Kwanda, which means “to grow” - is the world’s first reality TV show on community transformation, aired on SABC1 in 2009.

For 13 weeks, millions of people tuned in every Wednesday evening to watch as teams from 5 locations across South Africa strived to make their communities look better, feel better and work better. As a community development approach it enabled large numbers of people to learn about organising themselves to tackle the challenges of poverty and inequality.

Kwanda focused on these main community development areas:

  • engaging in projects that improve the quality of life in communities
  • Prevention of new HIV infections
  • addressing substance abuse, violence and crime
  • taking care of vulnerable people in the community

The show was successful in demonstrating that communities are capable of finding their own solutions despite their challenges and lack of resources.

The show was later adapted into a unique radio talk show to further build a national conversation around key development issues, many of which had featured on the Kwanda television programme.

The Kwanda Talk radio programme was aired on five different SABC radio stations and reached the following number of people per episode:

  • Ukhozi FM 1.3M
  • Umhlobo Wenene FM 721 000,
  • Thobela FM 426 000,
  • Lesedi FM 849 000
  • Ligwalagwala FM 179 000
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