Savanna Trust using radio dramas for social change

SAVANNA Trust has adopted a strategy of using radio dramas — reputed as one of the most popular and effective strategies to communicate pressing issues — in their effort to engage citizens on a raft of everyday life concerns.


The trust’s director, Daniel Maposa, told NewsDay that as part of their contribution to the eradication of violence against children through the support from the Embassy of Switzerland, they are implementing a project to enhance awareness and dialogue on children’s rights.

“Research has shown that many Zimbabwean children are among the most vulnerable sections of society and it is to that effect that this year we added to our radio programming another worrisome issue of violence against children,” he said.

“In this project we are producing 15-minute radio dramas that are being aired on local radio station (Radio Zimbabwe). In this first phase, five episodes will be produced. The broadcast of each drama episode will be followed by a live discussion on the issues highlighted in the drama.”

Each episode of the drama, Maposa said, tackles a specific child protection issue inspired by real life experiences of children and experts on children’s rights engage on the issues raised, while listeners are also afforded an opportunity to participate through live phone-ins, WhatsApp and SMSes.

“The identified thematic areas to be tackled in the five episodes of the radio drama that was written by Leonard Matsa and produced by Savanna Trust with support from the Switzerland Embassy include early and forced child marriages, child sexual abuse, neglect, lack of identity documents identity documents and child labour,” he said.

Over the last two years, Savanna Trust has produced over 20 radio drama episodes to provide a platform for people to discuss issues around gender-based violence, peace building, human rights and governance.

Maphosa said in their fifth and final episode of the pilot child-protection radio drama, Hona Mwana Wako, they explore the emotive distinction between grooming a child in household chores and child labour.

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