Tuesday, September 22, 2020

It’s hard to believe, but two decades have passed since Sanlam brought Takalani Sesame to South Africa and the Muppets first burst onto our screens, much to the delight of children everywhere, from Sandton to Strandfontein.

To honour and celebrate this milestone, Sanlam invited one of South Africa’s most-loved bands to create a catchy tune for the whole family to sing along to. Mafikizolo’s Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza were only too happy to get in on the festivities.

The resultant song, “20 Years and Counting” is as upbeat as it is inspirational: encouraging kindness whilst honing numeracy skills too.

As star-struck as the Muppets were upon meeting Mafikizolo’s dynamic duo, it turned out that the feelings were mutual. Nhlanhla confesses she’s a big Takalani fan herself.

“I’ve always loved how the show has made education seem cool,” she says, “Although I wish Takalani had been around when I was younger, my 8-year-old son loves to watch. I’m so excited for him to see our music video and song… finally, he’ll see me grooving with some of his real heroes!”

A parent himself, Theo concurs. “We’re honoured and excited to be celebrating this incredible show – not just as performers, but as parents too. We can’t wait for more people to hear it, and for all to sing along with us when they do!”

Reaching over 4 million children every month, Takalani Sesame is the South African version of the internationally acclaimed Sesame Street. Its aim: to support the foundation phase of the national primary school curriculum whilst empowering and inspiring kids to be smarter, stronger and kinder too. Incorporating all 11 of the country’s official languages, the show has been instrumental in helping millions of children, but also in teaching thousands of their caregivers about what a child’s mind really needs to grow.

Right from the start, Sanlam has been a founding partner, and remains as committed as ever.

“We’re so proud of the contribution that Takalani Sesame makes to education in South Africa,” says Mariska Oosthuizen, Sanlam’s Head of Brand.

“We see this partnership as a direct investment into one of our core values: to empower all of society to live their best possible lives. Education is central to this. Particularly at this early childhood development stage, which lays the building blocks for future success to learn, earn and contribute towards the sustainability of our country.”

Reflecting on reaching twenty years, Mariska continues, “As we mark this milestone with Takalani, we’re not only looking back, but forward to helping many future generations of South African children become smarter, stronger and kinder through this powerful, entertaining and educational platform, as they grow up to become smarter, stronger and kinder adults – something the world needs more of.”

Listen to the song, watch the music video, or join in the Dance With Us challenge as we celebrate 20 years of one of SA’s most loved edutainment platforms, in partnership with Sanlam.

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