Kwanda was a Reality TV Show co-created with Soul City Institute for Social Justice, in partnership with the Department of Social Development.
It aimed to inspire communities across the country to get organised to meet their social challenges. Kwanda attracted 2 million viewers during its first season in 2009. We were responsible for all community mobilisation, education and community organisation within Kwanda, using methods that include community mapping, the Organisation Workshop and community coaching.
Kwanda had four focus areas, namely, care of vulnerable children; reduction of alcohol abuse and the violence stemming from it; prevention of new HIV infections; and strengthening of livelihoods and local economic activity.
Kwanda has been hailed as an example of civic-driven change, characterised by four key understandings:
- ‘Development’ issues are interrelated and poverty underpins and compounds them all. These must be tackled together and constantly looked at in a holistic way
- Interventions aimed at the individual or small groups are useful but limited; some solutions to ‘individual’ problems require shifts in the culture of the group
- Policy makers can leave out the most important insights – those coming from ‘the community’, the people most affected
- Change process needs the involvement of all civic actors
In the last years we have thus started to refer to a Kwanda Process in communities, initiated by the Organization Workshop, which embraces all of these key understandings.