A pan-African kids’ TV series is inspiring the next generation of conservation leaders, featuring youth from Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, and Tanzania

Written by Trish Sewe, COP of The National Geographic’s Team Sayari and Nature Positive Outreach Program

A new nature-based conservation series targeting children aged 7-12-years-old is taking Africa by storm. Team Sayari is a National Geographic Kids programme that was launched in Kenya on September 17, 2022 and premiered across Africa on September 24, 2022 and airs every Saturday at 2:00 p.m. EAT via National Geographic Wild TV Channel (DStv 182, Starsat 221). Team Sayari series is the result of a collaborative effort between WildlifeDirect, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. State Department, The Walt Disney Company Africa and National Geographic and is produced by local production company White Rhino Films. The overall goal of the program is to inspire and catalyze behavioral change that will have a lasting impact on the conservation of species rich landscapes and generate meaningful economic development opportunities for communities in East Africa.

Team Sayari is a 22-minute show with five Nairobi-based studio hosts Mysha Hodson (13), Marita Lucas (12), Shanah Manjeru (14), Railey Mwai (10) and Adarsh Nagda (12) who are joined by field reporters who 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.  The field reporters 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).

‘Sayari’, is a Swahili term for ‘planet’, and the series embodies the program’s overall goal – to provide viewers with the knowledge, skills and tools needed to conserve and protect the natural world. Viewers can expect thrilling travels, intriguing discoveries, fun DIY activities and enthralling adventures every week. 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.

In the series, we see the young presenters visiting the wild and meeting with African experts in five countries across the continent to explore, discover, learn about our environmental challenges and be inspired to reduce their impact, protect and restore nature.

The first-of-its-kind in Africa, the show aims to celebrate the environment and raise awareness of conservation and associated issues in a fun and relatable way. For the past six weeks, WildlifeDirect and the accredited partners have been screening Team Sayari to primary school children in conservation hubs in East Africa and the children love the show. One of the public primary schools in Kenya, Tipatet Emakoko Primary school that has visited the WildlifeDirect’s Field Lab on several occasion was inspired to start planting trees in their school using the plastic bottle drip water irrigation system after watching the Plastics or Oceans episode. In this episode children learnt how single use plastic is harmful to marine life. Some children have been inspired by the DIY segments of the show and created bee hotels after watching the Bees vs. Elephants episode. To date over 600 children have visited the conservation hubs in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania and watched at least one or two episodes. Some of the children have to walk for more than 10 kilometers to reach the hubs. WildlifeDirect plans to reach 10,000 children across East Africa with Team Sayari content and additional complementary materials that will enable them to take up conservation actions and become the conservation leaders that can make a difference while protecting the planet we call home.

For more information, please reach out to:

Trish Sewe, Chief of Party Psewe@wildlifedirect.org