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Nigerian Radio Broadcasts Two New Dramas

Oct 18, 2016

On the morning of October 11th, more than 300 people gathered at the Starview Palace Hotel in Gwarinpa. Representatives from various UN agencies, foundations, non-governmental organizations, Nigerian media outlets, community leaders, health agencies, and religious groups gathered to celebrate two new stories that began airing the previous week on radio stations throughout Nigeria.

Ephraim Okon, Country Representative for Population Media Center, the organization producing the two dramas, welcomed people and promised that the two shows would deliver stories filled with love, violence, and hope as the diverse characters – families, friends, and enemies – struggle to succeed despite the challenges and struggles of everyday life. And these stories will not only entertain audiences with every episode, Okon explained, they are also designed to inform.

Okon told the crowd that Population Media Center (PMC) is launching two 104-episode radio dramas. Jangala (“Song of Life”) in Pidgin English and A Dade Ana Yi (“Pit of Lies”) in Hausa which will be broadcast over 35 radio stations throughout Nigeria. These stories dramatize daily life, including the realities of issues like family planning, gender-based violence, and reproductive health. The dramas are an opportunity to spread the stories over many episodes and introduce positive and negative characters and role modeling, to show audiences different approaches and perspectives to every situation. This is PMC’s second drama in Pidgin, and fourth drama in Hausa.

Jangala and A Dade Ana Yi are designed to seamlessly weave human rights, health, and environmental information into the stories. Population Media Center’s strategy relies on formative research and the shows are is written entirely by local creative teams. This strategy has worked for PMC for almost 20 years. PMC has produced more than 35 dramas, in more than 50 countries throughout the world, reaching almost half a billion people.

“We’re thrilled to be working in Nigeria again,” says Kriss Barker, PMC’s Vice President of International Programs. “One of these shows, A Dade Ana Yi, is airing in northern Nigeria, a region struggling with everything from Boko Haram to climate change. We hope to bring entertainment – moments of fun each week – to a difficult place to live, as well as meaningful ways of improving essential health and human rights. Similarly, our Pidgin-language show, Jangala, will captivate audiences in southern Nigeria with real-life experiences, designed to portray the benefits of making positive choices.”

In addition to local Nigerian celebratory performances, Okon played the theme songs and one episode from each show. This gave those assembled a sense of the storytelling, the production quality, and the intrigue, but it turns out that many of those attending had already started listening and were familiar with the shows, as the dramas had both begun broadcast a week prior to the formal launching event.

“Many people said they were already following with the dramas on air via their favorite radio stations,” says Leo Pius Leo, PMC-Nigeria Program Manager. “It was also wonderful to hear the many goodwill messages from individuals and representatives of different organizations. The representative of the United Nations Development Programme in Nigeria even gave a speech about ‘The Imperative of Peace-Building and Social Cohesion in the Northeast.’”

Those in attendance applauded the efforts of the entire PMC-Nigeria team for working to make sure the dramas are a success and will impact the lives of Nigerian people for the better.

About Population Media Center

Population Media Center is a nonprofit leader in entertainment-education dedicated to women’s rights and empowerment, population stabilization, and the environment. For the past two decades, PMC’s entertainment programming has promoted social and cultural change and has helped 500 million people in more than 50 countries. www.populationmedia.org