BY: Amanda Mkhize.

When the pan-African children’s series Team Sayari, premiered on National Geographic Wild (DStv 182, Starsat 221) at the end of last year, learners at Hatfield Christian School were delighted to see one of their peers, Thandolwethu Fani (16) appear as a presenter in the show. Recently, the U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, Reuben E. Brigety, visited the school to not only commend the young girl for her being selected for the production, but also to encourage learners to embrace defending the planet.

“Regardless of which career you choose to pursue one day, you will only have one planet to do it on. This is why we need to protect Earth and all its creatures” said Ambassador Brigety.

“Congratulations to Thandolwethu for already being an advocate for the environment and setting an example,” he added.

“National Geographic teaches us to explore the natural world, because when we know more about it, we are more likely to protect it,” said Christine Service, General Manager: The Walt Disney Company Africa. “Thandolwethu is a wonderful example of a young person who advocates for the environment and is an outstanding presenter on the show,” she added.

Thandolwethu loves nature and is passionate about making a difference by limiting the use of plastic and conserving water. Prior to being cast in Team Sayari, she appeared in the theatre production of The Littlest Mermaid in Pretoria in 2019.

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, Team Sayari takes children on adventurous journeys, in which the wonders of the natural world, and the need to live more lightly on the planet, are revealed. Viewers enjoy 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. The second part of the first series is currently premiering on National Geographic Wild (DStv 182, Starsat 221) on Saturdays at 13:00 (CAT).

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 Films with the aim to celebrate the environment and raise awareness of conservation and associated issues in a fun and relatable way. An outreach programme, led by WildlifeDirect, that extends the reach of the programme is currently underway in various countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.


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