zambia-kwatu.jpegHistory of the Soul City Partnership in Zambia

Soul City is an internationally recognized South African based NGO, which uses the power of mass media (radio, TV and print) to reach 80% of the South African population in order to affect social and behaviour change.  Soul City integrates health and development issues into prime time television and radio dramas, supported by print material, advocacy and social mobilization Programmes.  For the past 10 years, interest in Soul City extended beyond the borders of South Africa, and numerous requests from neighbouring NGOs, governments, donor agencies and public broadcasters led to the materials being adapted for use in other countries as well.

Soul City first commenced working with Zambia   in 2002 as part of a 5 year Regional Programme across 8 SADC countries, funded by European Union, DFID, RNE, BP and Irish Aid.   The Soul City approach was not to reproduce the Soul City brand or set up offices in Zambia, but to work with a local partner to build and develop an indigenous health communication brand. Following a broad consultation process with key stakeholders in government and the health sector, Soul City, with technical support and assistance from the Zambia Integrated Health Programme (ZIHP) set up the first local health communication NGO: Zambia Centre for Communication Programmes (ZCCP) in Zambia. ZCCP is one of the few, if not the only local NGO in Zambia that focuses on multi media edutainment programmes, i.e. television, radio drama and print. One of ZCCP’s strengths is their research methodology which ensures the correctness and appropriateness of the materials. ZCCP developed and tested a local health communication brand - and Kwatu was born! The purpose of the Kwatu programme in Zambia is to impact on priority health and development issues in particular HIV/AIDS by:

  • building local capacity in Zambia  for  effective health communication
  • Adapting existing Soul City materials (print, radio, TV)  for local use
  • Developing and producing local materials (pring, radio, TV) for local use
  • Creating a regional network across SADC to share best practices within the region.

KWATU Output


  • Kwatu has developed and distributed 790 000 booklets of a youth magazine called, Choose Life to in and out of school youth.
  • A second booklet “Family Care for Mother and Child” has been printed and 1,000,000 copies of the same have been distributed to all health centres throughout the country.


  • Kwatu have also produced 45 episode radio series in 3 local Zambian languages, Nyanja, Tonga and Lunda. The programmes in all the three languages have been aired on the national broadcaster, Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation and on 5 local community radio stations (radio Chikaya, radio Breeze, Petauke Explorers, SKY FM and radio Chikuni) in two of the nine provinces of Zambia


  • Two 13 part local documentary/magazine TV programmes were successfully aired on national television as was the Soul City TV drama series

Evaluation to date


The baseline survey of the evaluation of the Soul City Regional Programme[1] indicates that even before the implementation of the Regional Programme, Soul City had some reach in Zambia. In Zambia more than 1 in 5 people had heard of Soul City and on average more than half of those had watched or listened to it regularly.

Preliminary indications of the subsequent reach of KWATU productions are very positive. Quantitative measures of KWATU’s reach will be available towards the end of 2007.

Qualitative Research

Extensive qualitative formative audience research of KWATU material has been done through the course of the materials development process in Zambia[2]. The KWATU productions have been received very well by local audiences, and various spontaneous accounts of self-reported impact have been documented:

“It educates us because there is a lot of rape nowadays. At first when I first saw the programme, I thought after all it was the same old programme [shown on local television]. But I was surprised that at the end of the programme, there was a discussion...think Kwatu is very interesting and encouraging.” (Kwatu television, Urban female, Zambia)

“One thing we all have to know is that the [radio] drama is talking about real life situations and is teaching us people on how we should live.” (Rural male)

“It takes a lot of courage to approach certain things; for example like VCT. That is one thing that I dreaded most some time back … I never wanted to talk about it. If friends began to talk about that … my hair stood [on end]. I was very much afraid because I have got so many thoughts about my own status. I don’t know my own status. [The television drama] has given me a push to go ahead and do that”. (Urban female)

Independently contracted Qualitative Evaluation recently completed in Zambia confirms the positive audience reception and self-reported impact observed in the in-house research:

“Specifically describing changes in their lives that may have occurred as a result of watching the TV program, participants mentioned in addition to refraining from sex, changing life priorities, becoming faithful to one partner, managing to avoid drugs and alcohol, becoming more favourable to condom use, and learning to accept PLW.” (Independent Evaluator, Zambia)

Process Evaluation

After a mid-term review (2004), an independently contracted process evaluation shows that significant gains in capacity are being made on the Regional Programme:

“This evaluation shows the Soul City Regional Programme (SCRP) going from strength to strength. After a slow start (in the sense that relevant capacities were poor in the region as well as in the sense that partners joined the programme at different stages), the programme appears to be in full swing. Although the programme has had to revise downwards some of the initial delivery targets, progress remains substantial and a significant change is being made in the region’s capacity.” (Independent Evaluator)

Qualitative Audience Reception Evaluation

A mid-term qualitative audience reception and impact evaluation was conducted by an independent contractor to compliment baseline and post-intervention quantitative surveys. This evaluation shows positive impact

“Regarding audience reception…messaging and packaging seems to have been on the whole well received by the target populations. There is also evidence that change took place as a result of the interventions, at individual level in terms of cognitive affective and psycho-motor dimensions, at social level in terms of opening discussion and dialogue and at community level in terms of initiating structures and support systems for HIV and AIDS prevention and care and support” (Independent Qualitative Evaluator)

Consultation process

Key stakeholders, including organisations representing poor and vulnerable groups, were consulted in the development of this proposal, through a range of stakeholder consultations in Zambia. Consultation with key stakeholders, including organisations representing under-served, poor and vulnerable groups is fundamental to Kwatu’s work processes. This consultation provides an opportunity to give feedback on the Kwatu Project, and to help shape the direction of the programme’s longer term strategy. Furthermore, Kwatu’s edutainment methodology is research- based and involves an extensive formative research process which includes broad stakeholder consultation, literature research and empirical audience research. All materials produced are pre-tested with the target audience to ensure resonance, clarity and effectiveness.


Zambia Centre for Communication Programmes
Programme Manager: Ms Grace Luwi Sinyangwe

+260 1 291 103
+260 1 295 402 (f)

P.O Box 31469
9684 Central Street, Chudleigh
Lusaka, Zambia

[1] CietAfrica. Audience Reception and Impact Evaluation of the Soul City Regional Programme. 2004
[2] In-house formative research reports available upon request.

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