Nyanga Tshabalala, New York Children's Television Workshop Fellow

Fellow Nyanga Tshabalala

Tshabalala with Elmo at Children's Television Workshop in New York Children’s Television Workshop Fellow, South Africa to U.S., 1994

"Puppets need not belong to a particular race, culture or tradition, so they are an excellent means of breaking down prejudice."

Nyanga Tshabalala was one of six South Africans who, as part of a group, spent six-month affiliations with Children's Television Workshop, creator of "Sesame Street." They studied multi-media educational programming for preschoolers with a view to adapting "Sesame Street" for South Africa. Back home, with puppeteer Gary Friedman, Tshabalala formed African Puppet Television, initially to produce a series of voter education programs for South African Television, just preceding South Africa's first democratic election in 1994. Since then, Tshabalala and Friedman have become well-known for their educational programs "Puppets Against AIDS" and "Puppets Against Abuse." After achieving great success and popularity with their "Puppet Election '94", a weekly children's television series, "Kid Gloves" was broadcast in 1997 and the company embarked on their first long-term television series, "School TV - The Pezoolies", which is currently in its second year run on South African Television.

See more stories