR Congo

June 28, 2017 — Population Media Center (PMC), a nonprofit leader in entertainment designed to attract huge audiences and simultaneously improve the... Keep reading.

Dawn Arrives in the East: A Drama Designed to Change Eastern Congo

March 3, 2016 — DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO–On February 24, 2016, radios in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo played... Keep reading.


Jaribu's Story

Jaribu, a young man living in the realities of post-war poverty, discovers that poverty is a vicious cycle that allows people to be tempted to delve into all sorts of illicit trafficking, such as poaching. With a salary too small to meet the needs of his family, Jaribu is influenced by his friend, Pilipili. Pilipili is involved in lots of illegal trafficking and is a rapist. Jaribu becomes a rapist. In this world, rape has become a means of retaliation to avenge a mother, wife, sister, or daughter who was a victim. Jaribu has never recovered from the rape of his sister, Feza. Feza tries to show Jaribu the dangers and immorality of the decisions he’s making and work with him to find another way to survive.

Sheriya's Story

A marriage has just been celebrated in Kanyakoma – that of Sheriya and Asumani. Asumani is a very jealous husband and won’t even let Sheriya go to the market. This jealousy combined with his upbringing creates a troubling reality for Sheriya when she gets pregnant. Asumani will not allow her to seek any medical care because he swears by traditional medicine – he is the son of a witch doctor. Iranga, Sheriya’s older sister, insists that she Sheriya be allowed to visit a doctor. Eventually the baby is born at home, but even though Sheriya and the baby are healthy, the baby’s low birth weight causes them to go to the hospital. As Sheriya navigates difficult realities to protect her health and the health of her baby, we see a world where even an educated woman has no right to speak because women exist only for procreation.

Mawazo's Story

Mawazo is a young 14-year-old boy who lives in Madoa (a city). He loves school, but he must interrupt his studies because he is too poor to continue. His mother, Mifano, is an alcoholic. Faced with horrible realities and pressures to support the family, Mifano must find a way to feed his mother and sister faida. Mawazo wants to imitate his cousin Masumbuko who pays his school fees himself, combining study and work. Mawazo finds work in a mine and it is through his experience that we discover the hell of child labor in the quarries and see the many factors that can impact a child’s opportunity to receive an education.

Machozi's Story

Machozi is 24 years old, married, and has four children. She lives in Tamu tamu, a small village on Lake Ruze and feeds her family by selling yams and taro that she grows. Her husband, Ayali, is a drunkard and does not help feed or educate the children. Machozi must provide for the family and rely on her daughter Sheila, who is seven years old, to look after the other children when she’s absent. The children are often sick, but her husband refuses to hear about hospitals or vaccination because he prefers his family to be treated by Nyembo, the healer in the village. Machozi, despite the advice of her older brother Mwema, blindly obeys her husband for fear of being repudiated. That’s when the tragedy occurs: her youngest child, Tati, is struck by polio and loses the use of his legs.

This project funded by

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