Mamabuzz

Mamabuzz is a daily current affairs debating television program shot inside a commuter bus that will prompt passionate, open and free dialogue amongst women and girls. Mamabuzz is to be launched in Kenya towards mid-2015.

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Mamabuzz is the women and girls only version of our popular format Minibuzz. The new program offers a female perspective on society, and is intended to educate, inform and generate genuine behaviour change amongst ordinary women and girls of all ages. The format is premised on the belief that when women and girls are empowered and given a voice, they often serve as the catalyst for positive change, their success benefiting not just themselves but the community around them.

This educational and entertaining thirty-minute current affairs program features women and girls, discussing and debating well researched topics, covering news and issues affecting their lives. As a women-only talk show, Mamabuzz engages audiences in a more intimate, emotional, evaluative and in-depth way than traditional mixed or men-only programs. The discussions include controversial topics such as abortion, incest, sexual harassment, rape and child abuse as well as all other issues affecting the lives of girls and women including but not limited to topics on health, education and agriculture. Mamabuzz provides a national platform for the voice of ordinary girls and women. The format also appeals to men of different ages and backgrounds, whilst broadening not just women’s point of views and significance, but also the importance of both sexes in society.

It is our experience with Minibuzz in Tanzania and Uganda that men tend to dominate discussions, and love to hear themselves talk. Topics usually become more interesting if women share their opinions and experiences. Generally speaking, women are better listeners and facilitators than men, and women talk to each other readily about personal and associative issues that reflect who they are, while men traditionally talk about task and power issues that reflect what they do.

The format at a glance:

Mamabuzz is recorded in a minibus that is transformed into a mobile TV studio with cameras, microphones and editing equipment

The program is filmed around the country in mostly rural and semi-rural areas

A new episode is broadcast every weekday, nationwide and at prime time

Participants are random girls and women that enter the minibus for a ride to a specific designation, following actual bus routes.

Special programs can be produced on specific topics and with specific groups of women/girls (such as girls from a safe house or pregnant teenage girls)

Two fully briefed presenters lead the group discussions on topics that change daily, one “serious” presenter and a stand-up comedian

Two separate topics are discussed during each half-hour episode, one hard and one soft topic

A monitor in the minibus allows the passengers to view pre-produced videos (instarts) that contribute to an understanding of the topic and jumpstart the discussions.

Indeed, the unique and natural format of Mamabuzz, whereby female commuters get a free ride in our mobile TV studio/matatu, in rural areas throughout the country, while they are filmed discussing the topics of the day, will enable the program to provide a ‘real’ voice for and between women and girls across the nation. Minibuzz has received national and worldwide acclaim, and we anticipate that Mamabuzz will be equally successful. The format features both a serious and a lighter topic in each episode, as well as expert interviews, comedy sketches and music videos. It has a proven track record and by focusing on and women and girls we expect the impact can be even greater.

Mamabuzz brings a journalistic approach to fostering effective debate. Essential to its success is the notion that information is not presented in a top-down approach; to the contrary, participants and viewers feel that they have found or invented the solutions themselves. We invite audience feedback through SMS polls, research calls, and our social media pages. Additionally, we’ll gauge and quantify audience levels of engagement on issues, and the impact of our shows through SMS polls and research calls carried out immediately after shows and quarterly. Mamabuzz creates a unique opportunity to empower women, mothers and girls, prompting debate and genuine behaviour change that will positively impact women and communities across the nation, whilst holding their elected leaders and representatives accountable.

Mamabuzz empowers and engages women from the bottom up. It creates a platform for women, as a marginalized group in society, to participate in the public discourse. Through vibrant debate, the format will encourage a more transparent flow of information, and help citizens hold their government to account for delivering better services, creating jobs, and improving living standards for themselves and their communities.

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