Nigeria's Version of Sesame Street Will Feature a Muppet with HIV

Sesame Street is coming to Nigeria, and the producers have tailored it to meet local public health needs. To address the rising tide of HIV infection in that country, they've created a HIV-positive character:

The show stars Kami, a girl muppet who is HIV-positive, has golden hair and a zest for adventure; and Kobi, an energetic, furry, blue muppet whose troublesome escapades help others learn from his mistakes.

In a country with a population of over 150 million -- where, according to the CIA World Factbook, nearly half are under the age of 14 -- the show will address some of the biggest challenges faced by young people in the region: AIDS, malaria, gender inequality, religious differences -- as well as many positive aspects of Nigerian life. In the case of Zobi, this is characterized by an obsessive love of yams -- a staple food in the Nigerian diet.

Link via Super Punch | Photo: Sesame Workshop

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Kami has been on since 2002. The hiv positive muppet is for african audiences (in south africa for instance, as many as one in nine have HIV, many of them children.)

from wikipedia:
In 2002, Sesame Workshop announced that an HIV-positive character would be introduced to Takalani Sesame, the U.S. Agency for International Development-funded South African version of the show. This idea was considered crucial for an area where AIDS is an epidemic. The HIV+ character's name, Kami, is derived from Kamogelo, which means acceptance or welcome in Setswana. Kami is a furry yellow five-year-old HIV-positive girl muppet orphaned by AIDS who always has the sniffles. Her backstory is that she contracted the disease as the result of a transfusion of tainted blood received as an infant; her mother also died of HIV/AIDS. Kami illustrates to Takalani's viewers how to deal with loss and sad feelings in a way that three- to seven-year-olds can understand.
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