Recently at ARDA, we’ve all been really busy bringing Phase 2 of Mercy Corps’ ‘Using the Airwaves for stabilization in the Lake Chad Basin’ Project to life.
The project sees ARDA producing a radio variety programme with factual historical, cultural and educational elements as well as a drama segment. The programmes are in both Hausa and Kanuri languages common in the target regions and thus in actual fact, there were TWO productions, one at home in Lagos, and the other in Maiduguri.
Lagos has a large number of Hausa voice actors, so was perfect for the Hausa production; but to get the best possible Kanuri voice actors, we needed to go up to Maiduguri and set up production there. It was a much easier task this time since we had made contacts and had a much better understanding of the lay of the land from Phase 1.
For a few days this week, our Lagos Island headquarters was abuzz with activity as we recorded 26 episodes of the Hausa drama. Production usually lasted all day, and there was a lot of bonding amongst the actors as they waited to record their scenes. Not for our staff though who worked diligently through the breaks and even after production had shut down for the day.
The actors on their part were happy to have been a part of such a production. “The Drama so far has been very enlightening and educative and is going to be very useful to people in the North,” said Bode Musa, who played Jamilu, an ex-Armed Opposition Group fighter looking to redeem himself.
For ARDA staff, the only difference was the presence of the new member of the Programme team, Mr Tim Adepoju. Mr Adepoju grew up in Northern Nigeria and is fluent in Hausa and definitely brought a positive effect to the proceedings as we could go over the translated scripts and detect errors in recording quicker and more efficiently. “It was a challenging experience as it was my first ever production, but it was really inspiring seeing the script come to life. In fact, I found the whole thing from the treatment workshop and seeing the treatments and storylines develop and then seeing it actually be performed very exciting and inspiring.”
We got a lot of positive feedback from our Phase 1 productions, and it’s inspired us to produce an even better Phase 2 program. Let’s hope it continues to make a difference entertaining and educating a population that stands on a knife’s edge.