The Kibing! films challenge attitudes among younger children, as here, at a Nairobi school, as well as teenagers

The Kibing! films challenge attitudes among younger children, as well as teenagers


Kibing, with is friends Abadab and Crow

Kibing with friends Abadab and Crow

On the surface, Kibii Kabooka Kibing is a man intent on making you rich. He arrives out of nowhere, with his monkey and crow companions, and a challenge like something off a TV game show. He seems harmless, but there’s always a strange, magical undercurrent and a change in the wind the day he appears – and why has he singled you out?

The ‘game show’ prizes Kibing offers are a pretext. In reality, his aim is to make the person he’s chosen confront their prejudices, naivety or lack of awareness in relation to HIV. In each film, taking part in the game leads to a change of attitude and leap in wisdom, allowing the protagonist to make better choices that will help them stay healthy or be more thoughtful towards others in their community.

The films, exploring attitudes around stigma, prevention and child protection issues, and gender equality, were created by No Strings in partnership with Irish INGO Trócaire, in a programme supported by Irish Aid. Dubbed into Swahili, Luganda and Shona, they are being widely used in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.




Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 19.07.01At School: How the Kibing! films are helping children at a school in Mukuru, Kenya. Watch video




Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 19.04.57Growing up in a Nairobi Slum: Former workshop delegate George Ochieng brought up his brother and sister from the age of 13. Meet George





When No Strings visited some of our partners in Kenya and Uganda, we saw how children of different ages would sit glued to the Kibing! films, and how they were full of answers to teachers’ questions after a film had finished.

But we wondered if some of these responses hadn’t simply been learnt off pat. Older children, especially, might understand how to avoid HIV, but there was often a gap between what they knew, and what they, or the ‘other people’ they talked about, actually did.

Peer pressure is a huge driving factor in how adolescents behave anywhere in the world. Will This Be Your Life? focuses in part on these pressures, and leads to animated discussions. The giving of gifts, another of this film’s messages, was a theme that revealed sometimes disturbing truths, with young girls speaking of being ‘tricked’ after receiving even just a packet of sweets or crisps from boys. While never being forced to reveal personal stories, this was an opportunity for sharing and reflection that most hadn’t had before.

In The 24 Hour Challenge, two boys are challenged to play the role of their sisters for a day (they can’t manage it), encouraging children to think about on the different pressures boys and girls face that make them vulnerable. After watching, groups discuss issues like HIV, unplanned pregnancy, and the different rights accorded to boys and girls by society. Activities include groups of boys and girls being asked to create drama or puppet sketches in which they take on opposite gender roles.

Do You Know It All develops awareness about how HIV spreads, as well as how it doesn’t. Crucially, it challenges stigma and promotes better understanding of why voluntary testing is so important.