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Narrativising Development in Radio Drama: Tradition and Realism in the Kenyan Radio Play Ushikwapo Shikamana

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By identifying radio as a previously understudied phenomenon, this article points at the various areas of interest in radio studies in Africa. It suggests a new reading of radio for development in Africa where radio drama is packaged for consumption within the ‘real' everyday world. By utilizing the soap opera and melodramatic forms, development radio dramas shape themselves around the realities facing their listeners. Pointing out that soap operas demand to be read as ‘realistic' this article therefore focuses on a Kenyan radio play, Ushikwapo Shikamana , and seeks to understand how it invites listeners to apply its developmental lessons and themes to everyday life. Central to the discussion is the contradictory depiction of tradition in the radio drama. The subject becomes central to the article as the didactic applications of lessons from drama to life inevitably impinge on tradition.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2005

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