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Jackie Christie's blog

A radio drama with youth appeal for Somalia

To: The Media Development Network with The Communication Initiative

From Jackie Christie - BBC Media Action on a radio drama to inspire youth.

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A radio drama with youth appeal for Somalia

The assignments I take on for BBC Media Action sometimes take my breath away. Take my most recent project, for example: travel to the Horn of Africa and facilitate the creation of a 24-episode radio drama, I was told.

Make sure it fosters a sense of Somali identity and inspires young people to engage in their communities and the social issues that affect them. It goes without saying it has to be relevant to all three regions of Somalia (Southern, Puntland and Somaliland). It must be entertaining, well written, have high production values and relevant to its target youth audience. Oh, and you’ve got ten days.

Sometimes working here can feel a bit like the start of a Mission Impossible film.

To be fair, we didn’t have to create all 24 episodes. But writing and producing four of them still felt like a tall order.

Return to Somalia

It’s been eight years since I was last in Hargeisa and my memories of it are a bit vague. On arrival I’m shocked to see how the hot dusty little town, famous for its “plastic bag trees” has grown into a metropolis, albeit still pretty hot and dusty. Hotels are bursting at the seams not just because the town is hosting the 7th International Book Fair but also because the diaspora has come home for the summer.

Somalia’s 800,000-strong diaspora is spread far and wide but most people maintain strong ties to the homeland.

The Media Development Network