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Wildlife NGO pioneers kids show in Hausa

Wildlife NGO pioneers kids show in Hausa
January 05
11:07 2024

Wild Africa Fund has joined forces with AREWA24, the leading Hausa language entertainment and lifestyle television network in northern Nigeria and West Africa, to expand its wildlife-focused television series, “Dr. Mark’s Animal TV Show for Kids” for Hausa-speaking audiences across the region.

AREWA24 picked up the show, originally produced in English, and through its in-house production studios, voice-dubbed it into Hausa, the most widely-spoken language in northern Nigeria.

Hausa is also spoken in other West African countries such as Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Benin, Ghana, Togo and Ivory Coast. The show premiered on AREWA24 TV in primetime on January 4.

“We believe that a big part of this outreach and awareness starts with our kids. By partnering with Wild Africa Fund to voice-dub Dr. Mark’s Animal Show into Hausa, we aim to bring greater awareness to millions of future Nigerian wildlife conservation activists and make learning about wildlife fun for the whole family,” said Joseph Arback, the chief executive officer of Arewa24.

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In a statement on Friday, the organisation said Dr. Mark’s Animal TV Show for kids aims to enlighten children, primarily between 7 and 14, about Nigeria’s rich biodiversity and their crucial role in its preservation.

“Across several African countries, iconic wildlife species, including lions, gorillas, pangolins, leopards, chimpanzees, sea turtles, vultures, and numerous monkey species, are disappearing,” the statement reads.

“The pressure on wildlife and wild spaces has intensified with the clearing of land for commercial agriculture, illegal logging, and human-wildlife conflict, posing a significant threat to the continent’s wildlife. These animals are under threat today, partly due to a lack of public awareness across the continent.

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“Nigeria, for instance, has emerged as a significant transit point in the illicit wildlife trade in recent years, notably involving pangolin scales and ivory. The past year alone has seen Nigeria Customs Services confiscate several critical shipments of pangolin scales, ivory, and other illegal wildlife commodities.

“Furthermore, there’s growing demand for bushmeat, especially in large cities in Nigeria. Conservationists have identified poaching to supply the commercial bushmeat threat as one of the major threats facing Nigeria’s wildlife. Fewer than 50 Lions, 100 Gorillas, 500 Elephants, and 2,300 Chimpanzees remain in Nigeria’s wilderness today.

“This decline highlights the urgency to raise awareness about these issues and inform the public, particularly the younger generation, who are poised to champion conservation efforts in the coming years.”

Ofua, the host of the show, urges parents and guardians to watch the new show alongside their children as it presents an opportunity to get them to learn more about Nigeria’s fantastic biodiversity.

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“The translation of Dr Mark’s show into Hausa will ensure that kids there, especially in hinterland communities, will get the exciting and educational program in a language they will understand. This is taking the conservation conversation to the grassroots level! These children will learn the importance of protecting this wildlife, understand why we need them to thrive in the wild, and press this message to their parents and society,” Ofua said.

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