“Can we overcome ‘tribe’ and play as a team?” asks the Coach when the players of the newly Imani FC football club break down into tribal factions. When the series was created by SFCG and Media Focus on Africa in 2008, the producers didn’t know if the answer would be ‘yes’, as the post-election violence of 2007-2008 was only months earlier. Thus, the series has been a metaphor for Kenyan society. Can we overcome our differences in order to progress as a country?
When the show premiered in May 2009 on Citizen TV it became a hit. Audiences across Kenya embraced the characters and the ideas behind the series. To enhance the impact of the television series, SFCG and Media Focus on Africa launched a mobile cinema and dialogue project in the areas most impacted by the post election violence. Youth leaders, community organizers came together across tribal lines to discuss the ideas behind the show. Can we play as a team? After weeks of difficult dialogue, it seemed the answer to the question was ‘yes.’
The series continued for two more seasons broadcasting not only in Kenya but across sub-Saharan Africa, in the UK on the Community Channel and Link-TV in the US. The mobile cinema and dialogue projects grew from a few hundred members to tens of thousands in the run up to the peaceful elections of 2013.