Ubongo, a pan-African non-profit social enterprise and producer of children’s educational media, has launched a Rwandan version of an African preschool show.
Kids toon Akili & Me is airing in the Kinyarwanda language on Pacis TV, a broadcast network in Rwanda. The new version of the show, originally made in English, has also been made available on YouTube.
Targeting children aged between three and six, the show aims to help kids discover new ways of learning that will harness their creativity, curiosity and critical thinking.
Akili & Me also helps children develop their vocabulary, literacy and counting, as well as life skills like empathy and conflict resolution, through the adventures of Akili, a four-year-old who travels to a magical world of learning when she falls asleep.
Ubongo chief business officer Doreen Kessy said: “We have been broadcasting Akili & Me on RTV in English since 2018 and continue to do so. Now, families in Rwanda also have the chance to learn with Africa’s most popular four-year-old in their own local language on Pacis TV as well as on our Kinyarwanda YouTube channel.
“Our partnership with Pacis TV, which is currently the fastest-growing broadcast network in Rwanda, will enable us to reach families with localised messaging around the value of early childhood development and keep kids learning and engaged during and post Covid-19.”
The show first aired in 2015 and was an instant hit with Ubongo’s youngest audience. The company is based in Texas in the US, with outposts in South Africa and Tanzania.
Kessy added: “There’s something life-changing about learning in a language that you know and understand. In 2018, we did a research study in Rwanda to evaluate Akili & Me as an educational media intervention. This was before we first aired in Rwanda.
“Findings from the study showed that kids who watched Akili & Me in Kinyarwanda achieved higher learning outcomes compared to kids who watched other cartoons for the same duration of time. This means that kids across Africa are learning through our edutainment and even more so when adapted into local languages.
“We are already elevating learning for 17 million African kids, and our vision is to equip the 500 million kids in Africa with the educational foundation, critical skills and mindsets to change their lives and the world.”
Akili & Me can be watched on Pacis TV every Tuesday and Saturday from 13.30 or on the Kinyarwanda YouTube channel.