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Radio Dramas to Hit the Airwaves in Nigeria

Jul 17, 2015

SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT – Two radio soap operas have hit the airwaves in Nigeria. The dramas, Tafigawalo (Working towards Change) in Pidgin, and Hannunka Mai Sanda (Power in your Hands) in Hausa, began broadcast on 6 July 2015. The programs, written and produced by Population Media Center (PMC) are designed to increase knowledge around family planning, HIV/AIDS, adolescent reproductive health, women’s education, and gender-based violence.

Tafigawalo is broadcast on Treasure FM in Rivers State on Mondays and Tuesdays from 1:45 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. with repeats on Wednesdays and Sundays, and on DSBC FM (Melody FM) in Delta State on Mondays and Fridays from 4:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m with repeats on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Hannunka Mai Sanda is broadcast in three States: Zuma FM in Niger State on Mondays and Fridays at 7:30 a.m. with repeats on Wednesdays and Sundays; on Pride FM in the Zamfara State on 103.5 Gasau on Mondays and Tuesdays at 9:45 a.m. and repeats on Wednesdays and Thursdays beginning on July 13; and broadcast on Globe FM in Bauchi State starts on July 20 where listeners can tune in on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7:15 p.m or catch the repeat episodes on Fridays and Saturdays.

Both programs were originally broadcast in 2014 in other States in the country. Listeners have resonated with these highly entertaining programs. Men and women listeners have told PMC how scenes from Tafigawalo in a variety of settings — the home, the bar, and hospital — were most meaningful to them. A female listener said about a family scene, “It makes me think of what happens in my home and guides me on how to handle those issues. They look very real, just like my home.”

This expanded broadcast is funded by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

“The expanded broadcast started with massive promotions on Sunday 28th June in Bauchi, Niger, Delta and Rivers States,” says Ephraim Okon, PMC’s Country Representative in Nigeria. “This expansion will allow millions of additional listeners to benefit from the messages in the dramas.” The new broadcast area includes 18 million additional people.

“We learned a lot during the first broadcast run of Tafigawalo and Hannunka Mai Sanda,” says Kriss Barker, PMC’s Vice President for International Programs, “that we will use to make this broadcast even more dynamic and responsive to our listeners.”

“PMC has produced three other radio dramas in Nigeria with promising results,” says Bill Ryerson, PMC’s President. “Sixty-seven percent of reproductive health clients in Ruwan Dare’s broadcast area named that PMC program as their motivation to seek health services in 2009. We’re pleased to have that kind of impact and are excited to partner with the MacArthur Foundation to continue build on the good work being done in Nigeria.”

Tafigawalo and Hannunka Mai Sanda address some of Nigeria’s most pressing health and human rights concerns, such as family planning and obstetric fistula. Only 14.1 percent of people in Nigeria say they use any form of contraception, and UNFPA estimates that anywhere from 100,000 to 1 million women suffer from obstetric fistula. Tafigawalo and Hannunka Mai Sanda also highlight the importance of girls’ education, which is critical when only 43 percent of Nigerian women obtain a secondary education. And Tafigawalo also addresses gender-based violence, an issue that is prevalent in Nigerian communities. When asked how your life has changed as a result to listening to Tafigawalo, one male listener responded, “For me, no more violence against my wife and my children. I have also cut down on my drinking.”

“The current crisis of kidnapped school girls in northern Nigeria is symptomatic of the low status of women and girls in all of Nigeria,” says Okon when discussing the importance of the programs.

It is hoped that enhancing the health and rights of women and girls will not only improve people’s lives today, but it will also benefit Nigeria’s overall infrastructure. Nigeria is the seventh most populous country in the world with over 170 million people and an annual population growth rate of 3.18 percent. This means that Nigeria’s infrastructure needs to be prepared to support a population that’s expected to be more than 207 million by 2020, a short six years away.

The new broadcast of Tafigawalo and Hannunka Mai Sanda will run until spring of 2016. PMC will be conducting research during the broadcast to assess impact.


Population Media Center (PMC) is a nonprofit, international nongovernmental organization, which strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through the use of entertainment-education strategies, like serialized dramas on radio and television, in which characters evolve into role models for the audience for positive behavior change. Founded in 1998, PMC has over 15 years of field experience using the Sabido methodology of behavior change communications, impacting more than 50 countries around the world.


Headquartered in Chicago, the MacArthur Foundation works in about 50 countries around the world and maintains offices in India, Mexico, Nigeria and Russia. MacArthur has been making grants in Nigeria since 1989, opening an office in Abuja in 1994 with a staff of Nigerians who know and love their country. MacArthur is committed to helping strengthen Nigeria’s intellectual, scientific, and civil society communities as a means of helping to facilitate the consolidation of democracy and encouraging economic development.


Ephraim Okon, PMC Country Representative
PMC-Nigeria, Abuja
Telephone: 07030448318