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Takalani Sesame

Takalani Sesame ("be happy Sesame" in Venda) is the South African version of the children's television program Sesame Street. Co-produced by Sesame Workshop and South African partners, Takalani Sesame is now in its 10th year. Takalani Sesame is a uniquely South African interpretation of the Sesame model engaging children and their parents and promoting basic school readiness, literacy, numeracy, and health and hygiene. Takalani Sesame also has a special focus on HIV/AIDS awareness and seeks to introduce HIV/AIDS safety while promoting tolerance and reducing stigma. The Takalani series also includes a popular radio program, a newspaper and magazine comic strip series, and a national Talk to ME Campaign which encourages adults to talk to their children about HIV/AIDS and related issues. The introduction of an HIV-positive muppet for this purpose was widely misunderstood by the U.S. political right, with such groups as the American Family Association mistaking it as a means for homosexual activists to influence young viewers. An estimated 17% of South Africa's population aged 15–49 have HIV/AIDS.The show incorporates all of South Africa's 11 national languages, including Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Swazi, Ndebele, Sesotho, Northern Sotho, Tsonga, Tswana and Venda.Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, and Nane Annan have made guest appearances on the show.

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