Nthawi ya Nthano: sharing folktales on radio and television

Nthawi ya Nthano: sharing folktales on radio and television

November 2012 - October 2018

Malawi

Kids take part in recording an episode of Nthawi ya Nthano.

Nthawi ya Nthano: sharing folktales on radio and television

November 2012 - October 2018

Malawi

Most children's programmes broadcast in Malawi are imported from overseas and designed for children living in different socio-cultural settings.
Recordings of folktales from around Malawi provided the basis for a new series of television and radio programmes aimed at educating, entertaining, and affirming the cultural heritage of Malawian children. The government of Malawi emphasised child and youth development and empowerment as one of its priority areas as they sought to attain the Malawi Vision 2020. The government recognised the need to invest in equitable access to quality child and youth development services, and there was a growing enthusiasm for life skills education in the country. Aiming to contribute to this national effort, this educational media project was intended to boost
life-skills education among pre-school and primary school age children (4-12 years old) in Malawi.

Although it is still not extensive, there has been an increase in the population that has access to media. The population census conducted in 2010 indicated that approximately 53% of households own a radio (70 % in urban and 50% in rural areas), and 11% of households have a television (34% in urban and 6% in rural areas). However, most of the programs for children being broadcast in Malawi are imported from overseas, thus, designed for children living in different socio-cultural settings.
Slider Image The production team at work.
The production team at work.
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"Whenever am at school with my students, they always say, 'we're watching you on TV!'" - Linda Mpando, Presenter for Nthawi Nthano
Slider Image Kids getting ready for a shoot.
Kids getting ready for a shoot.
Slider Image An outdoor shoot featuring Linda Mpando with local children.
An outdoor shoot featuring Linda Mpando with local children.
Slider Image Local kids enjoying their moment in the limelight.
Local kids enjoying their moment in the limelight.
Slider Image The production involved local children in each episode.
The production involved local children in each episode.
Slider Image Takondwa Phiri, TV host and producer, and Mwapatsa Banda, producer, for season two of Nthawi ya Nthano.
Takondwa Phiri, TV host and producer, and Mwapatsa Banda, producer, for season two of Nthawi ya Nthano.
Folktales, storytelling and songs have been an integral part of the traditions and practices of the people of Malawi for centuries. In Malawian society, they have played a critical role by passing on the lessons and ancestral wisdom about life, culture, social relations and morals from one generation to another. Using footage collected through the Malawian Folktales project, thirteen 30-minute television and 13-minute radio programmes were created, each featuring a traditional folktale and children discussing the lessons learned from that folktale.
The television programmes aired in 2015 on Timveni TV on a digital platform that reached 150,000 households across the country. The radio programmes were aired on MBC Radio 2FM, a national radio station that covers 90% of the country. Since their creation the shows have enjoyed several rebroadcasts due to their popularity and quality.

Through the creation and broadcast of this radio and TV series, the aim of sharing intangible cultural heritage and Malawi-centred content with the young people of Malawi has been advanced.

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