Case Study: Shujaaz, Well Told Story, Kenya (Messengers Initiative)

Well Told Story (WTS) is a Nairobi-based research and media company that produces Shujaaz, a youth media initiative that combines a comic book with radio and YouTube programs and on-the-ground events. Shujaaz revolves around young, authentic fictional characters and real-life role models who surface sensitive issues to help youth improve their lives. Fans then engage with the characters and issues through toll-free SMS, WhatsApp and social media, including character Facebook pages and Facebook Messenger accounts, all of which are used to generate research insights and drive collective behavior change through discussions.

Key Findings Include:

  • Relevant content: To stay appealing and relevant to young people, Shujaaz constantly produces new targeted content in local languages and slang that is based on rigorous research. By first focusing on understanding and producing content, WTS is able to generate and sustain engagement on messaging apps and social media.
  • Dedicated team: WTS maintains a Shujaaz Social Media Team dedicated to starting, promoting and moderating online conversations among Shujaaz fans in conjunction with programming and campaigns, while also actively responding to fans’ questions and referring them to online and offline resources. The WTS Knowledge and Learning Team then monitors and analyzes fan behavior and conversations to generate insights for future programming and on behalf of development and commercial partners.
  • Diversity of communication channels: By connecting fans with fictional characters and each other in person and through messaging apps, social media and SMS, Shujaaz enables nearly all of its fans to engage, regardless of access to the internet.
  • Complementary applications: Shujaaz uses multiple apps and platforms in complementary ways that reflect their particular design and how they are used by Kenyan youth.

This work is part of a wider messengers initiative with Echo Mobile. For the full project, visit our messengers page.

This case study was published in May 2018