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How to Bring Kids On Board the COVID-19 Fight

It is hard enough for adults to get their heads around the coronavirus, but for children it can be even more difficult to understand why they can’t see their friends or play outside. That is where Niyi Akinmolayan’s cartoon monster comes in. The Nigerian filmmaker has created a 90-second animation to help youngsters understand why they have to stay at home after schools in Lagos were shut from March 23 and public gatherings were banned to stem the spread of the disease. It tells the story of two siblings, Habeeb and Funke. Habeeb gets tired of staying at home and decides to sneak out to play soccer. His older sister Funke warns him not go out, but he insists, only to be confronted by a monster. Akinmolayan, best known for directing “The Wedding Party 2”, Nigeria’s highest grossing movie, said he was inspired after several attempts to explain the lockdown to his 5-year-old son. Akinmolayan made the animation through his production company, Anthill Studios, using a 10-strong crew all working separately from their homes. It is being distributed for free and can be downloaded in English, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, French and Swahili. It is showing on some terrestrial television station.