Twaweza partnered with Kilimanjaro Production Company in 2009 to develop DalaDala TV, a popular, daily current affairs programme with an emphasis on analysis, debate and discussion by ordinary people.
The show is set in a DalaDala, a customized mini-bus that resembles the ones many Tanzanians use as a means of urban transport, with 7 small cameras and microphones. A talk show host prepares, researches and leads the discussion on the issues that are on peoples’ minds, news stories or challenges in daily life. The show features people who are not usually seen on TV, and it therefore attracts viewers, who don’t watch current affairs programmes otherwise. The main idea is to provide a space for ordinary people to reflect on and speak out about issues to a national audience, and inform public debate.
The first season of DalaDala TV consisted of 156 programs over 26 weeks. The audience far exceeded the aim of 1 million; according to an independent study Daladala had 2.7 million viewers, making it one the highest watched programs in Tanzania.
Independent feedback suggests that the program is working. Almost all (101 of 115) respondents in telephone interviews knew about the show and 98 said that they liked watching it. Half of the respondents remembered it well enough to be able to name topics of previous shows, and one quarter had discussed an issue from Daladala TV with someone else. The most popular topics on the show turned out to be transport and politics, but children’s upbringing and education was also discussed frequently.
In 2011 Twaweza is supporting Kilimanjaro Production Company to expand Daladala TV to Kenya and Uganda. Twaweza will provide base funding, independent data, links to researchers, connections and ideas, but the production company expects that advertising will cover most of the costs.
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