Pan-African kids’ series to inspire the next generation of conservation leaders, featuring youth from Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, and Tanzania
(Posted 20th September 2022)
Following the recent announcement of title of the series, The Walt Disney Company Africa, together with its project partners, National Geographic, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and WildlifeDirect have today revealed that the highly anticipated National Geographic Kids programme, Team Sayari, will air each Saturday on National Geographic Wild (DStv 182, Starsat 221) at 13:00 (CAT) from 24 September 2022.
Nairobi-based youths Mysha Hodson (13), Marita Lucas (12), Shanah Manjeru (14), Railey Mwai (10) and Adarsh Nagda (12) serve as studio hosts for the show. From Sayari basecamp, they link to field presenters that travel to East, West and South Africa to explore intriguing facets of the environment, interview experts on the ground and learn what is needed to protect and conserve our natural world. Joining them on location are Sheilah Sheldone (13, Kenya), Toluwanimi Olaoye (12, Nigeria), Christian Mekhi (10, Rwanda), Atule Mazane, Khahliso Khojane, Thandolwethu Fani, (13, 14, 15, South Africa) and Sabrina Kilumanga (10, Tanzania).
Led by the programme’s goal to inspire meaningful, impactful behavioural change in young viewers across the continent and create the next generation of environmental conservation leaders, each episode begins with a DNA-inspired computer named Funzi giving our young presenters missions to complete. This sets the scene for adventurous journeys, in which the wonders of the natural world, and the need to live more lightly on the planet, are revealed. On their travels, Team Sayari will meet National Geographic Explorers and trailblazers in the fields of conservation, science, nature, wildlife and the environment, learning valuable lessons regarding how to reduce their impact, protect and restore nature in a fun way.
Viewers can expect thrilling travels, intriguing discoveries, fun DIY activities and enthralling adventures every week. In the premiere episode, Team Sayari learns how single use plastic is harmful to marine life after Funzi sends them on a journey to discover how waste materials reach our oceans, and what they can do to help curb pollution. Viewers can also expect fascinating journeys through wild spaces such as mountains, forests and nature reserves, and encounters with wild animals from elephants to bees, from sharks to snakes, and everything in between. On their travels, they meet unexpected heroes in these farout locations that share fascinating insights about the planet we call home.
Christine Service, General Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa says: “At National Geographic, we believe that when people understand the world better, they care more deeply for it. National Geographic has been igniting the explorer in all of us for 133 years, and Team Sayari is a bright example of this mission and purpose. We cannot wait for viewers across the continent to share in this engaging and entertaining local series, with a hope that it will help develop them into a passionate community of young explorers, inspired to learn about the world in which they live and strive to protect it”.
Says U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman: “The American people are proud to work with private and local partners in Kenya and across Africa to motivate and inspire the next generation of environmental champions. Team Sayari, and its digital and educational outreach activities, engages young people in their schools and communities with fresh perspectives and new ideas, which is key to supporting the vision of a greener future for all.”
Says Dr. Paula Kahumbu, CEO of WildlifeDirect: “Team Sayari is a first in so many ways. African children and experts presenting the continent’s wealth of biodiversity treasures has never been seen before. Our child trail blazers reporting from different parts of Africa bring the continent together to work on solutions to the challenges that threaten our wildlife. The power of the series lies in the voices of African children calling each other to action.”
Team Sayari is the result of a collaborative effort between National Geographic, The Walt Disney Company Africa, USAID, the U.S. State Department and WildlifeDirect. The series is produced by Kenyan production company White Rhino Films with the aim to celebrate the environment and raise awareness of conservation and associated issues in a fun and relatable way. There will also be engaging digital extensions on social media platforms that will allow viewers to further explore topics addressed in the series as well as an outreach programme that will extend the reach of the programme into countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.