Monday, 25 April 2011


Esther Wahome who is currently topping charts with the collaborative musical single Saluti is ecstatic about the two-year multi-million shilling contract to front the Lifebuoy School of Five campaign.
“I would like to thank Unilever for making me a brand ambassador. I’m honored and looking forward to working towards informing and sensitizing children about the importance of handwashing with soap,” Esther told Hot Secrets.

Esther was picked after a rigorous selection exercise that entailed school children picking persons that they looked up to. She was selected on the grounds that she resonates not only with the children due to her popular songs but also with their parents and teachers who are going to play a key role in driving the habit of washing hands.
“I am proud to be associated with Lifebuoy as it represents longevity, quality and success; the same qualities I represent in the music industry. As a mom with little kids, I know so well the importance of this campaign, and I am really looking forward towards it,” said Esther.
In line with the campaign, Esther has release a handwashing jingle dubbed Osha Mikono to accompany the campaign message.
The ‘School of 5’campaign is a Unilever initiative that aims to create excitement among children through creative cartoon elements that will create an interactive atmosphere to discuss handwashing among the children. The campaign will be implemented in 80 primary schools in Nairobi and its environs. The campaign is being jointly implemented by Lifebuoy Kenya and Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP).

The 37 year old mother of three will spearhead the School of Five campaign that starts in Nairobi before rolling out to other major towns. Throughout the campaign, she will visit several participating schools between the months of May and July driving the handwashing message to school going children: Be Clean, Be Cool, Always Use Soap!
Hot Secrets caught up with her and had a chat...

You are now are the new face of Lifebuoy, tell me about that?
Am happy to be the new Lifebuoy ambassador in Kenya, it gives me great pleasure to be a champion in handwashing. Unilever selected me on grounds that I resonate well with children, due to my popular songs that are listened to by parents and children.

As Lifebuoy brand ambassador in Kenya, what does the School of 5 campaign entail?
The School of 5 program is an educational campaign that seeks to contribute to the number of people washing hands during the five key occasions in Kenya: Before each meal (three times a day), after using the toilet and when taking a principal bath a day. The five occasions represent the School of 5. Through creative cartoon elements comic book, posters, pledge flyers cartoon strip and enrolment cards, we hope that children will be able to interact with the campaign. Other complementing elements include the handwashing jingle.

What plans do you have in place that will see school going children embrace handwashing with soap as a good hygiene habit?
I will be visiting 80 schools in Nairobi from May 2011 to June 2011 with simple handwashing message: Be Clean, Be Cool. Always use soap!. Children will be issued with enrollment cards whereby they will be invited to collect handwashing pledges from their friends and families. In the same line, I have also released a song ‘Osha Mikono” to support the campaign.

Tell me more about the “Osha Mikono”?
It is more of a jingle! As the handwashing spokesperson, I thought it would be a good idea to have a simple song that will resonate with children as we encourage them to wash their hands with soap. It is a one minute song with many rhymes that children can easily remember. The jingle dubbed ‘Osha mikono’ highlights the crucial times to wash hands with soap and will be used throughout the campaign period.

As a young mother and Kenyan gospel artiste why promote handwashing with soap?
Many people out there take handwashing with soap as a ‘simple to do exercise’ and therefore emphasis is not put on the dangers of having bad or poor hygiene and handwashing habits. When Unilever approached me I asked them to give me the hard facts about Lifebuoy’s protection. After going through their data and also using the soap, I made the decision to accept the proposal to be the Lifebuoy brand ambassador.

What is your advice to mothers in relation to their children’s health?
As a mother, my advice to other parents and guardians out there is to encourage their children to become handwashing ambassadors at their homes and at schools. By doing that we will be making Kenya a handwashing nation and consequently contribute to the number of people washing their hands with soap globally.

What do you hope to achieve at the end of the School of 5 handwashing campaign?
At the end of the campaign, we hope to achieve a number of key indicators like an increase in the number of students practicing proper handwashing method, students linking the School of 5 campaign with Lifebuoy and a good proportion of collected signed enrollment cards. The campaign will also seek to make school going children handwashing ambassadors at their respective schools and at home

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