Educating and empowering young Kenyans with online comicsBy Well Told Story
Organisation URL: welltoldstory.co.ke
Shujazz is a multimedia project to educate and empower young Kenyans. It delivers practical advice and ethical stories, on everything from farming and nutrition to political violence, in fun and lighthearted comic book formats. These are distributed with a national newspaper, audio stories are syndicated to radio stations, and the comics can be found in the country’s network of m-pesa mobile money kiosks.
The brand has 20,000 followers on Facebook and uploads videos to YouTube. To date, 10m people have read one of the comics, which launched in the wake of the 2007 presidential election violence in which 1,200 people lost their lives.
Shujazz means ‘heroes’ in Sheng, the English-Swahili youth slang which is one of the only things that unites Kenya’s many tribes. The writers and artists at Well Told Story who make the comics say they set out to inspire millions of Kenyans to ‘take positive action in their lives and engage with urgent practical issues that shape their future.’
Keeping the 2013 elections peaceful was a key aim of the studio. The team planned their election-related stories for a year, distributed 650,000 copies of the comic the month they took place, and field-tested the storyline, which encouraged young people to report hate-speech by text.
Well Told Story say the stories are reaching 5m young people between the ages of 10 and 25 a month, through print, social media, radio and video: 70% of them urban. 'We think the more people we are talking to, the more people we are bringing into awareness, the more innovators we are enabling to take action … it's just a numbers game,' says the studio founder.
Image courtesy of Shujazz
Last updated: 26th of September, 2014