Talkalani (Be Happy in Venda) is the South African co-production of School and the Backyard Gang. he show has aired on SABC since July 1979 until 1985 and Revived in 2013 until 2017
In 2014, Talkalani made international news in September while they introduced Abbie, a Autistic Kid A special ad campaign based on this health focus, titled Takalani Presents: Talk to Me won international awards. Other characters include
- Adelaide- the South African Version of Caroline
- Adella- the South African Version of Gabi
- Abu- the South African Version of Justin
- Akela- the South African Version of Tony
- Aladdin- The South African Version of Simon
- Amos- The South African Version of Patrick
- Apollo- The South African Version of Buzz
- Alana- The South African Version of Naura
- Archimedes- The South African Version of Kenny
- Arthur- The South African Version of Nicky
- Alice- The South African Version of Alisa
- Amelia- The South African Version of Ruby
- Ben- The South African Version of Mike
- Anastasia- The South African Version of Kaleigh
- Andrina- The South African Version of Gabrielle
- Berlioz- The South African Version of Isaac
- Bernard- The South African Version of Frankie
- Chip- The South African Version of Johnny
- Anita- The South African Version of Lexine
- Christopher- The South African Version of Chuck
- Anna- The South African Version of Aspen
- Aquata- The South African Version of Maria
Development, preproduction Edit
The donation of $5 million dollars towards the project in December 1997, by the U.S. Agency for International Development, was criticized by President Nelson Mandela and other government officials. Mandela and the others were angry "over their lack of input into AID decisions." Some officials noted that the funds could have build three needed primary schools, and that television sets aren't readily available in "the largely poor townships." AID defended the funding, saying the program was approved by the South African Education Ministry.
In 2008 the entire production of the 5th season was shoot in High Devenition to ensuring a clearer picture and superior sound quality.
Early seasons were taped all in English, with segments incorporating all of South Africa's eleven national languages, which are Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Swaz, Ndebele, Sesotho, Northern Sotho, Tsonga, Tswana and Venda.
Season 4 (2016) opted for a different approach, airing on Tuesdays episodes filmed all in seTswana, tshiVenda on Wednesdays, isiZulu on Thursdays, sePedi on Fridays and English on Mondays on SABC 1 and Saturdays on SABC 2.
Season 5 (2017) sees a new choice of languages including isiXhosa, xiTsonga, seSotho, Afrikaans, and a continuation of English.
Also Tanzania adapted material from Takalani, to make their version called Kilimani
- Producers: Naila Farouky, Bronwyn Berry, Indra De Lanerolle, Seipati Bulane Hopa
- Project Manager: Robert Knezevic
- Research and Content Development: Lesley Nkosi
Writer Linda Weber wrote four Takalani books, two of which were published in English, African, isiZulu and isiXhosa. These books where called Zikwe's Goat, Clean!, Out and about, Learn with Us, and Time for Fun, and Come on Everyone!
A Plush Abbie Doll was created for a children’s festival in South Africa. No details of its release or maker are known.