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DFID back Shujaaz to deliver healthy eating campaign in Kenya
20 July 2012

Shujaaz, Kenya's award-winning social communication channel, has secured a DFID contract to deliver nutrition messages to young people in Kenya.

The new series of stories aim to help shift millions of young Kenyans to a more nutritionally-balanced diet and will be delivered on Shujaaz's unique combined platform of comic books, syndicated FM radio and social media.

Kicking off the campaign will be football mad Charlie Pele. The Shujaaz regular meets 17-year-old, real-life Kenyan athlete Johana Kariankei. He tells Charlie story of his life and the role that nutrition has played in developing his career as top runner. Johana was part of the Space for Giants team that won the Safaricom Half Marathon, Lewa Downs, Kenya on 30 June 2012 (with Samuel Kimutai, Sylvester Maindi and Elijah Chebet)

The Shujaaz storylines will follow the arc of Johana's life:

Each of the stories comes out of an adventure that Charlie and Johana have together.

The first story coincides with the London 2012 Olympics - so featuring a Kenyan athlete will be a great way of grabbing attention in Kenya.

Rob Burnet, creator of Shujaaz, said:
When we are commissioned to develop a campaign for a partner like DFID we need to find the right hook for the subject, to get the story into the lives of our audience in a real, relevant way. As our team works on different ideas then one of our four established comic book heroes naturally gravitates towards an emerging plot line.

Improved nutrition is a perfect story line for Charlie Pele as he want to be a professional athlete, he has access to a little piece of land on his dad's smallholding and his natural curiosity quickly helps him gets the know-how to grow bio-fortified food. These are foods that come from plants developed for their specific qualities - for example Quality Protein Maize - which has a far higher nutritional value than conventional maize but is no more difficult to grow.

When people think of nutrients and Africa they probably think of shocking pictures of starving children. But like all developing countries Kenya is seeing an emerging obesity issue - what the professionals call overnutrition.

We will also be highlighting the benefits of traditional crops that have fallen out of fashion. We want our audience to realise that some foods are better than others, and that a good diet is required for a healthy life.

Alongside the stories we create in Shujaaz, we'll also be carrying out research to see how our stories and associated radio campaigns have impacted on young people's knowledge and behaviour.
International Development minister, Alan Duncan, talks to Shujaaz.

Minister congratulates Shujaaz on media award. May 2011 (03:20)   RIUtv
Funding provided by the UK Department for International Development (DFID)
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