Popular Tanzanian musician, Mrisho Mpoto has produced a song entitled "A Debt of Courtesy" in partnership with PCI Media Impact to encourage his fellow Tanzanians to protect elephants from illegal poaching practices. Along with this music video, the My Wildlife - My Community project aired a 25-episode radio drama entitled "Temboni," which encourages ending poaching for more sustainable livelihoods through entertainment and dialogue.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Tanzania is home to nearly 25 percent of all African elephants. However, this number is falling fast as poaching is rising. It is estimated that one elephant is killed for its tusks every 15 minutes and, at this rate, they could disappear from the wild by 2025. Many poachers come from poor areas and engage in illegal practices to provide for their families. Facing threats to survival, many people have forgotten their love of elephants and how these animals are correlated to their well-being.
How will this project solve this problem?
Poaching is a cultural problem that requires a cultural solution. Shifts in attitudes are necessary and result only from community-driven discussion. Mpoto is a trusted figure and big celebrity in the country and the song's catchy lyrics encourage reflection in a non-threatening way. His music generates dialogue around the needed behavior changes while reminding listeners of their love for elephants. The radio drama emphasizes the importance of wildlife and models positive behavioral change.
Potential Long Term Impact
The music video for "A Debt of Courtesy" and the radio drama brings this issue into classrooms, homes, churches and communities across the country where change first begins. The overall initiative includes a call-in show that supports the radio drama and reaches Tanzanians on many different platforms. This work starts dialogue while creating real opportunities for community members to get involved with efforts to bring an end to poaching practices.
Total Funding Received to Date: $610
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $4,390
Total Funding Goal: $5,000