'Storytelling' African Radio Director to Visit U of G
November 14, 2006
Source: University of Guelph
The program director of the African Radio Drama Association (ARDA), which uses soap-opera-like drama as an educational tool in rural areas, will visit the University of Guelph Nov. 17.
Alison Data Phido will meet with faculty, students and staff and discuss her experiences using radio drama to convey important messages at 3:30 p.m. in the Landscape Architecture Building. The visit is free and open to the public.
Phido says that dramatic stories full of colourful characters — from annoying and aggravating folks to friendly and neighbourly ones to greedy cheaters — are used as a tool in Africa. They educate people and provide them with information about everything from women’s rights to agricultural practices. In Africa, radio is the widest-reaching medium on the continent. It’s a particularly valuable tool to reach low-literate and rural populations, she said.
Phido, who has more than 25 years of experience in radio drama and has been with ARDA for the last 10 years, will discuss the success of ARDA’s programs and its relationship with Canada’s Developing Countries Farm Radio Network (DCFRN) during her U of G visit.
She is in Guelph to accept the George Atkins Communications Award on behalf of ARDA. The award recognizes rural broadcasters committed to food security and poverty reduction in low-income countries.
The award is presented by and named for OCFRN founder George Atkins, a former CBC farm radio broadcaster. The radio network is a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization working in direct partnership with some 250 radio broadcasters in more than 35 African countries to fight poverty and food insecurity. Materials are also available electronically to broadcasters and to rural development organizations in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
ARDA and DCFRN recently collaborated to produce The Long Dry Season: A Tale of Greed and Resourcefulness, a 13-part radio serial. The series weaves a story of jealousy, revenge, betrayal, hope and courage while providing farming women and men with practical tips to protect their soil, conserve water and stop the spreading desert.
For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519 824- 4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, Ext. 56982.