Guardians of the River

By Wild Bird Trust, NGOWP, House of Pod

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Description

2021 Best Narrative Nonfiction Podcast Award winner at Tribeca Film Festival. This is the story of the guardians of the Okavango water system. These guardians have a monumental task: safeguard a remote, near pristine environment facing threats from all sides. This podcast follows what happens when worlds connect, and at times collide, with the common goal of protecting a place

Episode Date
Koki's Plan
39:27

Koketso Mookodi, also known as Koki, is a Motswana who didn’t learn about the Okavango Delta until she found herself living in the Delta in her 20’s, being stalked by a female lion and working in a luxury tourism lodge. As her journey through the region unfolds, Koki realizes what kind of change is possible for the people of Botswana; and what Kerllen and the team can learn for the work ahead in Angola.

To learn more, visit www.wildbirdtrust.com.

This podcast is hosted by Kerllen Costa featuring interviews with Koketso Mookodi, Botswana Director for the Wildbird Trust. Botswana music for this episode was performed by the WaYei tribes women of Seronga, and the Reed Harp which is also known as the Seorooro was played by Tom Rethio. This podcast is written, recorded, and directed by Cat Jaffee and House of Pod in partnership with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project. Funding for this project comes from a National Geographic storytelling grant and the Wild Bird Trust. Fact-checking was conducted by Aimee Machado. Juliette Luini is the producer. The audio editor and sound designer is Jason Paton. The Angolan producer is Kerllen Costa, and the Motswana producer is Thalefang Charles. Story editing comes from Rebecca Mendoza Nunziato. 

Music: The Guardians of the River theme song was created by Victor Gama. Victor is a composer and designer of contemporary musical instruments for new music. He performs solo, with his trio or with ensembles playing his large pieces from small to big halls such as the Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall or Centro Cultural de Belém. INSTRMNTS - Victor Gama, his award winning interactive exhibition with workshops and concerts, has been installed at London's Royal Opera House, Madrid's Fundación Carlos D'Amberes, UK's National Center for Design and Crafts and many more.

The theme music of this podcast is a journey of sounds from the villagers of Tempue preparing food and drumming on bomb drums while celebrating their faith in village churches, which is interwoven with a greeting song by the children of Tempue sung before the community meeting. There is also a reed harp played by Tom Rethio, a WaYei musician who lives near Seronga in Botswana. Victor also used a number of his own instruments including the kissanje, which is one of the most important traditional instruments in Angola and is found especially in Moxico and the Lundas. Most kissanji have small metal rings on their tines which produce a rattling noise as the musician plays, creating rhythmic patterns. In the music, we aspire to communicate that nature is ever present, that the history of the land has a sound, that learning is joyful, that elders tell stories non-linearly and give their knowledge permission to wander, and that young voices are ready to be heard. In addition to custom pieces from Victor, the music featured in the series also comes from Victor's 2010 album Pangeia Instrumentos. The tracks included on the podcast are O Pescador De Sonhos, Homem Vermelho Homem Verde, A Guerra dos Homens Répteis, O Olho No Anzol, O Diálogo Dos Pernetas, Mibanga.


Art: The episode art for Guardians of the River was illustrated by Fernando Hugo Fernandes. Fernando is an illustrator and graphic artist with over 30 years of experience living in Campinas Brazil. The episode art for the series was meant to encapsulate some of the Guardians of the Okavango River Basin, from the long-standing human residents and indigenous tribes members to the hippos and elephants and bats and dragonflies. There is also a plane. And the hidden dragon-like demon legend, Mukisi. Remember, Mukisi can't be seen with human eyes. How many guardians can you spot? And what makes each of these elements a guardian? Keep listening to find out.

Jul 22, 2021
The Edge of Home
43:29

The Okavango Delta is what happens when people pay attention to the environmental wealth of a place. It’s the world’s 1,000th UNESCO World Heritage site. And for its animals and its immeasurable feeling of wilderness, it is a major tourism destination. But not all residents have been included in its success. What starts with a hippo hunt continues with a journey through Botswana’s past to understand what makes a place a rightful home for a group of people. And who should benefit when that land reaps a profit?

To learn more, visit www.wildbirdtrust.com.

This podcast is hosted by Kerllen Costa, with help this time from Thalefang Charles and Gobonamang Kgetho. This story also features renowned Botswana voice actors Batho Molema and Donald Sejo, who spoke for Mr Monnaaphuthego Oja and Kgosimoriti Keikanamang. Human Rights Lawyer and Mandela Washington Fellow Keikantse Phele provided grounding in the Botswana legal framework for understanding more about the WaYei’s official status. Photographs of archival documentation of the Moremi Game Reserve Declarations are available at the Wild Bird Trust podcast page.

Faya Chune Republik and Crania Audio studios captured interview tape of the WaYei in Gabronne. Newsreel tape of from the formation of Botswana was used from a fair use public clip entitled “Bechuanaland (Botswana) 17 March 1965.” Botswana music for this episode was performed by the WaYei tribes women of Seronga, and the Reed Harp which is also known as the Seorooro was played by Tom Rethio.

This podcast is hosted by Kerllen Costa. It is written, recorded, and directed by Cat Jaffee and House of Pod in partnership with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project. Funding for this project comes from a National Geographic storytelling grant and the Wild Bird Trust. Fact checking was conducted by Aimee Machado. Juliette Luini is the producer. The audio editor and sound designer is Jason Paton. The Angolan producer is Kerllen Costa, and the Motswana producer is Thalefang Charles. Story editing comes from Rebecca Mendoza Nunziato. 

Music: The Guardians of the River theme song was created by Victor Gama. Victor is a composer and designer of contemporary musical instruments for new music. He performs solo, with his trio or with ensembles playing his large pieces from small to big halls such as the Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall or Centro Cultural de Belém. INSTRMNTS - Victor Gama, his award winning interactive exhibition with workshops and concerts, has been installed at London's Royal Opera House, Madrid's Fundación Carlos D'Amberes, UK's National Center for Design and Crafts and many more.

The theme music of this podcast is a journey of sounds from the villagers of Tempue preparing food and drumming on bomb drums while celebrating their faith in village churches, which is interwoven with a greeting song by the children of Tempue sung before the community meeting. There is also a reed harp played by Tom Rethio, a WaYei musician who lives near Seronga in Botswana. Victor also used a number of his own instruments including the kissanje, which is one of the most important traditional instruments in Angola and is found especially in Moxico and the Lundas. Most kissanji have small metal rings on their tines which produce a rattling noise as the musician plays, creating rhythmic patterns. In the music, we aspire to communicate that nature is ever present, that the history of the land has a sound, that learning is joyful, that elders tell stories non-linearly and give their knowledge permission to wander, and that young voices are ready to be heard. In addition to custom pieces from Victor, the music featured in the series also comes from Victor's 2010 album Pangeia Instrumentos. The tracks included on the podcast are O Pescador De Sonhos, Homem Vermelho Homem Verde, A Guerra dos Homens Répteis, O Olho No Anzol, O Diálogo Dos Pernetas, Mibanga.

Art: The episode art for Guardians of the River was illustrated by Fernando Hugo Fernandes. Fernando is an illustrator and graphic artist with over 30 years of experience living in Campinas Brazil. The episode art for the series was meant to encapsulate some of the Guardians of the Okavango River Basin, from the long-standing human residents and indigenous tribes members to the hippos and elephants and bats and dragonflies. There is also a plane. And the hidden dragon-like demon legend, Mukisi. Remember, Mukisi can't be seen with human eyes. How many guardians can you spot? And what makes each of these elements a guardian? Keep listening to find out.

Jul 15, 2021
The Smallest Dragonfly
42:57

In some Angolan traditions, magic is not just something people sit around campfires and talk about late at night, it lives in customs and day-to-day life. Owls are believed to see death. And snakes are agents of the devil. So what happens when a team of scientists and local Angolan guides embark on the largest wildlife survey in Angola’s recent history? And how will documenting local animal populations help protect the region?

To learn more, visit www.wildbirdtrust.com.

This episode features the voices and work of a number of scientists including: Dawn Cory Toussaint, Helen James, Timóteo Júlio, Klaas-Douwe "KD" B. Dijkstra, Chad Keates, Werner Conradie.

This podcast is hosted by Kerllen Costa. It is written, recorded, and directed by Cat Jaffee and House of Pod in partnership with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project. Funding for this project comes from a National Geographic storytelling grant and the Wild Bird Trust. Fact checking was conducted by Aimee Machado. Juliette Luini is the producer. The audio editor and sound designer is Jason Paton. The Angolan producer is Kerllen Costa, and the Motswana producer is Thalefang Charles. Story editing comes from Rebecca Mendoza Nunziato. 

Geração 80 is the recording studio in Angola.

Music: The Guardians of the River theme song was created by Victor Gama. Victor is a composer and designer of contemporary musical instruments for new music. He performs solo, with his trio or with ensembles playing his large pieces from small to big halls such as the Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall or Centro Cultural de Belém. INSTRMNTS - Victor Gama, his award winning interactive exhibition with workshops and concerts, has been installed at London's Royal Opera House, Madrid's Fundación Carlos D'Amberes, UK's National Center for Design and Crafts and many more.

The theme music of this podcast is a journey of sounds from the villagers of Tempue preparing food and drumming on bomb drums while celebrating their faith in village churches, which is interwoven with a greeting song by the children of Tempue sung before the community meeting. There is also a reed harp played by Tom Rethio, a WaYei musician who lives near Seronga in Botswana. Victor also used a number of his own instruments including the kissanje, which is one of the most important traditional instruments in Angola and is found especially in Moxico and the Lundas. Most kissanji have small metal rings on their tines which produce a rattling noise as the musician plays, creating rhythmic patterns. In the music, we aspire to communicate that nature is ever present, that the history of the land has a sound, that learning is joyful, that elders tell stories non-linearly and give their knowledge permission to wander, and that young voices are ready to be heard. In addition to custom pieces from Victor, the music featured in the series also comes from Victor's 2010 album Pangeia Instrumentos. The tracks included on the podcast are O Pescador De Sonhos, Homem Vermelho Homem Verde, A Guerra dos Homens Répteis, O Olho No Anzol, O Diálogo Dos Pernetas, Mibanga.

Art: The episode art for Guardians of the River was illustrated by Fernando Hugo Fernandes. Fernando is an illustrator and graphic artist with over 30 years of experience living in Campinas Brazil. The episode art for the series was meant to encapsulate some of the Guardians of the Okavango River Basin, from the long-standing human residents and indigenous tribes members to the hippos and elephants and bats and dragonflies. There is also a plane. And the hidden dragon-like demon legend, Mukisi. Remember, Mukisi can't be seen with human eyes. How many guardians can you spot? And what makes each of these elements a guardian? Keep listening to find out.

Jul 08, 2021
A Thousand Voices of Tempué
42:09

Due to civil conflicts, landmines, broken roads, and a decommissioned runway, a town called Tempué is cut off from the rest of Angola. As powers rise and fall, the town has guarded the rivers and lakes that run near it. Now facing an opportunity to reconnect to the rest of Angola -- and the world -- what will the people of Tempué decide to do? And who will they trust as their partner?

Show notes:

To learn more, visit www.wildbirdtrust.com.

This episode featured voice actors who spoke for Ribio, Fanta, and Regedora Cristina. They are Edson Neto, Ana Carreira, and Baiana Carreira. The villagers of Tempué also granted permission to record their day-to-day activities, from pounding cassava to prayer. This episode is being translated into Portugese to be distributed in Angola and throughout the Lusophone speaking world.

This podcast is hosted by Kerllen Costa. It is written, recorded, and directed by Cat Jaffee and House of Pod in partnership with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project. Funding for this project comes from a National Geographic storytelling grant and the Wild Bird Trust. Fact checking was conducted by Aimee Machado. Juliette Luini is the producer. The audio editor and sound designer is Jason Paton. The Angolan producer is Kerllen Costa, and the Motswana producer is Thalefang Charles. Story editing comes from Rebecca Mendoza Nunziato. 

Geração 80 is the recording studio in Angola.

Music: The Guardians of the River theme song was created by Victor Gama. Victor is a composer and designer of contemporary musical instruments for new music. He performs solo, with his trio or with ensembles playing his large pieces from small to big halls such as the Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall or Centro Cultural de Belém. INSTRMNTS - Victor Gama, his award winning interactive exhibition with workshops and concerts, has been installed at London's Royal Opera House, Madrid's Fundación Carlos D'Amberes, UK's National Center for Design and Crafts and many more.

The theme music of this podcast is a journey of sounds from the villagers of Tempue preparing food and drumming on bomb drums while celebrating their faith in village churches, which is interwoven with a greeting song by the children of Tempue sung before the community meeting. There is also a reed harp played by Tom Rethio, a WaYei musician who lives near Seronga in Botswana. Victor also used a number of his own instruments including the kissanje, which is one of the most important traditional instruments in Angola and is found especially in Moxico and the Lundas. Most kissanji have small metal rings on their tines which produce a rattling noise as the musician plays, creating rhythmic patterns. In the music, we aspire to communicate that nature is ever present, that the history of the land has a sound, that learning is joyful, that elders tell stories non-linearly and give their knowledge permission to wander, and that young voices are ready to be heard. In addition to custom pieces from Victor, the music featured in the series also comes from Victor's 2010 album Pangeia Instrumentos. The tracks included on the podcast are O Pescador De Sonhos, Homem Vermelho Homem Verde, A Guerra dos Homens Répteis, O Olho No Anzol, O Diálogo Dos Pernetas, Mibanga.

Art: The episode art for Guardians of the River was illustrated by Fernando Hugo Fernandes. Fernando is an illustrator and graphic artist with over 30 years of experience living in Campinas Brazil. The episode art for the series was meant to encapsulate some of the Guardians of the Okavango River Basin, from the long-standing human residents and indigenous tribes members to the hippos and elephants and bats and dragonflies. There is also a plane. And the hidden dragon-like demon legend, Mukisi. Remember, Mukisi can't be seen with human eyes. How many guardians can you spot? And what makes each of these elements a guardian? Keep listening to find out.

Jun 24, 2021
Ghost Elephants of Lisima
40:29

A population of elephants in Angola lives in hiding, and only a few villages know their secret. But one big hint to their whereabouts stands tall in the main rotunda of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. If the NGOWP team can find them, these elephants might be the key to smoothening some of the human wildlife conflict in Southern Africa.

Show notes:

To learn more, visit www.wildbirdtrust.com.

This episode referenced the late writer Jean Valentine, the clown cemetery from the Chicago Tribune, and Henry the elephant.

This podcast is hosted by Kerllen Costa. It is written, recorded, and directed by Cat Jaffee and House of Pod in partnership with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project. Funding for this project comes from a National Geographic storytelling grant and the Wild Bird Trust. Fact checking was conducted by Aimee Machado. Juliette Luini is the producer. The audio editor and sound designer is Jason Paton. The Angolan producer is Kerllen Costa, and the Motswana producer is Thalefang Charles. Story editing comes from Rebecca Mendoza Nunziato. 

Geração 80 is the recording studio in Angola.

Music: The Guardians of the River theme song was created by Victor Gama. Victor is a composer and designer of contemporary musical instruments for new music. He performs solo, with his trio or with ensembles playing his large pieces from small to big halls such as the Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall or Centro Cultural de Belém. INSTRMNTS - Victor Gama, his award winning interactive exhibition with workshops and concerts, has been installed at London's Royal Opera House, Madrid's Fundación Carlos D'Amberes, UK's National Center for Design and Crafts and many more.

The theme music of this podcast is a journey of sounds from the villagers of Tempue preparing food and drumming on bomb drums while celebrating their faith in village churches, which is interwoven with a greeting song by the children of Tempue sung before the community meeting. There is also a reed harp played by Tom Rethio, a WaYei musician who lives near Seronga in Botswana. Victor also used a number of his own instruments including the kissanje, which is one of the most important traditional instruments in Angola and is found especially in Moxico and the Lundas. Most kissanji have small metal rings on their tines which produce a rattling noise as the musician plays, creating rhythmic patterns. In the music, we aspire to communicate that nature is ever present, that the history of the land has a sound, that learning is joyful, that elders tell stories non-linearly and give their knowledge permission to wander, and that young voices are ready to be heard. In addition to custom pieces from Victor, the music featured in the series also comes from Victor's 2010 album Pangeia Instrumentos. The tracks included on the podcast are O Pescador De Sonhos, Homem Vermelho Homem Verde, A Guerra dos Homens Répteis, O Olho No Anzol, O Diálogo Dos Pernetas, Mibanga.

Art: The episode art for Guardians of the River was illustrated by Fernando Hugo Fernandes. Fernando is an illustrator and graphic artist with over 30 years of experience living in Campinas Brazil. The episode art for the series was meant to encapsulate some of the Guardians of the Okavango River Basin, from the long-standing human residents and indigenous tribes members to the hippos and elephants and bats and dragonflies. There is also a plane. And the hidden dragon-like demon legend, Mukisi. Remember, Mukisi can't be seen with human eyes. How many guardians can you spot? And what makes each of these elements a guardian? Keep listening to find out.

Jun 17, 2021
Power to Protect
43:25

A team of scientists and tribes members embark on an epic four-month National Geographic expedition to follow a trickle of water 1,500-kilometers across Southern Africa. As their journey unfolds, they realize their real quest will take trust, a team, and an alliance with a legendary snake-like demon named Mukisi.

Show notes:

To learn more, visit www.wildbirdtrust.com.

To watch the original documentary Into the Okavango, visit: https://films.nationalgeographic.com/into-the-okavango.

This podcast is hosted by Kerllen Costa. It is written, recorded, and directed by Cat Jaffee and House of Pod in partnership with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project. Funding for this project comes from a National Geographic storytelling grant and the Wild Bird Trust. Additional audio recorded for the documentary was provided by Neil Gelinas and Kaya Ensor. Fact checking was conducted by Aimee Machado. Juliette Luini is the producer. The audio editor and sound designer is Jason Paton. The Angolan producer is Kerllen Costa, and the Motswana producer is Thalefang Charles. Story editing comes from Rebecca Mendoza Nunziato. 

Geração 80 is the recording studio in Angola.

Music: The Guardians of the River theme song was created by Victor Gama. Victor is a composer and designer of contemporary musical instruments for new music. He performs solo, with his trio or with ensembles playing his large pieces from small to big halls such as the Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall or Centro Cultural de Belém. INSTRMNTS - Victor Gama, his award winning interactive exhibition with workshops and concerts, has been installed at London's Royal Opera House, Madrid's Fundación Carlos D'Amberes, UK's National Center for Design and Crafts and many more.

The theme music of this podcast is a journey of sounds from the villagers of Tempue preparing food and drumming on bomb drums while celebrating their faith in village churches, which is interwoven with a greeting song by the children of Tempue sung before the community meeting. There is also a reed harp played by Tom Rethio, a WaYei musician who lives near Seronga in Botswana. Victor also used a number of his own instruments including the kissanje, which is one of the most important traditional instruments in Angola and is found especially in Moxico and the Lundas. Most kissanji have small metal rings on their tines which produce a rattling noise as the musician plays, creating rhythmic patterns. In the music, we aspire to communicate that nature is ever present, that the history of the land has a sound, that learning is joyful, that elders tell stories non-linearly and give their knowledge permission to wander, and that young voices are ready to be heard. In addition to custom pieces from Victor, the music featured in the series also comes from Victor's 2010 album Pangeia Instrumentos. The tracks included on the podcast are O Pescador De Sonhos, Homem Vermelho Homem Verde, A Guerra dos Homens Répteis, O Olho No Anzol, O Diálogo Dos Pernetas, Mibanga.

Art: The episode art for Guardians of the River was illustrated by Fernando Hugo Fernandes. Fernando is an illustrator and graphic artist with over 30 years of experience living in Campinas Brazil. The episode art for the series was meant to encapsulate some of the Guardians of the Okavango River Basin, from the long-standing human residents and indigenous tribes members to the hippos and elephants and bats and dragonflies. There is also a plane. And the hidden dragon-like demon legend, Mukisi. Remember, Mukisi can't be seen with human eyes. How many guardians can you spot? And what makes each of these elements a guardian? Keep listening to find out.

Jun 10, 2021