The four-year-long wait is over, and the sixth season of the hit popular youthful television show – You Only Lives Once (YOLO), returns to the homes of all the highly anticipating youthful population across the country.
The YOLO series, which is a social and behavioural change health campaign, has over the years focused on important trending themes, such as adolescent health and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), nutrition, among others.
In a similar fashion, season six, with the tagline ‘Forget the yab, take the jab’ focuses on COVID-19 pandemic sensitisation, sanitation and hygiene, culture and gender issues, family planning, among others. The latest season of the educative and entertaining (edutainment) drama series seeks to throw more light on the northern regions of the country, with some lead characters starting their national service.
Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Patrick Kuma Aboagye, speaking at the premiere held at the Silverbird Cinema, Accra, reiterated that the critical role that the YOLO series has played in shaping mindset and influencing behavioural change among the youthful viewing public cannot be overemphasized; hence, the need to sustain the programme over the years and innovate it to make it even more appealing each time.
He indicated his excitement for featuring in this sixth season to provide some critical advice to the youth on the need to get vaccinated and ignore all the negative fake news. Furthermore, he commended the young talented cast for turning mundane topics like nutrition, disease prevention, and adolescent health into very relatable situations and entertaining programmes.
Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, in her address as the special guest of honour, mentioned that such innovative edutainment initiatives are relevant in drawing attention to the health sector in the country as the country is expected to become the medical hub and medical tourism destination in the West African region.
“Ghana has great expectations of the youth, and so wants them to know how their body functions and be abreast with information about their health and well-being, hence, the YOLO initiative. YOLO obviously speaks to the youth, and even the atmosphere in the room tells you we are already reaching them and speaking their language. We are setting the kind of environment they are used to, and therefore, it portrays a more meaningful approach to learning about life,” she stressed.
Executive Director of the National Population Council, Dr. Letitia Appiah, said that the series started with a focus on reproductive health education for young people in the country by the NPC in partnership with the Ghana Education Service and Ghana Health Service, with funding support from the UK Aid.
USA Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia Palmer, described young people as the centre of development all over the world; hence making the choices surrounding healthcare is very critical for their well-being, a reason why the USA is proud to be a partner of YOLO – providing the support for the season four, five and six. “The US Government is proud to support the YOLO project as it is a safe space where young Ghanaians can discuss, debate and model positive behaviour that will protect their health and the health of their families,” she said.
A lead character in the series, Adjetey Anang, mentioned that he is very excited to be part of the journey, starting from ‘Things We Do for Life’. He added that because of this programme, people reach out to them for medical advice and other youth development challenges in their families, which give him great joy. “The storylines and themes are some sort of a cycle in our society that we want people to be aware of, and so we are creating a real picture as ambassadors and role models for people to emulate and learn from the mistakes,” he said.
He urged young ones to let the characters and themes speak to them and direct their lives.
The season six of YOLO, like all the previous seasons, will hit the television screens soon. Also, the series could be found on the Farmhouse movie app and its YouTube channel. The premiere for the northern sector would be held in Tamale today to drive the message to the north as this season represents the northern culture and cast strongly.