MEDIA RELEASE: Now Soul City and Dept of Social Development bring you Kwanda, the first ever community makeover TV show

Tuesday, 25 August 2009: Kwanda, the first ever community makeover TV show will begin flighting from 2 September on SABC1. This extraordinary series shows teams of volunteers from all over the country working together to see whether common challenges faced by South African communities can be resolved.

Watch to find out if they can make sure that children are not going hungry, whether they can reduce violent crime that causes so much pain and damage in our lives and whether they can they really make their communities look better, work better and feel better.

The series has been developed by the people who bring you the extremely popular Soul City drama series.

Antoinette Ntuli, Soul City’s Acting Executive: Media says, “Kwanda promises high emotion and drama which is intended to inspire people to make a difference. Kwanda means ‘wealth’ and ‘growth’ and is first programme of this type on television worldwide.”

A few months ago, volunteer teams were recruited across South Africa. Since then they have been trained to organise themselves and were filmed as they work together addressing some of the biggest challenges their communities face.

“Kwanda teams have been helping orphans, reducing alcohol abuse and alcohol related violence, generating income, creating jobs and reducing new HIV infections. The series tracks their journey and will support communities who are facing similar issues by providing ideas for action as well as relevant contact information,” adds Ntuli.

During the series, audiences will follow the drama, tensions, successes and challenges of these ordinary people doing some extraordinary things. And, at the end of the series, the television audience will reward the team they believe has made the biggest difference in their community with a major prize.

Says Minister of Social Development, Edna Molewa, “Kwanda demonstrates government’s commitment to improving the living conditions of poor people in South Africa. It promises a powerful new approach to engaging communities in sustainable development and promoting sustainable livelihoods.”

Leo Manne, Acting GM, SABC 1 encourages viewers to watch Kwanda. “This isn’t usual television, it’s real life and real lives. It doesn’t get more real than Kwanda. Viewers will be informed about how they can take action to improve their own communities.”

The five Kwanda community teams are:

  • Pefferville, near East London, Eastern Cape
  • Mthwalume, near Port Shepstone, KZN
  • Tjakastad, near Barberton, Mpumalanga
  • Lephephane, near Tzaneen, Limpopo
  • Kwakwatsi, near Sasolburg, Free State

To help communities create new jobs, an innovative fashion project, Kwanda Klothing, will be launched during the TV series. A team of designers has been working with sewing groups in each of the communities, putting together an urban street wear collection, creating jobs and teaching valuable entrepreneurial skills.

Kwanda will be hosted by Nyanga Tshabalala, an internationally accomplished puppeteer, writer and director.

Kwanda is brought to you by the Soul City Institute in partnership with the Department of Social Development and SABC 1 as well as the Department of Health, BP, MTN, DFID, CDC, Pepfar and Salga.

Watch Kwanda – Communities with Soul on Wednesdays from 2 September at 21h00 – 22h00 on SABC 1. Repeats on Thursday from 3 September at 11h00 – 12h00. Go to www.kwanda.org.za ENDS

For further information, photographs or video clips, please call Georgina Lefifi 082 908 2555 / georgina@onyxmarketing.co.za or Michelle K Blumenau 011 728 5004 / 083 273 9891 michelle@onyxmarketing.co.za

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