Usitense! With Akili Kids! Watoto Wako Sawa
Kids are going to be home for the next seven weeks, and we know what that means! TV! (And lots of it) However, with the ongoing pandemic, unlike last year, most of us parents won’t be home during the day, thus begging the question:
How do we ensure our kids are not exposed to harmful content when left unsupervised?
I remember way back when I was 12years old in boarding school, I longed for the holidays just to catch up on my favourite shows, some of which had scenes that my parents did not approve of and to be honest, I did not quite understand what the fuss was about. Why was it such a big deal if I watched a soap opera past 10pm? I didn’t get it.
Fast forward to 2021. I occasionally babysit my sister’s kids, and with that responsibility, I have come to understand what the fuss indeed was about. Here’s a little breakdown:
Learning from TV
Did you know that before 2020, there was no Free-to-air kids’ TV station? We only had a designated 2 to 3 hours of cartoons on weekends and that was it. The rest of the day was spent consuming adult content, the idea of learning from TV was a myth. But now, I’ve noticed that there are TV channels specifically dedicated to airing kiddie content with learning outcomes! And if you don’t believe that kids could learn from watching TV, check out this article.
Haya, if you are a 90s kid like I am, you may remember hearing about certain kids TV channels with cartoons from all over the world, but nothing that we as Kenyans could watch and go like: “I know that place! That’s Kisumu” or “That character looks like someone I know!” Up until, last year, when Akili Kids! Kenya’s first free-to-air children’s channel was launched. And voila! A TV channel with Kiswahili Shows and African features? My nephew was definitely going to be watching this channel.
Finally, in knowing that children are largely influenced by the content they consume on TV, the last thing parents need, is to worry about what kids are being exposed to. Unless we know for a fact that it could only be more learning, fun and adventure. Then it’s okay. I find peace in knowing that I can always leave my nephew on Akili Kids! As I go about my day because with Akili Kids! TV wako sawa kabisa!
Do you also subscribe to this school of thought ama you have your own ways? Let us know.