Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Kugali Comic Club, and ComicsVerse ...




My previous post on Afrofuturism introduced via Kugali, the African Comic Book, made me want to bring you a little more of this new African culture and how Kugali, which has only been going 3 years, came about …



Stretch yourself the Kugali way
The name Kugali is an alteration of the Kiswahili (Swahili) word ‘kujali’ … meaning to notice.   There’s more about their project at ‘This is Africa.Me’ site … and very interestingly about two new countries due to blunders from a well-known British airline, and the President of the free world … see featured article on the site.




Some of the main African languages

This link reminds you that Africa is not a country … and some other interesting facts … do you speak African? – well, neither do the over 1 billion people on the continent; 



... also reminding us Africa is home to 54 different nations (excluding the two mentioned on the ThisisAfrica.me site!), with more than 2,000 languages between them … and which have four of the world’s fastest growing economies …


Augmented Reality You Tube
the magic the kids can see
through story telling
Here in the UK it is also introducing kids (using Augmented Reality(AR)) to the magic that is Africa … through their outreach programmes, and elsewhere via the internet …



These YouTube videos open the doors to their world of AR - a real-world environment, which is enhanced by computer generated perceptual information …



… then there’s the Kugali Comic Club – to which you can
subscribe … there’s an offer valid until 23rd June 2019 …


Justin Alba, CEO of ComicsVerse


I seem to remember the founders of Kugali being influenced by Justin Alba of ComicsVerse fame … he interested me as someone who had overcome adversity as a child … being bullied, not fitting in, etc … but who realised his strengths …


… so ComicsVerse uses comics to address social issues including minority representation in popular culture and politics.  Alba notes ‘that comics helped save his life, by teaching him how to cope with severe bullying and develop self-confidence’.



Alba’s bio is worthwhile noting to refer to as a self-help pep talk … we’re all in relatively privileged positions and I’m sure can pass on our positive thoughts to others struggling today …




African colours - a bright nation
of wonderful entrepreneurs

To me this is a worthwhile selection of content to look at, read, inwardly digest, watch and then think about … while remembering Kugali’s name as a front-runner in allowing the creativity in Africa to shine.





They seem to be opening their doors in Britain … perhaps because we are a very diverse and mixed country … with most of our schools catering to many peoples – and kids love to learn.


Kugali showcasing African stories
I’m not sure I’ve tied together all the elements in the post … but hope you get the gist … of introducing Kugali, Justin Alba of ComicsVerse with his skills of leadership, how new content is being created in Africa … and how we will all be the richer for our learning.  Enjoy!


ThisisAfrica.Me - Kugali: Africa's largest comics networking site ... 

Get Ready for the Kugali Comic Club ...


ComicsVerse CEO - Justin Alba Interview ... well worth reading ... 

and an extra ... as Sue Bursztynski mentioned about a Sudanese aide, who was able to help a 'Dinka' speaking child from the Arabian influence occurring in the Sudan ... 
BBC 'The art fuelling Sudan's revolution' ... wonderful story telling by the civilians on the walls around Khartoum ... waiting for democratic rule.   

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

45 comments:

Mason Canyon said...

Being able to overcome being bullied is an awesome task and sounds like he is helping others realize their strengths. More than 2,000 languages is hard for me to image. Great post, Hilary.

Hels said...

I know this has nothing to do with it, but kugal is yiddish for casserole, almost always made from egg noodles or from potato. It can be either savoury (with fried onions, carrots etc) or sweet (almonds, raisins etc).

Yes, the link with your post is tenuous. You noted that because we are a very diverse and mixed country, with most of our schools catering to many peoples and we all need to learn from a very broad source of cultures. Perhaps the Kugali Comic Club occasionally refers to African foods :)

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I think you have found a cause célèbre, Hilary! And a very worthwhile cause it is too. As for a blunder by "the president of the free world" I think that appellation died for me the moment Trump got elected. Actually, I think it had not been true for a while. Never will be again, either - if in fact it ever was.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari om
Worthy indeed! I love the bright and stark shapes, as well as the stories. YAM xx

Anabel Marsh said...

Sounds like a great resource!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mason - Jason Alba's interview is well worth knowing about ... I'm sure it could be helpful to so many: being bullied is awful - and now he's so generous with his skills.

I wanted to put the basics here ... re the 54 countries and then all the languages - major, and sub ones too ... so so many - one is not able to think about easily about the 2,000 ...

@ Hels - I spotted the link to 'kugel' for the Yiddish dishes - sweet or savoury ... so thanks for reminding us all of another similar meaning ...

I know my drafting of this post was a little ragged - still it's up and the links are there. The Kugali Comic Club I noted had events in Glasgow and London ... so they are spreading their wings - let alone in Africa itself. I'm sure they'll be including foods in their media outlets at some stage ...

@ David - I think I've finished with it ... but my eyes are open, but I did find a superb African artist, who's made a name for himself in London, and I also spotted that the Sudan protesters are painting murals telling the story of their political masters, who they wish would go and let the democratic transfer of government take place ...

I was horrified to read that Trump repeatedly cheats at golf ... and 'President of (what) free world': I do wish he'd have the temerity to act as a leader.

@ Yam - I think your trip to Australia must have highlighted many wonderful artists - I'm coming over to your recent post with its art works ...

@ Anabel - Having lived in Africa ... I just love it, but know so little of the oral traditions ...

Thanks to you all for being interested ... cheers Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Comics helped a lot of us through some rough stuff as kids.

Rhodesia said...

We had friends in Bophuthatswana who were from Nigeria and different tribes but lived close to each other. They both spoke French and English, but although he could speak her tribal language, she could not speak his so struggled with her in-laws. When the moved to Mafikeng, of course, most of the people there spoke Tswana and they had a difficult time at first. Generally, though I found the Africans picked up languages very easily and they were soon speaking Tswana. I worked with a guy when I was at the vet who spoke both English and Afrikaans and 5 other tribal languages fluently as well. Wish I had that flair!!!
Have a good week Diane

Elephant's Child said...

ANYTHING which promotes learning and diversity has to be a good thing.
As is any triumph over being bullied.
Thanks Hilary. I will be back to explore the links more fully later.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm glad to see something like this introduced to young children. Sometimes I think my generation is hopeless at making the world a kinder, safer place for everyone.
I didn't know there were that many different nations in Africa though I thought there might be more languages.

Liz A. said...

It's sad that people know so little about Africa. Glad to hear about the site. And the president of the free world? I thought Angela Merkel was a chancellor... ;)

Sue Bursztynski said...

I’ve heard of Afrofuturism, but not Kigali, thanks for the links! And as somebody who taught and supplied books to a lot of African kids from different nations over the years, yes, I do know there is no “African” language! 😂 We had a Dinka language aide for the Sudanese kids, who also spoke Arabic(a young woman who had been one of our own students, but left to finish her uni studies), but we’ve had kids from Somalia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Eritrea, Ethiopia...

Debbie D. said...

Such wonderful educational tools! Kids will no doubt be eager to learn more about Africa. The "President of the free world" has made many blunders! ☺

LD Masterson said...

Perhaps these comics will help overcome some of the ignorance we have about African people and cultures.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Alex - thanks so much for reminding me that comics have helped people through some rough patches ... I hadn't taken that into consideration, or noted that aspect in the post. Appreciate that important reminder ...

@ Diane - it's so interesting how some people can cope with languages and others can't. Your friends in Bophuthatswana even spoke French as well as the local languages ... and it must be difficult to adjust to the many languages in general. Yes I'd say they probably pick up languages easily ... something I never did. The more languages you speak the easier it is - if I'd persevered life may have been different. I'd love to speak anything else than just English ... but thankfully a good one language to have.

@ EC - that's great to read you'll be exploring the links. I've actually loved learning more about these few different African projects and realising Africa is promoting its own way of doing things. Justin Alba's story is very inspiring to read ... 'we can overcome'.

Learning and accepantace in Diversity ... essentials to our path through life ...

@ Susan - I was interested seeing the approach the artists have taken ... ie setting up the Comic Club for schools here in Britain ...I'd like to attend sometime.

It's always surprising to remember that Morocco, Egypt in the north, Sudan, Ghana in the central east and west, and then Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho, et al in the south are all part of the great nation that's Africa ...

@ Liz - I hope we are learning more and more about other peoples' cultures. And yes Merkel is who she is ... we now have a 'mini-Merkel' elected to take over ... I thought I should name her: Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer: I'd heard her name, but hadn't actually seen it written out.

@ Sue - I can understand you'd have heard of Afrofuturism ... but am glad you'll check out the links to Kugali. Thanks for your instructional comment ...

I find it fascinating that aides with their language abilities are usually out there to be found, who can then help the youngsters settle in to their new country.

I note that my link to Sudan, which I've just added, highlights the numbers ... many different ethnic groups (from Arabic and African countries) as well as more than 100 dialects ...

@ Debbie - as you say I'm sure the children will absorb this new culture ... I'll let the President be ... he's coming to visit next month: enough said about that too ...

@ LD - I do hope the comics will educate ... I forget that comics help kids and adults appreciate other ways of life - I've never looked at them like that - and really must look more carefully in future ...

Thanks everyone - it's been a delight having your comments and knowing you are interested to see different aspects of African culture ... I really appreciate your visits and comments - cheers Hilary

Keith's Ramblings said...

We were taught nothing of Africa when I was at school. It's not surprising that people think of it as a handful of countries on a large continent. Better late than never.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Just made my day to find so much on Africa here! It's great to be done with April and be back among my usual reading circle. Hope to catch up on all your posts/links by and by. Now off to watch the vid...happy week!

Lynda Dietz said...

This is a lot of fascinating information. I recently finished editing a memoir by a popular voiceover actor from Zambia, and I learned an awful lot about the culture and political history there and in Zimbabwe during the 1980s and 1990s. Such a rich, diverse continent!

Inger said...

There's so much creativity coming out of Africa and we will all be the richer for learning more about it. And also learning more about the different countries and cultures of this amazing continent. Thank you so much for focusing on this here. You are an amazing woman and an inspiration!

Deborah Weber said...

I was truly delighted when you introduced us to Kugali with your WATWB post, and I love these additional resources and facts. I'm truly a believer in Unity in Diversity and think every effort to expand our understanding is a step in the right direction.

Lisa said...

The first time you posted about this I went to the site, and I found the comic book on Amazon and have it on my wish list! I wish they had it in hard copy. I'm still looking for that. I prefer comic books in hard copy instead of kindle. I'm glad you did this follow up post to give us even more information. Really a great idea and cause...

Sandra said...

Loved the murals! Thanks for sharing.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

2,000 languages what the................
That is hard to imagine

Stephen Tremp said...

Hilary, I think it's great people learn second and third languages even if they are from a time lost. The language and cultures need to be preserved.

retirementreflections said...

Hi, Hilary - This is such a worthy cause leading to endless opportunity. I greatly appreciate you sharing it here and look forward to reading more!

Friko said...

HI Hilary,
this is all very interesting. You really do have a wide range of knowledge and great curiosity. I might have to delve a bit deeper too.

btw it took me ages to access the comments section and I was about to give up when I thought of dragging the smooth upper layer away. I don’t suppose you know what I am talking about? It must be my own blogging system which gets in the way.

Joanne said...

I think you tied a lot together and you always make it interesting. Such a varied world and I think comedy = laughs does unite folks, if nothing else. Thanks for this post

D.G. Kaye said...

What a great share Hilary. A wonderful way to educate and entertain at the same time. Humor can get us through so much. Hugs. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Keith - I think that's probably right ... I enjoyed geography and collected stamps so probably picked 'quite a lot' up that way. Both sides of my family had connections with southern Africa and other connections with Kenya - certainly I've learnt much more since. Culturally there was a void, which I hope is being filled in now ...

@ Nila - thanks for the thumbs up for this post. I have to get to your A-Z posts as I'm so looking forward to learning more about Bangladesh ... I'm missing being there. For some reason there's more Africa to come ...

@ Lynda - how interesting to see you've been editing a memoir by someone from Zambia - I bet you learnt a lot. The memoir would be an interesting read ... especially as they're commenting on the cultural and political history in the periods 1980s- 90s. It is a hugely diverse continent ...

@ Inger - I'm just glad the different subjects I post about are enjoyed ... I find it all fascinating - i.e. what I learn, as well as everyone's comments ... which just add so much in so many ways ...

@ Deborah - thanks so much ... coming across Kugali has really opened more doors than I thought possible - so there will be more African posts.

Love your comment about Unity in Diversity ... I so agree - realising what others can help us with ... in understanding each culture and peoples really should get us appreciating each human and their roots for what they are ...

@ Lisa - I think you'll find the hard copy is coming out again ... but am glad you're still looking for it. I can't do digital books - well not ones I want to refer to ... and those are the sort I read. Delighted you're pleased I added more links to these sorts of works ...

@ Sandra - the murals in Khartoum, Sudan are quite extraordinary ...

@ Jo-Anne - yes lots and lots of languages ... as you say difficult to comprehend ...

@ Stephen - these are native languages and living ... so not lost - they are the ones they use between themselves - just 'westernisation' has made the need for us all to be able to communicate and thus we learn each other's languages ... sometimes through signs ...

@ Donna - yes the comics will really open the doors to many opportunities for us to learn about and for Africa to let us know more about their cultures and peoples ...

@ Friko - I think curiosity is my main attribute - the knowledge bit I'm gradually acquiring. I just love being able to put these vignette posts up and get recognition from commenters for them - I'm not sure this eclectic mix would get the same support in the milieu I frequent - in fact I know it doesn't!

Re your commenting challenge ... I think it's probably because as you've described. I like having a comment box I can move around ... so here I move it up or down the comments if I want to add a note re someone's comment on the post, or go back and see what they're referring to in the post ...

So it may be the floating comment box. Try opening it up, giving it the space to type in, and see if that works next time you come on. Or it may be because you're using a tablet or ipad ... I only use the pc desktop to write my posts and comment.

I hope that helps ...

@ Joanne - thanks so much ... I'm just glad my posts seem to work for you. Yes we can all laugh ... and smile - which does light up our lives ...

@ Debby - thank you ... I hope the project will be really successful - they seem to have some excellent connections and will be able to open up Africa for us; humour can get us through so much ...

That's great everyone - I've loved all your comments and thoughts - thank you ... cheers Hilary

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Using comics as a way to reach and teach children is a great idea. I confess to having read a lot of comics as a child, but I don't remember any of them being particularly educational or helpful.

Have a super weekend, dear lady. Cheers!

The Liberty Belle said...

Thank you for introducing me to this.

Mark Koopmans said...

I'm another one to be blown over by the 2,000 languages... I kinda figured there were at least 50+ countries on the African continent, but can't imagine how hard it must be some citizens of one country to be able to easily communicate with another, even neighboring country.

Mind-boggling place (meant as a compliment!!) and I hope one day to be able to visit at least a little of what is obviously such an extremely diverse place that so many call home (in so many ways!)

troutbirder said...

I have two grand children from what our pathetic leader calls shithole countries. The first is Tensae from Ethiopia. She is an 9th grader, A+ student, in cheer, choir and track. Her 7 grade brother is Leonard from Rwanda. An A student reading well above his grade level in band and sports. With three white siblings we fall it our son little United Nations Family....:)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan - I don't think we ever had comics at home ... perhaps by the time we did, I was already reading books and wasn't interested. I must remember the educational/helpful side that they can provide for some ... as per Alex's comment.

@ Liberty Belle - thanks for coming over to read and comment ...

@ Mark - I'd guess the African to African languages would manage; the African to Arabic not so easily; while the western languages would struggle the worst. Official (regulatory) languages add another dimension to the language mix - and then there's the internet - which fortunately for us English speakers is in English ... though seems to be more American English now?!

Africa is wonderful ... and I'm sure a trip to Morocco would be a possibility for you as you're now in Spain.

@ Ray - it's so good to read about your grandchildren from Ethiopia and from Rwanda - they sound really diligent and are acknowledging their fortune by putting their circumstances to very good use.

You certainly do have your little United Nations family ... it's good to read about them ...

Thanks for being here and adding to the family day for Mothers - I hope you all have peaceful happy times together ... cheers Hilary



Pradeep Nair said...

Augmented Reality, YouTube ... there are so many ways now one can now learn about the diverse and rich world that we live in. Glad to know about the initiative to introduce the kids about Africa with augmented reality.

Nas said...

It sounds awesome and to overcome something like that is simply fabulous.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I still am amazed at how big this world is and how little I know. Thanks to you, I'm learning so much.

Teresa

bazza said...

I went to my local bookshop and asked where they kept the self-help books.
The lady assistant said, "If I told you, that would defeat the object..."
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s anxiously adroit Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Pradeep - I know there's so much I don't understand, but am sure the youngsters do. The comic club seems a reputable way to introduce them to the many faces of Africa ...

@ Nas - overcoming bullying and going on to set up ComicsVerse showing the way to help others - is fabulous, isn't it ...

@ Teresa - the world and its peoples is a wonderful place to live in - so many different cultures to be aware of ... just glad you enjoy being here - thank you ...

@ Bazza - ah ha ... clever lady! We do need to learn to think and work out for ourselves don't we ...

Thanks so much for your interest in Kugali and their African comics ... cheers Hilary

Nick Wilford said...

Sounds great! Anything that teaches kids more about diversity has to be good.

Kelly Steel said...

Comics, specially the Super heroes ones helped lots of people through their troubled teenage. And with more diverse subjects now, we can only help our next generation grow up more accepting.

DMS said...

What an interesting post. Learning about other cultures is so important. We learn and grow so much from talking with people who are different from us (and reading about them too). Thanks for sharing!
~Jess

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Nick - yes ... and it's something I hadn't realised - how much help can be obtained by kids or adults reading comics about diversity, disability, mental health etc - I keep seeing comics now!

@ Kelly - I can quite see what you're saying about helping future generations understand various aspects of life ... diversity, living conditions, probably refugees etc. I really hadn't taken account of how much help was available via the comic book superheroes.

@ Jess - we do need to understand others ... and as you confirm we can learn in so many ways ... talking, reading, finding out about others' lives ...

Thanks so much - I've learnt a great deal from all your comments - cheers Hilary

RO said...

Ironically, I love comedy and laughter, but not comedy clubs, which is weird I know(lol) You've shared lots of valuable information here about Africa that I was unaware of, and as always I thank you. Hugs...RO

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi RO - I'm with you on that thought ... I love laughing but really don't enjoy going to a club for a laugh. There's a lot going on in Africa ... and I loved that friends from different countries are bringing together their cultures when they publish these comic books ... so glad you enjoyed the post - cheers Hilary