New York-based Sesame Workshop has teamed with Ileke Media in Nigeria to co-produce Sesame Square, Nigeria’s version of Sesame Street. The 30-minute program will focus on preschool issues while two Muppet hosts encourage counting, reading, and staying in school.
Kami, a girl Muppet, is HIV-positive with golden fur and an adventurer’s spirit. A blue-skinned boy Muppet is energetic and loves making even trivial tasks fun. A mobile phone contest to name the boy Muppet is currently underway, with those in Nigeria encouraged to text one of three names–Zobi, Wazu, or Baju–to the show’s producers.
Sesame Square is planned for three years of broadcast, during which two outreach kits will be sent to schools and NGOs throughout Nigeria, meant to encourage literacy and health. The project is funded with the help of a five-year United States Agency for International Development (USAID) grant that will help with the television series and outreach kit creation, as well as research regarding the program’s effectiveness.