10. COMMUNICATING CHANGE IN AN ATMOSPHERE OF INSURGENCY THROUGH RADIO DRAMA: AN APPRAISAL OF ‘MADUBI LIVE’ BY BBC MEDIA ACTION NIGERIA
Edward Ugbada Adie, Ph.D – Department of Theatre, Film and Carnival Studies,
University of Calabar
Email:email@example.com Mobile No: 08065307301
Yusuf Ninzim Shamagana – Department of Theatre and Performing Arts,
Ahmadu Bello University Zaria
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In Northern Nigeria, radio has, over the years, proven to be an effective medium of communication because of the wide listenership it enjoys in the region. This also makes radio a readily available communication medium in the hands of national and international non-governmental organizations, targeting northern Nigeria as the focus of their development interventions. For example, organizations like BBC Media Action Nigeria, Population Media Centre (PMC), and United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), among others, have at various points in time deployed radio drama to communicate behaviour change in Northern Nigeria. In a bid to expand the frontier of participation in radio drama process, BBC Media Action Nigeria recently devised a creative way of reaching out to some target communities in North-Eastern Nigeria on polio immunization through a creative way of doing radio drama called ‘Madubi Live’. In Madubi Live, radio drama is taken away from the radio stations and performed (recorded) live in community arenas, thereby giving the local people the opportunity to participate in the discussion of key issues on polio disease and immunization. Anchored on participatory communication theory. This paper interrogates the level and nature of local people’s participation in this process, considering the volatile security atmosphere in North- Eastern Nigeria, a region that has been plagued by Boko Haram insurgency since 2009 and the ongoing Fulani herdsmen/cattle rustlers’ attacks on communities. One major finding herein is that despite the security challenges in the region, the initiators of Madubi Live and community respondents have found the risk of the initiative worth taking. The paper concludes by arguing that the lingering shortcomings of ‘Madubi Live’ and atmospheric challenges notwithstanding, it is a noble strategy that has redefined the scope of people’s participation in radio drama process.
Keywords: Development Intervention, Radio Drama, Behaviour Change, Participation, Community Respondents, Madubi Live.