Sunday 10 March 2013

KINGO comics magazine on the buses

James Gayo and KINGO posters

Kingo comics magazine in long distance buses in Tanzania

Kingo is a very popular comics magazine that has been published in Tanzania by James Gayo since 1994. Its contributors through the years reads as a list of the top comics talent in East Africa: Gayo himself, Cloudy Chatanda, Willy Lyamba, Noah Yongolo, Paul Ndunguru, Ally Massoud, Nathan Mpangala, from Tanzania and  Madd, Frank Odoi and Gado from Kenya.

Kingo and the organisation TWAWZA (We can) has entered into a partnership in an ingenious civic education campaign which intends to distribute the Kingo magazine with educational content in long-distance buses in Tanzania.  Long-distance is anything above 3 hrs and e.g. from Dar es Salaam Ubungo Bus Terminal there are about 350 daily  long-distance departures and the same amount of arrivals.

The buses will be fitted with a yellow flat box on the back of the seat. The magazine will be put in it a. There is also space for advertisements. The material will have educational content on such issues as corruption, elections, social life and health. The production and distribution gets support from the EU. It is a very clever way of distributing material, indeed.

- Anybody going upcountry will be looking for something to read at least by the time they reach Chalinze (100 kms from Dar es Salaam), concludes Gayo.

KINGO tempts readers.

KAIH keen on grassroots comics

The KAIH group in the backyard of their office, Fatma Wangari second from the right.

I visited KAIH (Kenya Association of Intellectually Handicapped) in Umoja, a suburb of Nairobi. KAIH has a cooperation project with  the Finnish organisation FDUV (Association for Swedish-speaking persons with intellectual disability in Finland) and had expressed an interest in grassroots comics for their activities in Kenya.

After my presentation of the grassroots comics concept and recounting experiences from other countries, Fatma Wangari, KAIH's Secretary General commented:  -This method could be very useful, especially for our self-advocates. For them to come out in the open, would make their life more bearable as well as increase acceptance and knowledge in the society.

Post by Leif Packalen

Friday 8 March 2013

KCBO-NET and KAPLET final workshops

Abdulaziz and Laura Zack of KCBO-NET

Our  current project with Youth Alive! Kenya ended with two workshops in January by KCBO-NET in Pumwani and KAPLET in Kayole, both suburbs of Nairobi, Kenya. I visited both organisations in February.

KCBO-NET (Kamukunji Community Based Network) arranged the 3-day workshop in the premises of Pumwani Child Survival School in the midst of a poor area. The participants were all members of partner organisations working in the area. The subjects of the comics were community issues, such as sanitation, education, corruption. Some of the participants commented on the use of grassroots comics:

Laura Zack (volunteer) - Comics come out much stronger than just penning. All in all, the community members appreciated the comics very much when we put them up at the Pumwani Social Hall.

Amateshe Ananzwa (volunteer) - It was a privilege to participate in the workshop. What struck me was that it is much you can say  with comics without risk, because you are not naming names. It is a harmless way of communication, but still very strong.

David Odhambo (KCBO-NET Secretary General) - This new method has definitively elevated our advocacy level.

Below a sample comic  from the workshop, by Laura Zack, on the issue of  young girls being taken to the city under the pretense of getting education, but ending up to work as maids. 

KAPLET workshop participants paste up their comics amongst torn election posters in Kayole.

KAPLET (Kamukunji Paralegal Trust) had a 3-day workshop in their new premises in Kayole. The comics were distributed in their new neighbourhood and created a lot of debate in the street.

Dan Owalla, who led the workshop, said: - The community response was very positive and the day we were out in the community served as an additional awareness reminder for KAPLET to continue using comics.

- Comics as a communication medium works remarkably well in remote areas, the experience we had of a workshop in Garissa in the far North of Kenya, proved that for us, said Erick Otieno (KAPLET Secretary General).

Maryam Ali Famah made the above comic about KAPLET intervening in an inheritance case.

Michael Oduor (left) one of the facilitators at the workshop busy distributing the wallposter comics.

Youth Alive! Kenya staff, Jackie Mathenge (left) and Joan Kariuki looking at the comics in YAK's office.

Post by Leif Packalen