Takalani Sesame
Takalani Sesame new logo.png
Takalani Sesame logo
Created byJoan Ganz Cooney and Jim Henson
Based onSesame Street by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett
Developed by
Country of originSouth Africa
Executive producerSeipati Bulane-Hopa
ProducerPulane Boesak
Running time30 minutes per episode
Production companies
Original networkSABC 2
Picture formatPAL (2000-2010s)
HDTV 1080i (2010s-present)
Original release2000 (2000)

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.Season 12 played from 7 June 2021 to 3 December 2021 at 15:30 weekdays on Sabc2. Season 12 currently repeats weekdays at 07:00 on Sabc1. Season 13 started on 6 June 2022 on Sabc2 at 15:30 and will run for 130 episodes. The season features guest appearances from celebrities like David Kau,Sho Madjozi and Holly Rey.

Kami poses with Jill Biden, children, and others in Soweto in 2010.
Kami poses with Jill Biden, children, and others in Soweto in 2010.



Episode guide

  1. The Muppets sing "Doing the Family Thing" (2000)
  2. The Muppets see the importance of exercise in "What I Can Do" and "Mika Skipping Rope" (2000)
  3. The song "That's what friends are for" explores the qualities of a friend (2000)
  4. Zikwe writes a "book about me" (2000)
  5. Takalani Sesame is holding a party about food (2000)
  6. In "Sunrise to Sunset", we see the movement of the sun during the day; a farmer plants corn and waits for rain (2000)
  7. The Muppets learn that whenever we talk about transport we must also talk about safety; a bird helps a monkey get bananas (2000)
  8. This is what my body can do (2000)
  9. The children look at some special things that they can make or do (2000)
  10. Children make their own elephant masks for a performance (2000)
  11. Children greet each other in 11 languages (2000)
  12. A little boy's sister has HIV and learns coping strategies (2000)
  13. Losing things, looking for them and finding them are at the heart of this show (2001)
  14. This show looks at different feelings and how we can express these feelings (2001)
  15. Zuzu and Moshe share memories of toys they used to have; combing your hair can be fun (2001)
  16. In a song we learn that insects are part of the circle of life (2001)
  17. The Muppets and the children learn that everything and everybody needs water (2001)
  18. In this show we see the Muppets busy with activities that need persistence and concentration; an ant works around an obstacle in his path (2001)
  19. Zikwe and Zuzu use a telescope to look at the moon (2001)


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.[1] An estimated 17% of South Africa's population aged 15–49 have HIV/AIDS.[citation needed]