Radio Serial Drama

The Moyo ndi Mpamba radio serial drama inspired behavior change on priority health issues among adolescent and adult Malawians through interactive radio programming. Engaging drama camouflaged strategic health communication on malaria, MNCH, reproductive health, family planning, HIV and AIDS, WASH, and nutrition. SSDI-Communication collaborated with the Ministry of Health, Malawian radio producers and broadcasters, representatives from international NGOs, and representatives from SSDI-Systems and SSDI-Services to design the program.

The team made an effort to develop a story that was firmly grounded in the realities of Malawian life. To achieve this, the design team developed a map of life events that occur during an average lifespan in Malawi, created a map of the fictional village in which the drama was to take place that mirrored a typical village in Malawi, and developed a calendar of events that normally take place in a community in Malawi in any given year. These tools acted as a rich, detailed, and realistic background onto which the stories could be painted, allowing the program to better reflect the daily realities of Malawian life.

The drama had three main plotlines:

  • A young married couple, Richi and Nasilina, struggle as Richi maintains his relationship with his old girlfriend Esmie.
  • Ndaziona, a 16-year-old girl, has a terrible secret that she is hiding from her mother and two brothers.
  • Mrs. Nabetha Gama, a very religious woman married to a very traditional man who strongly believes in traditional healers and superstitions.

The drama unfolded over 52 episodes, aired during 12-month period from July 2014 to June 2015. Each episode included questions for audience members, who were encouraged to respond via SMS or on Facebook.