Film: Ngoma ya Roho – Dance of the Soul

film poster of Ngoma Ya RohoAn early scene from a new feature-length film takes place at a rural antenatal clinic in Tanzania. It shows Minza, a young pregnant woman, distracted and disinterested during a group health and nutrition education session on why good nutrition during the first 1,000 days matters for early childhood development. This sets the stage for the remainder of the film, which follows Minza as she learns about the importance of good nutrition and how poor nutrition and feeding practices can have serious consequences. 

The storyline of Ngoma ya Roho—“Dance of the Soul” in Swahili—reflects everyday life in Tanzania, where high rates of malnutrition affect every community, as well as national development. The film conveys evidence-based nutrition messages on the importance of dietary diversity during pregnancy and childhood and models optimal feeding and hygiene practices during the critical first 1,000 days. 

FANTA teamed with Tanzania-based sub-partner Media for Development International and local film industry talent to produce Ngoma ya Roho in Swahili. Written by an award-winning Tanzanian woman writer and directed by a leading Tanzanian producer who has the ear of the President on youth issues, the film addresses the complex determinants of stunting, engaging audiences using proven edutainment techniques. Production and distribution of the film contribute to the Government of Tanzania’s commitment to nutrition advocacy by promoting positive change in social norms and behaviors known to affect nutrition. 

Ummy Mwalimu, the Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, a strong advocate of the film’s message, endorsed the film and speaks to her nation on a short video during which she stresses the importance of dietary diversity and hygiene for young children—and all Tanzanians. 

FANTA and Media for Development International also developed an interactive film discussion guide. A film poster and postcard are available for download and use. 

Watch the film:

19 December 2017

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