[IAEP] Fwd: [BDPA-Africa] Techies develop application to preserve African culture

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Tue Jul 8 08:03:23 CEST 2008

I have been wanting to get OLPC children doing something like this
since I first read about the Record activity. I will contact Mizizi
about it and see how we can work together.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Chifu <chifu2222 at gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Jul 7, 2008 at 4:42 PM
Subject: [BDPA-Africa] Techies develop application to preserve African culture
To: kiswahili at yahoogroups.com, bdpa-africa at yahoogroups.com

--- In DigAfrica at yahoogroups.com, "Chifu" <chifu2222 at ...> wrote:

Techies develop application to preserve African culture
By Rebecca Wanjiku , IDG News Service , 07/07/2008

Faced with the prospect of losing elements of African culture to
modern technology, techies have designed an application to complement

"Technology has changed our way of life. Some of our traditions are
on the brink of extinction; people no longer know their culture, and
we must find a way to immortalize African content," said John
Wesonga, CEO of Multiple Choices Limited.

To achieve this objective, Wesonga developed Mizizi, a free story-
collection site. Mizizi, meaning "roots" in Swahili, allows users to
log on to write or orally record their stories.

While African traditions were previously passed from one generation
to the next orally, modern education, urbanization and technology
have left children without the time to listen to stories from their

"I cannot remember the last time I sat beside my grandparents for a
conversation regarding their experiences or our heritage," said Nick
Mwangi, a computer programmer in Nairobi. "I hear that my great-
grandfather fought with British troops in Burma during World War II,
but I do not know the details."

"Mizizi will definitely help many young people," Mwangi said. "We do
not want to lose our history, but there is so much happening. Having
it available online, whether voice or data, is good."

Wesonga launched the corporate blogging platform last year, and it
will now be available to communities. The platform can easily be
customized to many languages, and Wesonga calls it "the WordPress for
Africa." He also noted that Multiple Choices will partner with
Digital Villages to make the open-source application available for
download in remote areas.

"With the applications, one can use a mobile phone to send a short
text to a number, and the story will be published immediately,
wherever you are," he said. "If you feel like blogging or telling a
story, we make it possible."

The IDG News Service is a Network World affiliate.


Edward Cherlin
End Poverty at a Profit by teaching children business
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."--Alan Kay

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