south africa | takalani sesame
Taking on a fearsome epidemic with a feisty Muppet who’s HIV-positive.
Takalani Sesame brings healthy awareness about HIV/AIDS to millions of children, along with an educational head start for lives full of opportunity.
Sesame’s local production in South Africa boasts one of the world’s first media-based HIV/AIDS curricula for children. The star of the show is a 5-year-old Muppet named Kami, who happens to be HIV-positive. By helping to normalize the face of HIV/AIDS, Kami provides a life-affirming antidote to the stigma around this disease and helps kids learn basic facts about how it is — and isn’t — transmitted. Read more about Kami.
Our HIV/AIDS awareness program is among the most successful ever in South Africa, reaching not only young children but the entire population: Nearly 23 million teens and adults are aware of the show's messages and efforts.1 Children exposed to Takalani Sesame show measurable gains in HIV/AIDS knowledge and attitudes, including basic knowledge of the disease, blood safety, destigmatization, and coping with illness.2
What’s more, Kami and friends help prepare children for school and life with the education fundamentals of literacy, math, and important social and emotional skills. These fun lessons reach two million children in South Africa,3 almost 70 percent of children in urban areas, and just under 50 percent in rural ones.4
Our television and radio broadcasts, outreach efforts, and events are generously supported by our partner Sanlam. Read more about the partnership. Major support for Takalani Sesame is also provided by the Mai Family Foundation.
2 Khulisa Management Services. (2005). Impact assessment of Takalani Sesame Season II Programme. Johannesburg, South Africa.
3 2003 AC Nielsen Study on Takalani Sesame & International Census Data: K3-9 Audience Estimation.
4 Takalani Sesame Impact Report. (2005).