Old School meets Tech: A company in Sierra Leone uses folklore to educate people on COVID-19


This company in Sierra Leone is using characters from local folklore to produce COVID-19 Education stories and then using Facebook, Whatsapp to publish 

VR&C Marketing Company has released 2  audio stories ‘Ow Bra Spida Ton Chif which translates as ‘How the Spider Became King’ and “Tranga Yes Mek Koni Rabit Nɔ Grap Egen” which translates as “Stubbornness led the Rabbit to an eternal sleep”. The first story Ow Bra Spida Ton Chif was released on 1 April 2020, a day after Sierra Leone recorded its index COVID-19 case. Whilst Tranga Yes Mek Koni Rabit Nɔ Grap Egen was released on 5 April 2020 a day into the 3-days nationwide lockdown imposed by the Government. Both stories focus on educating the public about coronavirus disease and public health messages for prevention will stop the spread. 

Ow Bra Spida Ton Chief and Tranga Yes Mek Koni Rabit Nɔ Grap Egen are fables done in Sierra Leone’s oral tradition using characters in existing folklore to teach lessons and morals. 

The company has been very effective in its campaign against the global pandemic, a month ago they released series of videos about social distancing, handshakes, and how to wash hands, on TikTok to help communicate effective preventive measures against the virus, they also kept the public informed about the virus through blog posts and Facebook live videos, before the virus was confirmed to be present in the country.

Both stories are mainly intended to be children fables which parents can use to educate their children about the importance of handwashing which is one of the primary protective measures against the virus.

“The reason why I decided to write the story, first of all, was to make sure that children’s content was created. Which is interesting, entertaining and that will appeal to them. While educating them about what they can do. As children to support, the fight against coronavirus and what all of us need to do no matter your age is to wash your hands,” Vickie Remoe, chief content market officer.

“What I hope happens is that when people listen to it with their children. It helps them have conversations around coronavirus personal hygiene, handwashing, etc. So really it’s supposed to be a conversation starter between parents and their children.” 

The audio stories “Ow Bra Spida Ton Chief” and “Tranga Yes Mek Koni Rabit Nɔ Grap Egen” are trending on social media platforms Before this, it was the “#WassYuHan” video that had the kick.

As a communications company VR&C has dedicated its time and resources in aiding the global war against the COVID-19 pandemic, its blogging site Swit Salone has served as a means or place of information and update on the daily happenings around the world.

Prior to March 30, 2020, Sierra Leone was the only West Africa country to not have recorded a case of the virus. But as of 10 April 2020, the country had already recorded 7 cases.

VR&C Marketing is a company that creates specialized communication strategies for small and big businesses, emerging brands, and influencers that help propel them to the forefront of their industries. 

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