I have two avatars that I use for most online things;
the one that I use here and this one. I’ll tell you about Ariel first because I’ve had it longer. All my life, I’ve wanted to be a cartoon. No seriously, my dream is to be the voice in a Disney animated film. I like having the Disney avatar to show that side of me, but I seriously cannot pick my favorite Disney movie so I use Ariel because I like this picture and we both have red hair.
The muppet that I use on this forum is because I want to promote and support Sesame Workshop. I use to think that Sesame Street was a children’s show just like Mr. Rogers Neighborhood or The Wiggles, but last year I watched The World According to Sesame Street and realized that it was so much more and absolutely amazing. I have since decided that I will dedicate part of my life to working with them to improve the lives of children world wide. So, I wanted a muppet to help represent that part of me. I didn’t want one of the US muppets because it would just show the fun loving child side of me that the Disney avatar does. This is Kami. Her name means acceptance in the Tswana language.
She s a muppet from the African version of Sesame Street. She is HIV positive and she lost her mother to AIDS. She was introduced to the show to help young African children learn about, understand, and deal with the epidemic that their country is fighting. I like what she represents about how a children’s television show can empower and educate children, and truly let them face their world.
OT America’s Response to Kami
When the US Congress heard about Kami, there was a huge public denouncement of Sesame Street and a demand that she be removed. They made statements about how atrocious it was that they would have to tell their children that this muppet had a disease that you get “from needles and gay sex.” It was infuriating. Kami is not a member of Sesame Street. She is on Takalani Sesame which is a South African show. Their knee-jerk response just showed that they are ignorant not only of Sesame Workshop’s amazing work, but also of the issues that Africa is dealing with. One in every nine people is HIV positive, and the African government urged the show to include a character like Kami to give support to the children.