Makutano Junction – a Kenyan soap opera


What are Makutano Junction – teaching materials?

Makutano Junction is a popular, innovative and effective learning medium, proven as a perfect form of raising awareness of development issues and increasing global learning through the curriculum.

GLADE teamed up with the TV Producers of Makutano Junction, Mediae TV Production Company, University of London The Institute of Education, Just Ideas, & teachers across Somerset & the UK to write teaching materials that bring Global Learning into the everyday curriculum. The materials can be used individually or as a set; 25 activities for secondary pupils at Ks3/4 & 25 activities for primary pupils at Ks2. They underpin and enrich teaching across the curriculum

Contact us for case studies of Makutano Junction teaching materials being used or to arrange a teacher workshop!

Makutano Junction – as a tool for learning

This popular Kenyan soap opera is a catalyst for global learning in schools; it has already proven to be engaging, inspiring, fun and effective. Tried and tested by KS2, KS3, KS4 teachers

Makutano Junction teaching materials at KS2, KS3, KS4 can be used:

  • as a platform for school linking, locally or overseas instead of a school partnership overseas
  • to dip into during themed areas of the curriculum bringing global issues to life
  • as the basis for pupil council or a pupil ‘club’
  • to connect to subject content and context in the curriculum
  • to explore the Global Goals for Sustainable Development/ SDGs


Further Details & Sample Activity

Makutano Junction - The Soap Opera

Makutano Junction is a gripping Kenyan produced TV soap opera which currently attracts over seven million viewers in Kenya alone. It aims both to entertain and educate English-speaking African audiences. Set in a fictional Kenyan village,  it follows  the loves and lives of a colourful cast; romance, comedy, corruption, tragedy — it’s all in there!

As well as entertaining audiences, Makutano Junction, like the Archers, was conceived as a means of disseminating valuable information through an engaging and accessible medium. Makutano Junction viewers identify issues of interest to them, such as income-generation, mental and physical health, and rights and responsibilities of good citizens, which are then incorporated into the storylines. Eight series (comprising 13 half hour episodes each) have now been produced and are being broadcast across Sub-Saharan Africa.

A wide range of global themes, social topics & subject focus for KS2, KS3 & KS4

Exploring Kenya, SDGs and Me, The Structure of Soap, Living with HIV/AIDS, Malaria Matters, Grow your Own!, Red’s Relationship, Money and Livelihoods, Rights or Wrongs?, Soaps and Stereotypes, Alcohol, Intergenerational Issues, Adolescent Male Issues, Sexual Harrassment and Consent, Democracy for all?, Child Slavery, Energy and Global Warming, Rites of Passage, Tourism and Sustainability, Over to You.

Try a Sample Activity!

Resource 1 Kenya: the Country Explored

A class based activity exploring where we get our information about and perceptions of Kenya from. It then uses Makutano Junction to examine and challenge those images or perceptions, and leads on to researching other sources of information, and comparing them.

Please download resources, and then watch the video below.

DOWNLOAD Resource 1 Kenya: the country explored activity plan as pdf.

Makutano Junction Season 1 Episode 1

Project History 2008 - 2010

The producers of Makutano Junction, Mediae, teamed up with Just Ideas, GLADE, other DECs and teachers across the SW and further afield, to devise innovative teaching materials to bring a Global Dimension to the curriculum.

Activities devised were themed to include social justice, human rights, youth and relationships, as well comparisons between soaps in UK and Kenya. Materials suitable for Key Stages 3 and 4 were developed and used in a wide range of subject areas including Geography, English/Drama, Media Studies, ICT and Citizenship.

The first activities were tested in the South West with teachers, DECs and students and follow up studies showed that they had a positive impact on changing students’ perceptions about poverty, Africa and our global interdependency.

The evaluation from the Makutano Junction project in UK (2008-2010) proved that students really enjoyed the materials they were exposed to. In the project evaluation 92% of students said they had enjoyed the lessons using MJ, fully engaging with the characters, issues they faced and the curriculum-related activities.

Project History 2013 - 2015
Schools in the partner countries of Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia and England worked together with GLADE and Mediae TV Production Company, to encourage pupils and their teachers to examine and change attitudes and personal behaviour towards issues facing those in less economically developed countries (LEDC). This was brought to life by interacting with the themes and characters within Makutano Junction, a prime time TV soap opera in Kenya.

During the project, GLADE collaborated to devise and test learning materials for KS2 and KS3 teachers and their pupils based around episodes of Makutano Junction previously used in UK secondary schools.

The resulting teaching materials, aligned to subjects and teaching priorities, provide KS2 and KS3 teachers with access to ready to use activities that make use of the power of soap opera and multi-media learning to engage young people with learning.

Makutano Junction in the Media

Digital Development Debates – Kenyan Soap Opera Takes a Teaching Role in UK Classrooms

New Media Award winner 2010 – ”With so much focus in New Media on the ‘new’, it’s hugely refreshing to come across a brillliant idea, brilliantly executed. Makutano Junction brings the voices of the developing world into the classroom so UK children can view them as peers.  The result is innovative, charming and engaging and the judges feel is stands out as a model that everyone could learn from’‘  Citation from the Jury. Makutano Junction wins One World Media Award

Some comments from students

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The latest GLADE news:

We expected Kenya to be really poor, but there are skyscrapers and that as well.

School in the South West

I thought the men would dress in dresses, but they don’t – they wear trousers. Some wear jeans, like us.

School in the South West

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