Makutano Junction is a Kenyan-produced TV soap opera which attracts over seven million viewers in Kenya alone. It aims to entertain and educate English-speaking African audiences. Set in a fictional Kenyan village, it follows the loves and lives of a colourful cast. Like ‘The Archers’, Makutano Junction was conceived as a means of disseminating valuable information through an engaging and accessible medium. Viewers identify issues of interest to them, such as income-generation, mental and physical health, and rights and responsibilities of good citizens, which are then incorporated into the storylines.
With funding from DFID, the producers of Makutano Junction, Mediae, have teamed up with Just Ideas, Development Education Centres and teachers across the UK to devise innovative teaching materials based around the series, which help develop the Global Dimension across the curriculum. Subject areas include social justice, human rights, youth and relationships, as well as comparisons between soaps in UK and Kenya.
The materials developed are suitable for use in the secondary curriculm in a wide range of subject areas including Geography, English/Drama, Media Studies, ICT and Citizenship. Classroom activities include viewing genuine extracts from the soap opera, which is a great way to engage young people with global issues; discovering similarities, challenging stereotypes and raising awareness.
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