Puppets for Democracy
Puppets for Democracy was initiated in the run-up to the first democratic election in South Africa in 1994. The entire country came together for the first time on 27 April 1994, to vote for a new democratic government. Election education was needed. Gary Friedman was approached by Free Film Makers and the Democratic Education Broadcast Initiative (DEBI) to create short voting education messages which would be broadcast daily on all the South African Broadcast Corporation channels.
The puppets guided the viewers through the voting process and dealt with issues such as fairness, secrecy, intimidation, democracy and choice.
By using puppets and minimal language, the programs were produced without having to battle with the barriers of eleven official languages. One of the characters, a be-speckled green TV interviewer, Clarence Keyter, was seen throughout the election interviewing leading South African and international politicians, including Nelson Mandela.