HIV Positive Muppet Moves To Nigeria’s Sesame Street

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The first HIV-positive Muppets character joined the existing cast of the "Takalani Sesame", shown here, the South African version of the popular childrens television show.

Reuters/CORBIS

Elmo, Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch have made some new West African friends who are ready to expand the Sesame Street family.

The Nigerian version of Sesame Street, the latest in a long line of region-specific shows, will be hosted by Kami, a female muppet who is HIV-positive, has golden hair and a zest for adventure; and Kobi, an energetic, furry, blue muppet whose mischievous escapades help others learn from his mistakes.

With a population of over 150 million, nearly half of which are under the age of 14, Sesame Square will address the major challenges facing the young African community today including AIDS, malaria, gender inequality,and religious differences, as well as many positive aspects of Nigerian life. In the case of  Zobi, he has a characterized obsession with yams -  a traditional food in the Nigerian diet.

“We have a very focused health and hygiene umbrella concept area that we’re concentrating on,” Naila Farouky, senior director of international projects at Sesame Workshop.

As long as Zobi’s love of yams doesn’t turn into a love of cookies, NewsFeed welcomes Sesame Streets extended family.

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