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Serious Request Kenyan chapter

December 29, 2009 - 07:33 -- Patrick Sampao

Three Kenyan DJ’s from a local radio station based in Nairobi joined their Dutch colleagues for a worthy course. The DJ’s took part in the fight against malaria in a charitable campaign dubbed Serious Request.

Every year Kenya’s Ghetto Radio, in cooperation with Netherland’s 3FM and the Red Cross, helps to raise awareness of a ‘silent’ or under-reported disaster in our midst. This years silent disaster was malaria, an infection that claims over a million lives each year. As a measure of solidarity with the victims of the under-reported disaster, the presenters eat nothing for the duration of the event, surviving only on one health drink a day for 6 days.


This years Serious Request Kenyan chapter was held from the 19th to 24th of December where three presenters from Ghetto Radio broadcasted 24/7 from a Glass House in Nairobi. The three DJs broadcasted live from a special constructed studio called a “glass house”, where they presented programmes continuously in shifts and without food for several days, raising money for the fight against malaria. Members of the public came in numbers to watch the DJ’s in action inside the glass house which was constructed at the, Kenyatta International Conference Centre, KICC which incidentally was also the venue where the 5th MIM Pan- African Malaria Conference took place from November 2 to 6, 2009. A good number of Kenyan celebrities also graced the “glass house” in support of the course.


According to RNW, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, the Dutch DJ’s from 3FM experienced problems with snow and freezing temperatures while their colleagues in Nairobi, had problems of a different kind where a tropical storm on 23rd December damaged the temporary studio. However nobody was injured, the DJs were taken to a hotel where they continued to refuse food. They however resumed broadcast after the glass house was repaired.


Serious Request, which was started by 3fm, has been running since 2004, with more radio stations in various cities joining in each year. The event occurs at roughly the same time in several cities around the world. This year the cities and radio stations that took part were:

  • 3FM Groningen, Netherlands
  • Ghetto Radio, Nairobi – Nairobi, Kenya
  • VRT/Studio Brussel – Brussels, Belgium
  • SF/DRS3 - Zurich, Switzerland
  • SVT/P3 – Stockholm, Sweden


Bart G.J. Knols's picture
Submitted by Bart G.J. Knols on

The Serious Request in the Netherlands raised a stunning amount of 7.1 million euros, an absolute record (last year they raised 5.6 million euros). Malaria, apparently, in a worthy cause. Besides, the action has raised enormous awareness about malaria in several European countries, which helps tremendously.

The funds raised will be disbursed by the Red Cross and mainly be used for the provision of bednets and awareness campaigns. Great to see so much public support...