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SA kids star in National Geographic series

The pan-African children’s series Sayari, created to inspire the next generation of conservation leaders, premieres this weekend

When the pan-African children’s series Team Sayari premieres on National Geographic Wild on Saturday, 24 September ,  three home-grown South African presenters will join in the adventures of a range of kids from across the continent.

Atule Mazane (13) and Khahliso Khojane (14) from the Western Cape and Thandolwethu Fani (15) from Gauteng will feature as field presenters in the programme that aims to inspire and motivate the next generation of conservation leaders. In Team Sayari, they travel to wilderness areas and interview experts on the ground to learn and share what is needed to conserve our natural world, reporting into Sayari Base Camp in Kenya.

Athule says he is fascinated by wildlife and loves learning about various species. In his free time, he enjoys gardening and taking care of his plants. This energetic boy recently received awards for both his soccer skills and his academic ability in Mathematics, English and Life Skills.

Outgoing Khahliso tells us she is passionate about environmental conservation. She recently volunteered for the Global Volunteer Initiative (GVI) project in Limpopo, where she participated as part of an international research team assisting in wildlife conservation. Khahliso is also a regular volunteer for local recycling and beach clean-up projects.

Thandolwethu says she loves nature and is passionate about caring for the environment by limiting the use of plastic and conserving water. Her intelligence and tenacity have earned her a place among the top five students every year, from primary school to high school. She is also a talented actor and appeared in the Act Studios production of The Littlest Mermaid in Pretoria in 2019.

Nairobi-based youths Mysha Hodson (13), Marita Lucas (12), Shanah Manjeru (14), Railey Mwai (10) and Adarsh Nagda (12) serve as studio hosts for the show. From Sayari Base Camp, they link to field presenters that travel to East, West and South Africa. Other presenters joining them on location are Sheilah Sheldone (13, Kenya), Toluwanimi Olaoye (12, Nigeria), Christian Mekhi (10, Rwanda), and Sabrina Kilumanga (10, Tanzania).

Led by the programme’s goal to inspire meaningful, impactful behavioural change in young viewers across the continent and create the next generation of environmental conservation leaders, each episode begins with a DNA-inspired computer named Funzi giving our young presenters missions to complete. This sets the scene for adventurous journeys, in which the wonders of the natural world, and the need to live more lightly on the planet, are revealed. On their travels, Team Sayari  meet National Geographic Explorers and trailblazers in the fields of conservation, science, nature, wildlife and the environment, learning valuable lessons regarding how to reduce their impact, protect and restore nature in a fun way.

Viewers can expectintriguing discoveries, fun DIY activities and cool adventures every week. In the premiere episode, Team Sayari learns how single use plastic is harmful to marine life after Funzi sends them on a journey to discover how waste materials reach our oceans, and what they can do to help curb pollution. Viewers can also expect fascinating journeys through wild spaces such as mountains, forests and nature reserves, and encounters with wild animals from elephants to bees, from sharks to snakes, and everything in between. On their travels, they meet unexpected heroes in these farout locations that share fascinating insights about the planet we call home.

Christine Service, general manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa, says: “At National Geographic, we believe that when people understand the world better, they care more deeply for it. National Geographic has been igniting the explorer in all of us for 133 years, and Team Sayari is a bright example of this mission and purpose..”

Team Sayari is the result of a collaborative effort between National Geographic, The Walt Disney Company Africa, USAID, the U.S. State Department and WildlifeDirect. The series is produced by Kenyan production company White Rhino Filmsa.

Team Sayari airs on DStv 182 and Starsat 221 at 13:00 Central African Time from tomorrow, 24 September.

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