Makutano Junction: Soap for Change

Mediae is an award winning, Kenya-based TV Production Company that specializes in using media to promote development and trigger social change. Its flagship product is the popular TV series Makutano Junction, a soap opera broadcast by Citizen TV and viewable across East Africa through DSTV cable TV. The show informs viewers of their rights and service delivery entitlements through telling compelling stories of how Kenyans negotiate life, love and challenges.

Twaweza has partnered with Mediae to produce Season 11 of Makutano Junction, where 9 out of the 13 episodes will focus on Twaweza themes of citizens getting information, sparking the imagination about what is possible, and making a practical difference. The material was developed in 2010, informed by extensive research and engagement with Twaweza, and broadcast in early 2011.

In addition to the TV broadcast, popular pamphlets have been developed for each theme and are sent out on request. A mobile phone sms platform for feedback is also established, and the information is used to both evaluate the work and inform future programming. Throughout season 11, Makutano Junction will communicate the idea that ordinary citizens can make change happen, despite constraints, challenges, and setbacks – by solving problems and pressuring government and public institutions to do the right things.

The goal is that by watching this show citizens will be provoked to discuss solutions to their challenges in basic education, health and water and take action for the better. Where public authorities are not doing the right things, informed citizens will use their imagination to find positive ways of holding relevant service providers or public leaders accountable, like the characters in the show.

You can read up on the project at the Media for Education and Development website and watch videos on Makutano Junction.

Read more: Kenya



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