Shining a Light on Africa’s Conservation Heroes
Kenya has long attracted wildlife film makers and has provided the setting for many of the world’s best known and best loved wildlife documentaries. However, due to copyright restrictions, these documentaries remained unknown to Kenyans themselves.
Now this has changed thanks to NTV Wild, a pioneering initiative spearheaded by WildlifeDirect in collaboration with the Kenyan broadcaster NTV and Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS). Following negotiations and lobbying by WildlifeDirect CEO Paula Kahumbu, National Geographic and other leading distributors of wildlife documentaries, generously agreed to allow them to be shown free of charge on Kenyan TV. NTV Wild broadcasts top quality full-length wildlife documentaries once a week on prime-time TV. Its sister program, NTV Wild Talk, features in-depth discussion and film reports on current issues relating to wildlife conservation and the environment in Kenya and across Africa.
Now in its fourth season, NTV Wild has broadcasted more than 40 documentaries and regularly tops the Saturday night viewing ratings, often attracting more than 4 million views. NTV Wild Talk has brought together an impressive range of decision makers and opinion formers in stimulating discussions, often filmed in stunning locations the field, under the expert moderation of NTV’s Smriti Vidyarthi. Programs cover a wide range of environmental issues, including topics such as clean energy, urban wildlife and marine wildlife conservation that were seldom addressed previously by the Kenyan media. Participants have included overseas diplomats, government ministers, conservationists and scientists, wildlife law enforcement personnel, lawyers, economists, film makers and grass roots environmental activists.
The response on social media provides an indication of the profound effect of NTV Wild on public attitudes in Kenya towards wildlife conservation. This success has been recognized through new funding received from the US Department of Interior and National Geographic that will be used to train staff, raise production standards and develop home-grown film-making capacity. This will ensure that NTV Wild continues to go from strength to strength, raising awareness and helping to build support among all sectors of Kenyan society for protection of our countries unique wildlife heritage.
To view the series, please visit the NTV Wild YouTube page.