Takalani Sesame logo
|Created by||Joan Ganz Cooney and Jim Henson|
|Based on||Sesame Street by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett|
|Country of origin||South Africa|
|Executive producer||Seipati Bulane-Hopa|
|Running time||30 minutes per episode|
Takalani Sesame ("be happy Sesame" in Venda) is the South African version of the children's television program Sesame Street, co-produced by Sesame Workshop and South African partners.
According to Sesame Workshop, Takalani Sesame is a "uniquely South African interpretation of the Sesame model, engaging children and their parents and promoting basic school readiness, literacy, numeracy, and health and hygiene." Takalani Sesame also has a special focus on HIV/AIDS awareness and seeks to introduce HIV/AIDS safety while promoting tolerance and reducing stigma. The Takalani series also includes a popular radio program, a newspaper and magazine comic strip series, and a national campaign which encourages adults to talk to their children about HIV/AIDS and related issues.
The show incorporates all of South Africa's 11 official languages: Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Swazi, Ndebele, Sesotho, Northern Sotho, Tsonga, Tswana and Venda.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, and Nane Annan have made guest appearances on the show. Season 11 of the show was scheduled to begin on 1 June 2020 on South African television channel SABC 2.
The introduction of an HIV-positive Muppet, Kami, to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS was widely criticised by the U.S. political right, with such groups as the American Family Association seeing it as a means for homosexual activists to influence young viewers. An estimated 17% of South Africa's population aged 15–49 have HIV/AIDS.