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ZAMBIA: A Soap Opera that's Changing Lives

Are you seeing impact from your involvement in the show?

For me, the fact that a lot of young people are watching means we’ve done something right. Everyone has a character they can identify with. “Oh my god, that was me last week!”

It gets people thinking, “If I meet a girl at the club, am I putting people at risk?” People are realizing that every action you take has a consequence. People have heard the rhetoric but watching characters you can identify with makes people say, “Did I have sex with my boyfriend without protection?”

Of course, it’s not an immediate “I see the light! Hallelujah!” moment. But people are thinking about it; they are talking about it. That’s the important thing. It’s triggering discussion, which is leading to action.

What do you hope your involvement with Love Games will achieve?

I hope more people use protection. That’s one thing I’m really passionate about, more people using protection. More people getting tested. More people realizing that love and trust are not enough. If it can help bring about a generation free of HIV/AIDS, if it can help get us a step closer to that—I’d be happy.

On a personal note, I want to see strong women celebrated in this country so that our young girls can know that you can be a woman and be powerful. Our young girls need to know you can be both a woman and a powerful person, without having to compromise.

I was raised by a single mother, a strong woman. One of the first things my mom bought me was a bookshelf, with books about my heritage, books that made me feel good. She talked to me. I think more parents need to talk to their kids, about the right things.

Let’s talk about Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, let’s talk about Wangari Maathai. Let’s tell our girls that they should aspire to be more than the wives of great men.

I would rather be the one ruling a country than be married to someone ruling a country. That’s the best dream we can give our girl children: Dream of being a ruler, not the wife of a ruler.

Editor's Note

This story was produced in collaboration with the International Reporting Project and World Pulse. In July 2013, Managing Editor Corine Milano traveled to Zambia as an IRP Fellow to meet with experts on global health issues; go on site visits to some of this country’s most successful projects; and to work with World Pulse community members to tell their stories about global health in their country.



merci pour votre magazine

ce qui est vrai plusieurs hommes trichent derrière leur femmes et cela met toute la socièté en danger surtout la femme ; sida et autres maladies transmissibles sont à la une; et je vous prierai de montrer tres clairement les abus et conséquences de ce fléau

Bénédicte Bulangalire;
fille ambassadrice pour la paix

Wendyiscalm's picture



Congratulations on the show and the excellent job you are all doing. I have an NGO I AM ONE IN A MILLION in Livingstone, Zambia focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children. I will SPREAD THE WORD about the show and encourage others to watch. You are fulfilling a desperate need. Wonderful work.

Ubuntu(I am who I am because of who we are together),


Wendy Stebbins
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

HOPE tOWELA's picture


This is a soap, that every woman should watch, because this what is happening in our lives and homes, and has become part of us women, so much that we think it is ok for your husband to cheat and abuse you.

All the best Nancy we need people like you who are ready to do whatever it takes to see a change in women lives.


Sharo's picture

I am impressed. The first

I am impressed.

The first time i saw love games, I was like what????
Then I laughed because all through the viewing I was able to identify with the characters and really understand the scenarios which we all too often take for granted. I am happy that Zambia women are teaching the country and even the world!


smothyz's picture


being an African hailing from Kenya, i am shocked that it is the same case here whereby the man sleeps with the maid and if she refuses, he fires her. As in the whole interview sounded like you live in Kenya.....

Last year we had a similar program was produced by MTV and one can watch it via internet for's called Shuga and we have Season I & II......

i think it's about time we had this conversation, because like you said young people are having sex and most of them with multiple partners and it's 90% unprotected sex. in my country the age bracket of people becoming affected with HIV is in between 14-22yrs of age and it saddens me that we might not have a future generation in the next 20 years...


Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only LOVE can do that. -Martin Luther King Jnr.

Osai's picture

Love Games talking about Loving ourselves


It is always good to see women telling our stories and sharing our experiences. It is often glossed over the abuse women face in domestic situations, either as wives, girlfriends, daughters or maids. It is important to stress that the first step is loving ourselves and appreciating others. Putting ourselves down or refusing to acknowledge our worth reinforces abuse. I like that you end with a strong quote that you would rather rule than be the wife of one that rules. It is liberating to voice those words but saying it inspires us to challenge the status quo and take our god-giving place. If I can, then nothing can stop me.

Thanks for sharing.

Best wishes,

Twitter: @livingtruely

Ellie's picture

Powerful vision!

"I would rather be the one ruling a country than be married to someone ruling a country. ... Dream of being a ruler, not the wife of a ruler."

This message is so powerful not only for the women of Zambia, but to all girls & women globally. So impactful to think of its implications if all girls grow up with this dream.

Thank you for this powerful interview & words!

Abisinuola's picture

wonderful concept!

This is truly amazing,we're breaking the bounds and boundaries of spreading the knowledge about HIV/AIDs..someone once said if we put more messages in our films and music videos,more young people will get it and respond to it!
Welldone,more grease to your elbows:)


Umaiyal's picture

Excellent job.

Most of the times people don't catch the actual messages from awareness programs because of its boring way of presentations. I found edutainment in media as an extraordinary medium to spread awareness program. People from other developing countries should also follow this to create awareness about HIV/AIDS.

Congratulations and keep going. Good luck for your future activities.


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