Four young detective teams are the protagonists of "Crime Fighters." DW's gripping new series of radio dramas tackles challenges and perils faced by African youths. The plays address listeners in five languages.
Each team's story has eight ten-minute episodes during which the juvenile investigators try to clear up murders and drug fraud, hunt down professional landgrabbers and big-scale poachers. One of the dramas also deals with terrorist recruiting strategies and suicide attacks.
The stories aim to examine the perils and challenges young listeners face in their everyday lives and to offer them encouragement. "This format of crime stories allows us to address controversial news and issues and to turn them into exciting and educational fiction," says Claus Stäcker, DW's head of African programming, adding, "'Crime Fighters' is educational radio entertainment."
All of the authors are African. Pinado Abdu works on DW's Haussa team and writes about the terror of Boko Haram troops in Northern Nigeria on a daily basis. US-Kenyan crime writer Mukoma wa Ngugi contributed the case "Drugs to Cure, Drugs to Kill." Helon Habila from Nigeria and Andrew Brown from South Africa supported DW's editorial team as script advisors.
Audio samples provided to DW partner stations in Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria received unanimously positive responses, leading DW to record "Crime Fighters" in five languages – English, French, Portuguese, Haussa, and Kiswahili. The production with local actors took place in Kenya, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Tanzania and Mozambique. Only the planned Amharic production was prevented by Ethiopian authorities. Actress Wanjiku Mwaurah from Kenya stresses the importance of the plays for youths: "'Crime Fighters' addresses the huge challenges young women and young men in particular are facing in our countries."
"Crime Fighters" is broadcast by DW - online and on the AfricaLink podcast - as well as by more than 250 FM partner stations throughout Africa. The series will also feature prominently on DW's social media platforms.