Sesame Workshop

Founded in 1969, Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, the groundbreaking children’s program that has been reaching millions of children for the past fifty years, helping them prepare for school through research-driven educational media.

In South Africa, Takalani Sesame, the local adaptation of Sesame Street, has been reaching millions of kids for 20 years, nurturing their readiness for school and lifelong learning. 

In 2018, Sesame Workshop established a local office in South Africa, the first on the continent, to drive its mission to help children grow smarter, stronger and kinder.

Participant: Innocent Nkata – Managing Director 

Innocent Nkata is a social change leader with a passion for changing children’s lives and moving Africa forward. He is currently the Managing Director of Sesame Workshop South Africa, the non-profit organization behind Takalani Sesame, the groundbreaking South African children’s program that has reached millions of children with high quality, engaging educational content for nearly 20 years. 

Broadcasting on South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), Takalani addresses diverse early childhood development needs from literacy, numeracy, and life skills to instilling a greater sense of self and nurturing children’s readiness for lifelong learning. Innocent is currently leading Takalani through an exciting phase to deepen its impact and expand reach. Over the past 24 years, Innocent has served African communities with various reputable NGOs at local, national, regional and global levels, holding senior leadership roles at Health Systems Trust, ActionAid, Soul City, Oxfam, CAFOD and PLAN International; as well as serving on the UN Democracy Fund's Advisory Board.

Away from work, Innocent is a writer with a lifelong passion for storytelling, using creative writing to translate complex social and political issues into entertaining stories. He holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree, an MSc in Development Management and an MPhil in Human Rights.