“This is the first time that tribal stereotypes and conflicts are dealt with on Kenyan television, using a popular entertainment format"
The Nairobi Star
“What I love about The Team is that it’s getting Kenyans to think again. It’s an opportunity to rebrand Kenya for all Kenyans. It’s an initiative that is galvanizing young people into action. It’s about attitude change, and it’s in your face.”
Dr. Liz Odera, Chairperson, Sports for Social Change Network
"What Makes Us Kenyans" (The Team Kenya)
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Read an interview with Milli Mugadi, who plays Johari, the captain of The Team in Kenya.
Questions for Johari >>
Read about a coalition of youth constituents that came together as a direct result of the broadcast of The Team in Kenya
The Coffee Bar >>
The Team in Kenya was developed in response to the devastating violence following the disputed presidential election of 2008. The series dramatizes how the young members of a newly formed soccer/football* club struggle with overcoming tribal, ethnic, and socio-economic differences. Each episode highlights real issues that Kenyans must regularly confront, like poverty, corruption, rape, mob justice, and drug use.
>> The Team Kenya: Watch all 13 episodes of Season 1 on YouTube!
The goal of The Team is to educate and entertain a mass general audience through universal storylines and authentic characters created and portrayed by Kenyan writers and actors themselves. The Team creates a space to air important issues and give voice to the needs of the disaffected.
The Team goes well beyond sports. While the series reveals that the diverse members of the football club need to work together as a unit to find success on the field, the broader message is that Kenyans in general must also transcend their tribal identities and embrace national cohesion for their country to survive and prosper.
* The sport known as soccer in the United States will hereafter be referred to as football, as it is known in the rest of the world.
Facts about The Team in Kenya:
Season 1 was broadcast on Citizen TV, Kenya’s most watched television network. It was ranked among the Top Ten most popular TV programs in the country.
The radio series aired on Radio Jambo. The combined TV and radio audience each week was estimated at 3.5 million Kenyans.
The series was co-produced by Search for Common Ground and Media Focus on Africa (MFA), a Kenyan-Dutch NGO.
Multiple initiatives have started across Kenya as a result of The Team outreach activities, including the formation of peace groups in Kisumu, Mombasa, Naivasha and Eldoret and the organisation of sports and peace events by youth.
The Red Cross has started showing The Team in their centres, and a pilot was approved by the Kenyan Ministry of Education to screen the series in 24 public secondary schools.
Notebook: Impressions from Mobile Cinema Discussions throughout Kenya:
To increase The Team’s reach, 48 mobile screenings were held in eight locations throughout Kenya. The screenings were attended by nearly 1,700 youth, who participated in discussions led by trained facilitators and select members of the cast. Here are some observations from the gatherings:
Changes in attitudes take time. One positive change observed in the discussions, however, was that individuals who were initially unable to talk about what they lived and witnessed during the post-election violence began to share their experiences after listening to others speak openly.
Some participants who initially said it was impossible to forgive those who had wronged them began to reconsider their positions after listening to others who had suffered similar injustices or worse, but had forgiven their wrongdoers.
The majority of participants agreed that youth need to realize that they are being used by politicians to push their agendas and cause chaos. The participants said the time has come for youth to improve themselves by forming youth groups, learning how to earn a living, and supporting new leaders who have integrity and vision.
Many youth said they want to make a difference in their communities and countries, and brainstormed ways of doing that together.
On a somber note, it was with great sorrow that the news of the death of Mr. Mwita (the actor who played Oli in The Team in Kenya) was received, particularly in Nakuru where he had facilitated an earlier discussion. The participants were moved to tears but vowed to continue the work of peacebuilding that Mr. Mwita had begun so his death would not be in vain.
Reaction from Radio Listeners of The Team in Kenya (sent via SMS):
“Very educative, captivating, entertaining and suspenseful. The football in it gives it an extra touch.”
“In addition to making me laugh, making me happy, and entertaining me, the show also educates me. I shouldn’t get involved with tribalism.”
“I really enjoy the show. It teaches me to live in love and peace with all, without putting too much thoughts to their tribes.”
“I liked how players stood together as one to fearlessly demonstrate against impunity. They fought for their right and did not agree to be misused.”
“I congratulate you for giving us a lot of education, especially on how to cooperate with others no matter which tribe or region they come from.”
“The show has taught me to avoid drugs as they can destroy lives.”
“The team lost the morale to train after Abbas resigned … It’s not good for a team to rely too much on one player.”
“Johari is very brave, a leader who does not promote tribalism or chaos. True, leadership is not just for men but for all -- men and women.”
“Oli’s words ‘understanding comes with talking’ teach me that we should forget our tribal lines and stay as one people.”
Mobile Cinema Screening
New Broadcasting Partnerships
In addition to national broadcasts within each country of production, The Team is expanding its global reach through several cross-border partnerships. The following broadcasters and channels will be rebroadcasting The Team from Kenya internationally:
• Link TV, a U.S. satellite broadcaster that reaches 30 million homes
• CFI, a French satellite broadcaster, which will rebroadcast the series worldwide (CFI also distributes The Team in Cote d’Ivoire across Francophone Africa)
• The United Kingdom’s Community Channel, which reaches 21 million homes
Download The Team: Kenya Evaluation Summary [pdf]
Download 'The Team Radio Vernacular: Exposure, Attitudes and Interpersonal Communication about Political Processes' Evaluation Report [pdf]
Visit The Team: Kenya's Website:
VisitThe Team: Kenya's Facebook Page:
Episode Summaries for The Team - Kenya (Season 1)
The Team has received funding from the following: