Meet Sesame Street's Global Cast of Characters- page 3 | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian
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(Sesame Workshop)

Meet Sesame Street's Global Cast of Characters

Over the course of the 40 years that the program has been on the air, Sesame Street has spawned versions in countries around the world

Kami- South Africa Takalani Sesame

Kami Sesame Street
(Sesame Workshop)

Issues that aren’t as relevant to American audiences take center stage in some international versions. Kami, an asymptomatic, HIV-positive 5-year-old girl whose mother died of AIDS, made her debut on Takalani Sesame in September 2002. By creating her, Sesame Workshop hopes to encourage children to talk about HIV and AIDS and dispel misinformation such as the idea that using the same toilet as a person with HIV/AIDS is dangerous. On the show, Kami tells children to let someone know when they’re feeling sick and that people need to help each other cheer up. Her name stems from kamogelo, a Setswana word that means “acceptance.”

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