Siyakholwa – We Believe: A Case Study on the Mediatisation of Religion Education and Religious Pluralism

  • Lee Scharnick-Udemans University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa


Siyakholwa is the first children’s multi-faith programme series to be screened on South African television. The programme foregrounds teaching about “religion, religions, and religious diversity” (Chidester, 2008, p. 278). This paper conceptualises Siyakholwa as a product of the 2003 Religion in Education policy, and consequently examines the extent to which the constitutional ideal of religious pluralism is mediated through the content of the programme. This paper argues that the example of Siyakholwa presents an opportunity to understand the ways in which religion in public education has been defined and redefined through the constitutional, cultural, and transformational aspirations of the post-apartheid state.

Author Biography

Lee Scharnick-Udemans, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

Dr. Lee Scharnick-Udemans is the senior researcher for the Desmond Tutu Centre for Religion and Social Justice at the University of the Western Cape. Her research focuses on the construction and contestation of religious diversity in the contemporary South African context, with a particular interest in the concept of religious privilege.


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How to Cite
Scharnick-Udemans, L. (2018). Siyakholwa – We Believe: A Case Study on the Mediatisation of Religion Education and Religious Pluralism. Changing Societies & Personalities, 2(3), 279-284. doi:10.15826/csp.2018.2.3.046