African-Made Cartoon Show Launches in Zambia

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Saturday mornings in Zambia will never be the same again. ZNBC, the oldest and largest radio and television service provider in the country, is now airing two new educational cartoon shows, Akili and Me and Ubongo Kids, which promise to help kids in Zambia learn in fun ways.

Akili and Me is a popular African preschool show aimed at 3 to 6-year olds. The show is about Akili, a curious 4-year-old who is transported to a magical world of learning when she falls asleep. Akili sings, dances, and learns to speak English, count, make art, and so much more!

The show was created in 2015 by Ubongo Learning, a Tanzania-based non-profit dedicated to helping kids learn through fun and imagination. Akili is the most watched preschool show in Tanzania, and a recent study by researchers at the University of Maryland found that kids who watch Akili outperform their peers by 24% in counting and 12% in overall school readiness after just 1 month of daily viewing!

Older kids will also be entertained by Ubongo Kids, another show by Ubongo Learning aimed at 7 to 16-year-olds. The show follows five friends who love learning science, technology, engineering, math, and life skills and use their new knowledge to solve problems and mysteries in Kokotoa Village. Ubongo Kids is already incredibly popular in East Africa, with over 6.2 million monthly viewers!

Currently, Akili and Me and Ubongo Kids are watched in over 30 countries across Africa, making them one of the most popular African-made cartoon shows on the continent. As the largest broadcasting network in Zambia, ZNBC is dedicated to providing Zambian people with the best content that not only entertains but also educates. So do these cartoons actually deliver on their promise?

Tune in to watch Akili and Me and Ubongo Kids every Saturday at 10 am on ZNBC and repeats on Thursday and Friday at 16:30 pm to find out!

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Founder Bios
    Nisha Logun
    Nisha is a social entrepreneur passionate about education. She has a background in learning design and was formerly Content Maestro at The Virtual School, where she spearheaded the production of an interactive video platform for UK students. She has produced content for the BBC and the Guardian, and also directed award winning documentary Twiga Stars. She has an MSc. in Science Media Production from Imperial College London and a B.S. in Biology from Yale University. At Ubongo, she’s lead visionary, series producer/ screenwriter, and “cartoon mama” who does whatever it takes to get our products made, tested and released!

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  2. Cleng’a Ng’atigwa
    Cleng’a is a talented composer, director and animator. He has run camps, workshops and training programs for students in Tanzania and the USA. He also sculpts, paints, makes documentary films, performs standup comedy, animates, and is a true Tanzanian Renaissance Man. He has worked with the YMCA, Wahapahapa and numerous schools in Tanzania. At Ubongo, he composes all of our original songs, directs the Ubongo Kids voice actors, and voices six characters (and counting…) himself. His voice is famous across Tanzania as the voice of Mama Ndege, everyone’s favorite mathematical bird!

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    • Rajab Semtawa
      Rajab has over 7 years experience as a professional animator in Tanzania. He trained at Media One Productions and has worked on a multitude of educational and commercial animation projects in Tanzania. He has developed all of the characters in Ubongo Kids and never ceases to surprise us with his creativity. In the past he has animated educational videos for NGO’s and adverts for companies like Vodacom.

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    • Arnold Minde
      Arnold is a software engineer and mobile developer. His project Safari Yetu won Startup World Tanzania in 2012 and GIST in 2013. Arnold is passionate about using technology for social change and is a specialist in building systems for use on the most basic mobile phones. He has a BS in Computer Science from the University of Dar es Salaam and is an alumni of the United World College.

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    • Watch Tommy Time on ZNBC TV on Sunday 16h00. It is a Zambian production. It is also aired on Zimbabwe Broadcasting and Tanzania. Soon it will be on Malawi BC. Of ZNBC likes to air Zambian products for free. So local artists shun them. Just check how many Zambian productions are on Zambezi Magic

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  3. You can’t produce your own because Zambians, are only good are at criticizing everything and politicking day in day out. It’s why we even import tooth picks from China and other places. Until we wake up and start appreciating Zambian made in Zambia, prosperity will remain a pipedream. Look at football almost every Zambian supports foreign teams and very few talk about our local teams. It’s inferiority complex amongst our selves. Local products and services are shunned by most Zambians in preference for foreign ones.

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  4. While Ubongo is a Tanzanian-based company, it has a pan-African philosophy and the content is relevant to kids across sub-Saharan Africa. Your children will learn a lot from this show, and hopefully it will encourage other African creatives (especially Zambian) to create more localised content for young learners.

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