Takalani Sesame’s Season 13 has been nominated for a 2023 International Emmy Award (Kids: Factual category).

“We could not be prouder to announce that Takalani Sesame, South Africa’s longest-running children’s educational television programme, has been nominated for a 2023 International Emmy Award. We are absolutely thrilled with the nomination; it is true validation of our efforts to teach and entertain millions of children. An Emmy nomination is no small feat and something which we are incredibly grateful for,” says Innocent Nkata, Managing Director of Sesame Workshop South Africa.  

Takalani Sesame’s mission is to help children grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. The show promotes early childhood education while supporting South Africa’s mother-tongue based education policy with television, radio, digital content, and community and classroom engagement. Takalani Sesame addresses a range of early childhood development needs and nurturing young children’s readiness for lifelong learning.

Season 13 of Takalani Sesame saw the beloved friends learn techniques to help them cope with Big Feelings, like Belly Breathing, Counting to Five or Drawing It Out. The season sought to help inspire children to think and talk about all the big emotions they may experience, whether it’s feeling nervous, being too excited to calm down, feeling anxious in the face of a new situation, or struggling to master a new skill.

The series is based on a curriculum supported by the Department of Basic Education and delivers educational content to children in several of the country’s official languages through television, digital media, and community outreach working with teachers, parents, and community leaders in classrooms and in homes.

Season 13 of Takalani Sesame was jointly made possible by generous funding from The LEGO Foundation and Mai Family Foundation. “We are excited that LEGO Foundation’s partnership with Takalani Sesame to promote the power of learning through play has received this momentous recognition. Children learn best through joyful and meaningful play, and Takalani Sesame is a great program to help children become creative, engaged, lifelong learners” said Kerry Kassen, Regional Director, LEGO Foundation.

The news follows a series of celebratory events for the brand, as in September, Takalani Sesame received an award for “Best Children’s Program:  South African Sign Language (SASL) and Inclusivity” from Wits University’s Centre for Deaf Studies (CFDS), a Centre of Excellence at the university. The award was given in recognition of Takalani Sesame’s role in promoting, diversity, equity and inclusion by making the television program accessible to deaf and hard of hearing children and families. In August Takalani Sesame was also nominated in the 17th Annual South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) in the BEST CHILDREN’S PROGRAMME category. 

The 51st International Emmy Awards will take place on 20 November 2023. Three of the 56 nominees from 20 countries hail from South Africa, with Takalani Sesame being joined by SA nominees; The Mandela Project in the Short-Form Series segment and Two Sides in the Sports Documentary category.

Season 14 of Takalani Sesame continues to help kids deal with their ‘Big Feelings’ and airs on SABC 2 weekdays at 15.30. Episodes air in English on Mondays, isiZulu on Tuesdays, Sesotho on Wednesdays, Ndebele on Thursdays and Afrikaans on Friday.

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