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Script 78.5

Notes to broadcasters

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According to the United Nations, more than 2 million children are living with HIV, while 15 million children have been orphaned by the disease and millions more made vulnerable by the illness of their parents and others on whom they depend. Broadcasters have been active in spreading good information about prevention of AIDS: radio dramas, phone-in shows, AIDS diaries and other programmes are numerous. Yet there is still a need to reach young audiences.


Script

Characters

Narrator
Endo’o: Grade 11 student at the Technical High School of Nanga-Eboko
Mimi: Grade 12 student at the Technical High School of Nanga-Eboko
Zammer: Grade 12 student at the Technical High School of Nanga-Eboko

Theme music up and under narrator’s voice.

Narrator:
For over 10 years, the AIDS pandemic has been raging. Most families in Cameroon and indeed the whole of Africa have already buried at least one member who has died from this terrible disease, which leaves orphans, widows or widowers. No reliable treatment and no vaccine have yet been discovered, although new treatments allow AIDS-affected people to live longer with the disease.

On today’s programme, we will listen to a discussion between three schoolmates, two who are aware of the seriousness of the disease, whereas one still hesitates and follows his instincts.

Theme music up, fade under and out.

Zammer and Mimi talk freely in the schoolyard. Endo’o joins them and greets them.

Endo’o:
Hello Zammer! Mimi! How are you?

Mimi:
Not too bad!

Endo’o:
Hey man, I met a girl yesterday evening and she told me we could get together this afternoon. I still expect to bring her to your bungalow.

Mimi:
You talk only about girls. Don’t you sleep at all?

Endo’o:
Well, as my grandfather used to say, “We must crunch while we have teeth.”

Mimi:
At least, I hope that you protect yourself.

Endo’o:
Leave me alone with that! Protection why and against what?

Zammer:
How can you ask such a stupid question? What do you think about HIV/AIDS?

Endo’o:
Answer my request first. I would like to know if I can use your beautiful bungalow again this afternoon.

Zammer:
To be honest, it is impossible!

Endo’o:
But how come? Are you refusing because you don’t have much success with girls?

Zammer:
That is not the point! You know that I cannot refuse you anything.

Endo’o:
What’s the problem then?

Zammer:
It’s what I was telling Mimi a few minutes ago. When my Dad came back from the village last week, he brought with him two nephews and one niece.

Endo’o:
How come?

Zammer:
My uncle and his wife died last week within two days of each other. They left kids behind without parents, and my father couldn’t abandon them to Mother Nature’s hands. So he took them with him.

Mimi:
It looks like old Essola, the witch, has done it again!

Zammer:
No, Mimi! Everything suggests that they died from HIV/AIDS.

Mimi:
But at the funerals, people were talking about a slow poison that old Essola gave them a few months ago.

Zammer:
That is not true! The old man has been wrongly accused. My father found the results of medical examinations from two years ago and they were HIV-positive then.

Endo’o:
So they have been killed by AIDS?

Zammer:
For sure!

Mimi:
Oh, old Essola has been wrongly humiliated!

Endo’o:
But why can’t you lend me your room as usual?

Zammer:
Simply because I am now obliged to share it with these two cousins.

Endo’o:
So your father is taking care of them?

Zammer:
That is what I am trying to explain to you. I sleep in the lower bunk of a triple bunk bed.

Endo’o:
AIDS right here? I still don’t believe in it.

Mimi:
You seem completely out of touch with reality, Endo’o. Please stop behaving like an ignorant person. Did you read the latest statistics from the Ministry of Health? Twelve percent of the people in our region are HIV-positive.

Zammer:
You should be tested during the next campaign, as Mimi and I were last time. Meanwhile, try to calm your desire and protect yourself if you don’t want to stop.

Endo’o:
It is true that I dislike condoms (pause and hesitantly) … but I could try from now on. But only after I seduce the girl I talked to you about.

Zammer:
Well, you’ll have to find another place.

Mimi:
There are several ways of protecting yourself, Endo’o. One way is simply to refrain from having sex. But, if you are sexually active, you should always use condoms.

Signature tune fades up and out.

Narrator:
You have just listened to three schoolmates talking about AIDS. Endo’o, not entirely convinced yet of the existence of the disease, seems to be willing to change his mind, even if he is still attracted by sexual promiscuity. And Zammer’s father has actually taken responsibility for the care of two of his young relatives, which is so much better for them than being abandoned by their families, as happens so often. (Pause) Today you have heard a short radio drama about HIV/AIDS and school children, called “School without AIDS” Thanks for listening and please tune in next week.


Acknowledgements

Contributed by: Ms. Gladys Cécile Eba, Odama FM, Cameroon.
Reviewed by Gladys Mutangadura, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Lusaka.