The results of the 2011 “Rock In Me” contest are in and the winners’ admiration is pervasive. Rock Point 256, the award-winning weekly radio serial drama and comic book series, has proved once again that it is an inexpensive, effective way to reach a large segment of Uganda’s youth and adult populations with critical health messages.
Joseph Kasayine, male winner of the contest which challenged listeners to describe how the radio series changed their lives, described that he was particularly touched by the storyline of Vincent, a young man who was abusing alcohol.
Joseph stated, “ I thought they [Rock Point 256] were talking about me each time when I listened to it… I am trying to stop drinking…I am still faced by challenges to avoid the bad groups which can lead me to drinking again and even dropping out of school.”
He went on to explain that he is trying to keep himself busy with youth group activities to help him “stay in line.”
Rock Point 256 reaches an audience of 7.6 million Ugandans, representing approximately 56% of young people and 50% of older people, at a cost of only 96 Shillings per listener. It demonstrates behavior change in a realistic manner, showing how attitudes and practices evolve over time, despite normal challenges and set-backs.
The radio series has addressed a wide range of health issues over its six-year tenure, including HIV, alcohol abuse, gender-based violence and family planning.
A listener of Rock Point 256 for over four years, Justine Nakanjako’s response to a storyline about multiple partnerships and rape, earned her the top prize as female winner of the “Rock In Me” contest.
Justine explained that she “had many boyfriends but after listening to Rock Point I understood many things. I used to frequent night clubs with my friends in secondary school but I learnt that night clubs are not beneficial in building our lives.”
Justine was such a big fan of the radio series that she became a community monitor, and listens to the drama every week and reports if it is not been played by the radio station.
Rock Point 256 is produced by Communication for Development Foundation Uganda through the Young Empowered and Healthy initiative with technical assistance from JHU∙CCP’s Health Communication Partnership, and funding from USAID. The radio series is broadcast weekly on 16 stations, in four different languages.