Corruption – the Elephant in the Room | Learning by Ear | DW | 15.02.2013

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Learning by Ear

Corruption – the Elephant in the Room

Whether it's at school, at work or out on the streets, the Odhiambo family can't seem to free themselves from the insidious tentacles of corruption despite their endeavors to live an honest life.

Learning by Ear - Corruption

Learning by Ear - Corruption

Paying bribes for favors is a common part of life in Africa - teachers accept payment in return for good grades; politicians finance their election campaigns through corrupt deals; and policemen ignore traffic offenses for the right sum of money. For many, bribery is often seen as the easiest way to stay out of trouble or simply get something done. But in the long term, bribery and illegal payments establish an unjust and inept system that paralyzes the country's social and economic life.

Alfayo Odhiambo’s wish has always been to earn an honest living. But without knowing it, he has become part of an energy scandal involving high level businesspeople and politicians. Alfayo doesn't want his family’s name to be dragged through the mud and he searches for a way out to avoid the scandal. His wife Jennifer, a school teacher, has problems of her own. Bribery is rife in the school where she teaches. But is she strong enough to keep her fingers out of the lucrative pie and stick to her principles?

The Odhiambo family’s only ally is their friend Jeffrey and his newly established organization, Stop Corruption Now. Jeffrey, a man of action, normally doesn't shy away from anything but can he handle the consequences of his whistle-blowing?

The ten part Learning by Ear series, "Corruption - the Elephant in the Room", shows that although whistle-blowing to reveal corruption can be dangerous, it is possible. Listeners also learn that corruption has serious consequences and find out how they can achieve their goals without compromising their integrity.

Deutsche Welle’s Learning by Ear is available in six languages: English, Kiswahili, French, Hausa, Portuguese and Amharic.

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