Wild Africa Fund is excited to announce a new partnership with AREWA24, the leading Hausa language entertainment and lifestyle television network in Northern Nigeria and West Africa, to expand the reach of our unique kids series, “Dr. Mark’s Animal Show”, for Hausa-speaking audiences across the region.
The show premieres on AREWA24 TV in primetime on Thursday, 4 January 2024 and will air every Thursday evening thereafter at 7:00 p.m. (WAT).
AREWA24, home to the largest collection of locally-produced, premium content in Hausa, picked up the show, originally produced in English, and through its in-house production studios dubbed it into Hausa. Hausa is the most widely-spoken language in Northern Nigeria, but also is used in West African countries like Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Benin, Ghana, Togo and Ivory Coast.
“We believe that conservation awareness starts with our kids. By partnering with Wild Africa Fund to dub Dr. Mark’s Animal Show into Hausa, we will bring greater awareness to millions of future wildlife conservation activists in Nigeria and make learning about wildlife fun for the whole family,” said Joseph Arback, the Chief Executive Officer of AREWA24.
Dr. Mark’s Animal TV Show aims to educate children, primarily between 7 and 14, about Nigeria’s rich biodiversity and their crucial role in its preservation. This is critical as both Nigerian and African biodiversity faces amplified and complex challenges. Across several African countries iconic wildlife species, including lions, gorillas, pangolins, leopards, chimpanzees, sea turtles, vultures, and numerous monkey species are disappearing. The pressure on wildlife and wild spaces has intensified with the clearing of land for commercial agriculture, the growth of illegal logging, and the escalation of human-wildlife conflict, posing a significant threat to the natural systems on which people rely.
In Nigeria, the growth of the illegal wildlife trade over recent years, notably involving pangolin scales and ivory, has seen the country emerge as a significant transit point for wildlife product export to Asia. Over the past year, Nigeria Customs Services has confiscated several critical shipments of pangolin scales, ivory, and other illegal wildlife commodities. There’s also an expanding demand for illegal bushmeat, especially in large cities in Nigeria. As a result of these challenges, fewer than 50 Lions, 100 Gorillas, 500 Elephants, and 2,300 Chimpanzees remain in Nigeria’s wilderness today.
This decline highlights the urgent need to raise awareness about these challenges, and inspire action to address them, particularly with the younger generation who are poised to champion conservation efforts in the coming years.
Dr. Mark’s Animal Show includes 11 episodes, each taking a deep dive into a specific animal species and unpacking its features, ecological benefits and conservation status, as well as the threats facing that animal and what the public can do to protect them. The first season profiles animals such as pangolins, parrots, snakes, turtles, lions, leopards, cheetahs, chimpanzees, gorillas, elephants, crocodiles and rhinos. The show also features interactive quizzes to enhance knowledge retention and engage viewers.
Dr. Mark, the host of the show, urges parents and guardians to watch alongside their children, facilitating discussions on the issues raised and learning about Nigeria’s biodiversity themselves.
“The translation of Dr. Mark’s show into Hausa will ensure that more kids, especially those in hinterland communities, will experience this exciting and educational series in a language they understand. This is taking the conservation conversation to the grassroots level! These children will learn the importance of protecting wildlife, understand why we need animals to thrive in the wild, and can share important conservation messages with their parents and society,” said Dr. Mark.
Repeat broadcasts of Dr. Mark’s Animal Show can be viewed at 5:30 pm on Fridays on DSTV Channel 261, GOtv Channel 136. The show also is also airing on Nigeria’s SilverbirdTV and StarTimes, Namibia’s OneAfrica, South Africa’s People’s Weather Channel, Zimbabwe’s NRTV, Rwanda’s Flash TV, and will debut on CANAL+ Channel 297 and on Eutelsat 16A for free-to-air satellite viewers.