New YouTube series unpacks South Africa-Japan’s often overlooked strong links

The often untold stories of South Africa and Japan's fruitful long-standing relationship take centre stage in this new gripping YouTube series starring host Lalla Hirayama and Yvonne Chaka Chaka as a guest in the inaugural episode.

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Hosted by Japanese-South African television personality Lalla Hirayama, ‘Sharing The Sun’ explores the long-standing relationship between Japan, aka Land of the Rising Sun and sunny South Africa, and most notably the way in which cooperation between the two has particularly contributed to our reconstruction and development.

The first episode will feature the inspirational singer/songwriter Yvonne Chaka Chaka, aka the “Princess of Africa”, who has harnessed the power of music to transcend boundaries and support positive social change.

In this episode, she discusses how, in her role as UNICEF Regional Ambassador for Africa, she collaborated with a leading Japanese company to distribute life-saving mosquito nets in Tanzania.

The second episode will examine the activities of UN Women in South Africa, which is particularly active in addressing gender-based violence (GBV).

Viewers will also learn about how a project funded by the Japanese government allows organisations such as the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference to continue to have an impact in their communities.

South Africa-Japan’s strong economic and cultural links unpacked

Hirayama said she’s delighted to be headlining the series, which unpacks the often-overlooked relationship between Japan and South Africa. Born in Hiratsuka to a Japanese mother and a South African father, the subject matter is particularly close to her heart. 

South African singer and UNICEF Goodwill ambassador Yvonne Chaka Chaka features on ‘Sharing The Sun’ inaugural episode

“Many believe that Japan is a faraway land that has little connection to South Africa,” she says, “but nothing could be further from the truth. Collaborations between the two nations have had excellent outcomes and have benefitted many communities in a very real way.” 

The series will also delve into topics as varied as Japanese cuisine, the hugely popular cultural phenomenon of anime, Japan’s contribution to the response to Covid-19 in South Africa, and the role that South African rugby players are playing in the surge in popularity of the sport in the East Asian country.

It will also introduce two projects designed to expand and strengthen South Africa’s skills base: the Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment and Promotion (SHEP Approach) programme and the technical cooperation programme with the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College.

The series will wrap up on April 29 by touching on the 2021 Olympics and Paralympics, which are scheduled to be held in Tokyo later this year. 

Sharing the Sun‘ air every Thursday on the YouTube Channel of JAPANinSA.


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