The Team

Description 

As a response to the effects of the post-election violence in Kenya in December 2007, Search for Common Ground (SFCG) and Media Focus on Africa (MFA) developed and produced a TV and radio drama, The Team – an episodic series which asks a central question: can Kenyans find ways to put the past behind them in order to have a better future?

The series presents a microcosm of Kenyan society in which members of a fictional football team, who come from different ethnic groups and social classes, are challenged to overcome their fears and biases so that they can see one another as individuals not as members of “the other.” The central metaphor for the players – and for Kenya – is: If they do not cooperate, they will not score goals, and they will lose. The series sends a strong message that the sins of the past cannot be rectified by retributive violence today.

Project activities 

The Team Season 3

Season 3 continues to deal with alternatives to dealing with conflict but also does address itself to matters of leadership. One of the characters, Ben, is elected a councillor in a by-election and is faced with the unenviable task of mobilising his constituents against tribalism and for development.

The Team Season 2

This season begins with Imani FC players breaking camp and going home for a few weeks during which time we learn more about their lives and families outside the team. There is a deeper understanding of the troubled past that these players have had to deal with and overcome in order to be part of Imani FC. When the players resume camp, there are changes in the team.

The Team Season 1

The Team season 1 dramatizes how the young members of a newly formed soccer/football* club struggle with overcoming tribal, ethnic, and socio-economic differences. Each episode highlights real issues that Kenyans must regularly confront, like poverty, corruption, rape, mob justice, and drug use.

The Team on Kenyan radio

To reach the audiences in the rural areas, The Team Season 1 and 2 were translated in three local languages (Kikuyu, Dholuo, Kalenjin) and in Swahili. The programmes aired on Radio Jambo, Radio Lake Victoria, Kass Fm, Coro FM, Baraka FM

Different ways of handling conflict

In regions where peace is still fragile or with limited access to mass media, we roll-out a huge outreach programme for The Team. IN 8 locations most affected by the post election violence of 2008 (Nairobi (Kibera, Mathare), Naivasha, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kakamega, Mombasa and Kisumu.) screenings of the programmes were organised.

Scriptwriting workshops

Familiarise the scriptwiriters with the specific skills to develop drama scripts that try to diffuse conflict and present alternative ways of dealing with conflict and violence with the ultimate goal of social change. Each scriptwriting workshop is bringing together conflict transformation experts, script editors and communication for development experts.

Conflict transformation workshops

Representatives of CSO/CBO organsiations who are co-organising the screenings of The Team television programmes at the local level are also facilitating the dialogue sessions with the youth. They are trained in alternative ways of dealing with conflict and violence as well as debating techniques, to enable them to lead constructive debates about the programmes with the youth.

News 

Award for the The Team

In November 2010 The Team received an award for Best Film in the Human Security category on the We the People Film Festival in London.
Results 

Impact of The Team

The evaluation report of the Team broadcast on the vernacular radio stations showed a postive result on the More

Pages

Country 
Quote 
Text 
"Tribalism has haunted us since independence. It’s high time the government used sports and programs like The Team to educate Kenyans in the spirit of togetherness. The Team shows I don’t have any reason to hate my fellow Kenyans over their tribe.”
Author 
SMS message from a Team listener in Kisumu
Text 
“The first time that tribal stereotypes and conflicts are dealt with on Kenyan television, using a popular entertainment format.
Author 
Nairobi Star
Text 
“What I love about The Team is that it’s getting Kenyans to think again. It’s an opportunity to rebrand Kenya for all Kenyans. It’s an initiative that is galvanizing young people into action. It’s about attitude change, and it’s in your face.”
Author 
Dr. Liz Odera, Chairperson, Sports for Social Change Network