Equal Access in September 2018 developed a 10-episode story line focused on anti-corruption into the Dadin Kowa drama episodes. Corruption/anti-corruption storylines in the education and power sectors were prominently featured in ten (10) consecutive episodes of the award winning AREWA24 drama series, Dadin Kowa. The show tackles social issues dealing with corruption, drug abuse, domestic violence, girl child education, child labor, violent extremism, and human trafficking. The anti-corruption storylines were introduced organically into the drama series through existing characters, and interwoven with other stories and characters featured in each episode of the one-hour weekly series. The anti-corruption themes featured in episodes 73 – 83 of the Dadin Kowa drama series.
In the AREWA24 weekly Drama series, Dadin Kowa, the anti-corruption storylines in the power and education sectors will continue to play out during the course of the coming seasons. (Note: AREWA24 will expect to collaborate with the donors and their anti-corruption consultants, in identifying possible areas for developing new storylines to explore during the course of the season(s).)
In the power sector, Kawu Mala faces an ongoing financial struggle trying to pay for the transformer he stole to pay for his daughter’s medical care, while also facing hostility from his fellow workers, who are suspicious of his honesty. Does he become even more committed to doing his part in reforming the power system, or will he bow to the ongoing pressures? Is the MD of the power company, who allowed Kawu Mala to pay for the transformer he stole rather than firing him, now moved to root out corruption in the system by using Kawu Mala as his inside man? Among other things, the power company makes a serious commitment to the use of pre-paid meters, and with Kawu Mala pushing his team to promote the new devices, they are gradually taken up by the public, which soon begins to see the benefit. Ever so slowly, some members of the public begin to see the benefits of actually paying for the electricity they expect to receive.
Even as Kawu Mala continues to face his own personal challenges with his daughter’s drug addiction, and health, he retains his integrity, and continues to lead the fight to root out corruption within the workers at the power company. Progress is slow, and there are many setbacks, but he stays the course.
In the education sector storyline, the fallout from Dr. Amina taking what she learned about corruption among the teachers and headmaster at Bintalo’s school, continues. The Education Commissioner hires a new reform-minded headmaster to run the school, but the new manager faces a rebellion among some teachers and staff who resist change, and do not want to give up the share of the gains from corrupt practices. In the meantime, with the constant support of Dr. Amina, Bintalo continues her education despite challenges from her father, Mal. Kabiru, who thinks of no one but himself, and values nothing more than the Naira he is able to pocket from begging.
Dr. Amina realizes that corruption in the schools runs deep, and will require constant diligence by students, parents, and community leadership to redress.
During the course of the year, Dadin Kowa can use a combination of existing characters, and some new ones, to explore a number of related areas of corruption in the society beyond primary school education and the power sector, including malfeasance in hospitals and healthcare services, police, secondary schools and universities, civil service and the courts.
In addition to corruption in these public sectors, Dadin Kowa will also look to explore such issues within families and among close members of a given community, which is very common in Nigeria.
Ultimately, the series has the opportunity to engage audiences in an honest and constructive dialogue that leads them to consider, and possibly to embrace, the belief that “change begins with each individual,” meaning each individual has to be willing to change their own mindset about corruption, before trying to change others, or to reform government and other institutions.