Example: Developing an Overall Impression Statement
In Tanzania, as elsewhere around the world, “sugar-daddy” relationships—where an older man pursues and has a sexual relationship with a younger woman in exchange for gifts or favors –are common. These relationships are troubling because the young women often have little power in these relationships and so are often led to engage in unsafe sex.
In Tanzania, many of these young women are infected with HIV as a result of these relatinoships, and thus cross generational sex is regarded as one of the KEY drivers of the epidemic. In August 2007, USAID, CCP, the National AIDS Control Program of the Ministry Of Health and Social Welfare, Tanzania Commission for AIDS and a group of experts, artists, and creatives met to develop a campaign to fight cross-generational sex.
Developing an Overall Impression Statement
In Tanzania, there was at the time no strong social taboo against sugar daddy relationships, even though there were known related health risks. In fact, it was socially tolerated that high-status men would act this way. The discussion by the team assembled was difficult, because no one knew where to start; no one knew how to effectively stop this behavior. “No one believed that scolding sugar daddies would be effective in stopping their behavior. And the public-health experts thought that we were unlikely to convince young women to refuse the advances of these men, because the social and financial pressures on them were too intense to be countered by a campaign. So we started thinking: If we can’t change the main characters in this story, can we change the environment?”
The team knew they needed to find a way to make discussions about something uncomfortable become comfortable and to change the nature of the conversation. They realized the best way to do this was through humor. The team came up with the idea for a villainous character, someone who would be so obvious and relentless in his advances towards young girls as to make his actions both pathetic and laughable. Someone suggested calling the villain “Fataki”, which in Swahili means “explosion” or “fireworks” – dangerous and unstable. Fataki would try and try to get his prey but would never succeed thanks to the intervention of outsiders who witnessed his attempts to sway young girls with gifts of cell phones, money, drinks, and other favors.
Overall Impression Statement
Sugar daddies should be discussed in a mocking way – such that someone could eventually be over heard in a bar saying “That guy is such a Fataki.” By making it okay to mock this behavior, older and wealthier men would not have the same status advantage, and might even be embarrassed and/or shamed into not behaving this way.
Encourage interventions by others (friends, family members and other community members), by empowering them to flag this behavior as inappropriate. “It’s your responsibility to look out for these young women. Protect your loved ones from a Fataki!”
By the end of the four-month pilot campaign, 44% of people who were asked “What would you call a 50-year-old man who is always trying to seduce younger women?” spontaneously replied “Fataki.” Seventy-five percent reported discussing Fataki with others. And the percentage of those who thought they could do something about cross generational sex increased from 64% before the pilot to 88% afterwards. Based on such great results, the campaign was rolled out nationwide, and Fataki became a very recognized concept, to the point that when a famous film actor was seen with a young girl at a hotel, he was called a Fataki on the front page of a Tanzanian tabloid. “The Tanzanian public had taken ownership of a name and a character who symbolized the bad behavior they’d resented, quietly, all along.”
Excerpted from Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard. Chip Heath and Dan Heath. Broadway Books: NY. 2010.
From 2006-2011, Strategic Radio Communication for Development (STRADCOM) received funding from USAID/US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to support the Tanzanian Government’s fight against HIV/AIDS by providing high quality radio programming to the public. Led by CCP, in partnership with Media for Development International (MFDI), STRADCOM combined best practices and innovative radio programming on HIV/AIDS while developing collaborative relationships with government agencies, other USG PEPFAR partners, and international and local nongovernmental organizations working in HIV/AIDS in Tanzania.