Home Life radio drama goes viral in Djibo

Fulani radio drama group Burkina Faso

‘Going viral’ is an unpredictable social media phenomenon. Everyone is trying to produce content that will go viral, no one knows quite how to do it. Humour seems to be an important element, preferably something off-the-wall and quotable. Quantity of production is also a factor – produce a coalsack of content and there is more chance of finding a diamond in there.

I have been thrilled over the past few days to discover that Jonde Baade (Home Life), one of the radio dramas we recorded in the Djibo radio studio last year, has gone viral. Not on the internet, but on people’s phones here in the north of Burkina. Everyone has it now, it’s being listened to wherever you go, people are quoting it on the street, calling each other by the main character’s name (Bogga), trying to better each other with impressions. You can drive far out into the bush and approach the most unprepossessing grass hut – Bogga’s voice will greet you from within. It’s uncanny.

‘Home Life’ is a single-scene play about mistrust between husband and wife. A Fulani man sells his bull at the market, but tries to lie to his wife about how much money he received for it – with disastrous consequences. It is followed by a short biblical message about love and respect, especially in the context of marriage. I will try to produce a subtitled version for Youtube sometime in the next month.

The photo above is of the drama group who conceived and recorded ‘Home Life’. Closest to the camera is Bogga himself, played by Bukari Diallo. We have started to dream up other situations that Bogga could find himself in. Who knows – we could have a long-running soap-opera on our hands!