Nigerian Sesame Street will feature HIV-positive muppet


Sesame Square, the Nigerian version of Sesame Street, will feature Kami, a girl-muppet who is HIV-positive. The show was produced with a $3.3 million grant from U.S., Agency for International Development and Obama's Emergency Plan for AIDS relief.

Apparently, the South African version of the show already has a HIV+ character, as Mark reported in 2002.

"If we're writing scripts for programs in Nigeria, the writers will be Nigerian scriptwriters," explains Farouky. "We'll often look for people who already have some experience in writing, but because we're aware [of] the format that we use and the methodology that we use, we'll provide training on how to write."

According to Farouky, collaboration is at the heart of the production process. "We work with our local teams to find ways in which we take the content that's important to them, to infuse the project with the cultural values, making sure we know which the taboo issues are and which are not," she told CNN...

"Our program is hosted by two muppets, a boy and a girl," she told CNN. "And because there is an entire region in Nigeria up in the North which is very Muslim, we had to be very sensitive. Even our publicity pictures could not have the muppets hugging, which we would normally have," she explained.

Although the first adaptation to reach West Africa, "Sesame Square" will be the latest in a long line of region-specific shows around the world, which include "Sisimpur" in Bangladesh, "Ulitsa Sezam" in Russia, and "Takalani Sesame" in South Africa.

HIV-positive muppet to star in Nigeria's 'Sesame Street' (via Super Punch)