Cartoon Network Africa teams up with Paralympian medalist, Ntando Mahlangu, for its 2017 CN Buddy Network anti-bullying campaign, encouraging viewers to “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully”.
15-year-old, double amputee Paralympian, Ntando Mahlangu, has teamed up with Cartoon Network to launch the 2017 anti-bullying campaign, CN Buddy Network, in Africa. The initiative, which kicks off on 23 June, encourages children and young people to ‘Be a Buddy, Not a Bully’. The campaign aims to raise awareness around bullying, empowering children of Africa to take positive action against discrimination and bullying, on and offline.
Cartoon Network’s CN Buddy Network is a global anti-bullying campaign that started with Cartoon Network US and was then adopted by the EMEA region. CN Buddy Network was launched in Africa in 2016 in partnership with gold Olympic medalist and world record holder, Wayde van Niekerk.
Taking over the reins as Africa’s CN Buddy Network ambassador, Ntando Mahlangu will appear in an on-air campaign on Cartoon Network, premiering on 23 June, which will also include an original series of animated shorts voiced by children who articulate positive messages around friendship, school and appreciating differences whether it is on the playground, sports field, or even online.
“What an honour to follow in the footsteps of Wayde van Niekerk, CN Buddy Network’s brand ambassador for 2016. Wayde is an amazing athlete and I aspire to be like him one day. To learn that he was once bullied, was an opportunity for me to be brave and speak out about my experience in order to raise awareness around discrimination regarding disabilities,” says Ntando Mahlangu. “I am proud of who I am and what I have accomplished and I hope my bully can see me now! I was so excited when Cartoon Network approached me, I appreciate having the opportunity to inspire other kids like me, to be proud of who they are. I know what it feels like to be bullied, it’s not cool. If you are being bullied, speak up so that together, we can beat the bully!”
As part of the initiative, Cartoon Network, the leading children’s TV channel, available across Africa, will be collaborating with Childline and SaveTNet Cyber Safety, two non-profit organisations that will work collectively to assist children exposed to all forms of violence and create a culture of children's rights in Africa. These leading platforms already provide immediate advice and support for children and young people in South Africa who are subjected to any form of bullying and violence. Together, Cartoon Network, Childline and SaveTNet will spread the CN Buddy Network anti-bullying message, providing professionals and children with tips and advice on how to tackle the topic.
Childline South Africa National Executive Officer, Dumisile Nala says, “Bullying in schools is a worldwide problem that impacts adversely on school climates and this can have a devastating impact on young people. It can affect their confidence, their school work, leave them feeling isolated and friendless, and even make them feel that life is not worth living. That’s why Childline is delighted to partner with Cartoon Network again to reach out so that the kids do not have to suffer in silence!”
“Sadly, many young people commit suicide because of cyberbullying and SaveTNet aims to save lives by creating awareness for responsible digital engagement. Cyberbullying has a long lasting effect and we encourage viewers to consider the consequences of what they share via digital platforms,” says SaveTNet Cyber Safety Chief Executive Officer, Rianette Leibowitz. “Partners, such as Cartoon Network, enable us to share the cyber safety message with a wider audience to ensure people know that there is help and support available, and that they are not alone.”
Another great initiative of the campaign is the dedicated online platform that children who are affected by bullying – whether directly or indirectly – can immediately access professional advice and relevant tips through videos and support tools online from the 23 June 2017 at http://Cartoon.com.Africa.com/beabuddy. The site aims to inform children about bullying and what they can do to prevent it in a way that is relevant to them, empower children to speak up against bullying and to be aware of their own actions, while providing contact details for Childline and SaveTNet for immediate help, support and relief.
Pierre Branco, VP and Managing Director of Turner Africa concludes by saying, “Bullying is a real and, sadly, growing issue for our viewers and it concerns us knowing that most of our children across Africa are affected daily by bullying in person and/or online. It is hugely important for us to address this issue in a way that is positive, supportive and relevant. This year’s series of bespoke ‘Be a Buddy, Not a Bully’ animations makes use of real thoughts and commentary from kids, which we hope will be really powerful and engaging for our viewers, encouraging them to stand up and speak out against bullying.”
About Cartoon Network
Turner’s Cartoon Network is a universally appealing boy focused, girl inclusive channel driven by its exciting slate of surprising comedy and adventure. The programming line-up explores the relatable themes of humour, friendship, imagination, action and adventure. Cartoon Network targets boys and girls aged 6-12 and aims to champion kids being themselves through its rich mix of entertaining and globally successful content. The programming slate includes leading comedy animations The Amazing World of Gumball, Adventure Time, Regular Show, Clarence, Steven Universe and Uncle Grandpa and action-adventure shows, Ben 10 and Teen Titans Go!
Since launching as a pan-European channel in 1993, Cartoon Network now has localised services throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa where it is available in 18 languages in more than 131 million homes across over 70 countries. Cartoon Network can also be experienced through its award-winning website, as well as via games, video on demand, mobile and an array of licensing and merchandising. Cartoon Network is a brand owned by Turner, a Time Warner company.
About Turner International
Turner International operates versions of core Turner brands, including CNN, TNT, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and TCM Turner Classic Movies, as well as country- and region-specific networks and businesses in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. It manages the business of Pay- and Free-TV-channels, as well as Internet-based services, and oversees commercial partnerships with various third-party media ventures; it teams with Warner Bros. and HBO to leverage Time Warner’s global reach. Turner operates more than 175 channels showcasing 38 brands in 33 languages in over 200 countries. Turner International is a Time Warner company.
About CN Buddy Network
Launched on 17th November 2014 to kick off National Anti-Bullying week in the UK, CN Buddy Network is a national anti-bullying campaign that raises awareness and empowers kids to take action against bullying. The initiative leverages Cartoon Network’s unique animation and storytelling to address bullying in a way that motivates kids to talk about their experiences, be a good friend and offer support to others.
Childline is an effective non-profit organisation that works collectively to protect children from all forms of violence and to create a culture of children's rights in South Africa. Childline South Africa is the national office of all Childline provincial offices in South Africa. Each province in South Africa has a provincial Childline office to which calls to the toll free telephone line are directed and from which Childline conducts a variety of child protection services. The national office provides support, capacity building, and training to all the provincial offices as well as running the online counselling service to the children of South Africa. Childline South Africa also has a strong advocacy role and lobbies actively with key decision makers from all spheres of government for an improved and more effective child protection system. A key achievement has been the contribution made to the establishment of a progressive legal framework and policies that protect children from all forms of abuse and ensure access to social services. Childline South Africa seeks to provide a better life free of abuse, neglect and exploitation for all the children of South Africa. Childline South Africa believes that what we do for the children today will ultimately affect who they become tomorrow.
About SaveTNet Cyber Safety NPC
We want you to be cyber savvy and help you if you are in cyber trouble. SaveTNet Cyber Safety NPC is a for-purpose company, which aims to save lives by creating awareness for responsible digital engagement. We do this, by offering a NETwork of support through partners and SaveTNet is the first point of reference for people who need cyber safety information or help. We really enjoy visiting corporates and schools to share the cyber savvy message and to equip learners, teachers and parents with the relevant tools and knowledge to be responsible digital citizens. Remember, your value is not determined by what is being said online, because you were marvelously made!