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This is a press release for the new season of Takalani... I'm in the middle of working on something else, but I don't want to forget about this, so I'm parking it here. :) -- Danny (talk) 15:00, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
TAKALANI SESAME CONTINUES TO BREAK THROUGH LANGUAGE BARRIER WITH ITS FIFTH SEASON ON SABC Award-Winning Children’s TV Series Introduces New Characters and Special Storylines
Johannesburg, South Africa, and New York, NY, August 6th, 2008 Continuing its efforts to support the government's strong mother tongue based education policy, Takalani Sesame, the award-winning South African children’s program, has added 4 new languages to its program: Sesotho, Xitsonga, isiXhosa, and Afrikaans. Currently in production for its fifth season, to debut on SABC this August, the series has many surprises in store including new characters and celebrity guests.
There’s a new man about town. Ma Dimpho's younger brother, Vinnie, comes home after being away at university where he had been studying Information Technology. A bit of a techno-whiz, Vinnie introduces many new things, like email and the internet, to the Muppet friends. Vinnie also creates a mobile library full of books, maps and a computer which the Takalani characters learn to use to find out about all the exciting things in the world and in their community. Continuing on the literacy theme, this season welcomes some amazing local poets, using the power of words to get messages across.
There’s also a new animal in town! Maria the camel makes a big impression and teaches everyone about the desert and how to treat people that are different. We’ll discover that Maria is a huge fan of singer Tumi and the Muppets move heaven and earth to get her to his concert on Takalani. Other celebrity guests include actress Sophie Ndaba.
In a special episode celebrating Earth Day, a great Concert In The Park is held. While the neighbourhood children plant a tree, Zuzu and The Branches perform their latest hit. There’s also an episode dedicated to Heritage Month.
How do you say goodbye? The series helps children understand and deal with saying goodbye in different situations. From the expression of “seeing you later” to Uncle Salie preparing to leave Takalani to Kami mourning her mother, the series gives children the tools they need to help with parting from near and dear.
The new season continues to follow a holistic approach to children’s early learning and development by covering educational objectives across the domains of literacy, numeracy, and life-skills. The educational objectives are informed by the National ECD Curriculum.
“We believe that children's learning and development is much stronger at a young age when they build on what's familiar - therefore providing content in the mother tongue is an educationally sound practice,” said Charles Owen, Head of the Children Genre at SABC. “In season 5 we focus more on the marginalised languages such as Tsonga to increase our audience reach. Takalani allows children to dream and provides first class innovative content that allows children to celebrate their childhood through learning, loving, playing, laughing and realizing their potential.”
“Takalani Sesame is now truly reaching its main objective by providing quality pre-school education to all South African children in their own languages, said Emile Terblanche, Sponsorship Manager at Sanlam. “We have sponsored the programme right from the first broadcast in 2000 and by the end of the current sponsorship term a whole generation of kids would have grown up with learning while having fun and receiving quality education through Takalani Sesame. We are proud to say the we are instrumental in the fact that thousands of children now start their first school year with a much higher level of school readiness than in the past. ”
“Takalani,” which means “be happy” in TshiVenda, conveys the spirit of happiness and innocence. Takalani Sesame is brought to the children of South Africa through a partnership with SABC Education and Sanlam. Initial support and funding was provided from the American people through the United States Agency for International Development in support of the South African Department of Education. Takalani Sesame is produced by Kwasukasukela under the creative direction of Sesame Workshop in collaboration with the South African partners.