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.
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