Takalani Sesame returns to SABC in new format


After 12 years of delighting and engaging children with the help of favourite friends like Kami, Zikwe, Zuzu and Neno, television and radio series Takalani Sesame has begun production on four brand new seasons as well as an outreach campaign tailored to the Eastern Cape. The new seasons will reinforce children’s education and emphasise a positive atmosphere, while supporting South Africa’s mother tongue-based education policy.

With television and radio broadcast in nearly all of South Africa’s official languages, the project is a partnership between Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organisation behind Sesame Street; South Africa’s Department of Basic Education (DBE); Sanlam; SABC; and production partner Kwasukasukela (KWK).

Season Six of Takalani Sesame will debut on SABC on 2 September 2013.   

The new seasons introduce a brand new format that will see the Takalani Sesame Muppet friends featured in segments that highlight their own unique personalities; Zikwe loves to travel, Neno has extraordinary language skills, and Kami’s interest in science will encourage creativity and experimentation. Kami, an HIV-positive five-year-old golden furry monster who loves science and reading, returns and helps illuminate age-appropriate messages designed to de-stigmatise perceptions surrounding people living with illness. This new format incorporates longer street story narratives that are connected by “Word on the Street’ segments designed to introduce children to a variety of words integrated throughout the episode.

Takalani Sesame follows the successfully long-running holistic approach to children’s early learning and development by covering educational domains of literacy and languages, mathematics and life-skills. Studies indicate that children exposed to Takalani Sesame showed greater learning across all three of the programmes’ curricular areas (literacy, numeracy and life skills) than children who were not exposed.

Additionally, a new outreach initiative focusing on the Eastern Cape, an area in great need for early childhood educational resources, will allow Kami and all her Takalani Sesame friends to reach even more children in South Africa, meeting the specific critical needs of the children and families in this region.

Funded by the Mai Family Foundation, this initiative will further extend the reach and proven success of Takalani Sesame’s unique educational resources.

To date, throughout South Africa Takalani Sesame’s outreach teams have trained over 41,500 caregivers and 100 teachers and have carried out numerous community events designed to engage children with educationally rich experiences.


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