The Walt Disney Company Africa, together with its project partners, National Geographic, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and WildlifeDirect have revealed the title and set of the highly anticipated National Geographic Kids show.
Inspired by the aim to motivate lasting, impactful behavioural change in young viewers across Africa, and create the next generation of environmental conservation leaders, the show is called Team Sayari. The title incorporates the Swahili term for planet and embodies the show’s goal: to provide viewers with the knowledge, skills and tools needed to conserve and protect the world in a fun way.
In the show, the young hosts will visit the wild and meet African experts in five countries across the continent to explore, discover, learn about our environmental challenges and be inspired to reduce their impact, protect and restore nature.
All about the Team Sayari set
Filming has also commenced in a custom-built set in Nairobi, called the Sayari Basecamp. It’s a first-of-its-kind in Kenya and embodies childhood imagination and adventure, with a tree house-inspired hideout that is locally built and designed.
The set includes African-inspired and nature-based motifs, coupled with elements of advanced technology. It comes complete with a mission control wall, a cosy chill area and a lively interview spot.
The Sayari basecamp was produced almost entirely from recycled and upcycled materials, true to the ethos of the show. There’s wood panelling, leafy foliage and porthole-style windows complete the ambience of a hideaway nestled in a tree, high in the sky. The upholstery on the furniture was made from organic materials and features dual-level African print, which provides layers of texture and pops of colour. The set’s shelving is hand-crafted, adding an element of quirkiness to the design. A live-edge table where the markings of the tree have been preserved for a raw look, will be dressed uniquely per episode.
Meet the hosts
At basecamp, there are fun missions and adventures for the hosts: Shanah Manjeru (14), Mysha Hodson (13), Marita Lucas (12), Adarsh Nagda (12) and Railey Mwai (10). It is also from this intriguing environment that they will link with other presenters from East, West and South Africa.
The central feature is a gigantic tree, with a textured trunk named Funzi (derived from the Swahili word for learning). The set features an interactive artificial intelligence technology and a DNA helix. Apart from imparting knowledge about the environment, it challenges the young hosts in the show.
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, produced by local production company White Rhino Films aims to celebrate the environment and raise awareness of conservation and associated issues in a fun and relatable way, will air later this year on both National Geographic Wild and Disney Channel across Africa. There will also be engaging digital extensions on social media platforms that will allow viewers to further explore topics addressed in the series as well as an outreach programme that will extend the reach of the programme into countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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