Female farmers hit reality TV

Oxfam uses TV to reach millions in Tanzania


The Compulsive were approached by Reuters East Africa and the Thomson Reuters Foundation to create a TV package and short film about Mama Shujaa wa Chakula – a reality TV project that Oxfam had created.

Mama Shujaa wa Chakula follows 18 Tanzanian female farmers for three weeks, giving them challenges and encouraging them to share their knowledge. The aim of the project is to improve farm productivity across the country. A huge 80% of Tanzanians rely on farming for main or additional income and the program resonated with a lot of people, especially women who face more challenges than their male counterparts.

Working closely with Liz Mermin at Reuters, we arrived in the community the evening prior in order to get familiar with the location and to meet the show’s stars. A local generously hosted us, enabling us to shoot from sunrise til sunset the following day. As the TV production company returned to their hotel in the evening, we followed to film the process, sleeping in a spare room that was set up as their storeroom.

Initially the job was just filming however we were later asked to edit a six-minute film for online distribution.


  • Client : Thomson Reuters Foundation
  • Date : October 14, 2015