African Sesame Street Features Nigerian Issues

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Sesame Street will premiere on Nigerian televisions this fall, redubbed and renamed. Most of us have fond memories of watching the Cookie Monster and Big Bird, but “Sesame Square,” although funded by an American grant, may be a little unrecognizable.

The show’s 26 episodes (one for each letter of the alphabet) will feature Zobi and Kami; Zobi is a taxi driving, yam-obsessed ball of blue fur (yams are a staple of the Nigerian diet) and Kami is an orphan infected with HIV who educates children about blood safety through her own story.

The two live in Sesame Square, which resembles the concrete homes found in Nigerian villages. Their adventures are spliced between original Sesame Street scenes, but familiar characters like Bert and Ernie feature Nigerian voiceovers.

“Nigeria is diverse; we have 250 different ethnic groups, so many different languages. We don’t have the same customs; we do think differently,” executive producer Yemisi Ilo told CBS. (via CBS News)