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Home Startups Nigerian Startup Launches Apps To Teach Kids African Languages & Culture

Nigerian Startup Launches Apps To Teach Kids African Languages & Culture

by Sam Wakoba
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ASA1Àsà, meaning culture in Yoruba, is Genii Games’ answer to the cultural decline in Nigeria according to its founders.

With a collection of mobile apps, available for iOS, Android and Blackberry devices, Àsà provides culturally relevant content on language, folktales and etiquette. The apps come enhanced with features such as games, colourful illustrations, voice, sound and animation, all packaged within cultural contexts to appeal to kids aged 2-12 years.

Genii Games, the Nigerian gaming startup behind the Àsà brand has a vision to preserve and promote the countries Rich African Culture using technology. Its mission is to stimulate the interest of kids aged 2-12 years in subjects relating to indigenous African culture.
the team based at Co-Creation Hub Nigeria say they long for days when the phrase ‘Once Upon A Time’ meant story time — stories of discovery, values, morals, discipline, love, happiness, etiquette…a way of life.

“I wish I could say Once Upon A Time in this technology-driven generation, where globalization is subconsciously eroding our once treasured rich indigenous cultures. I wish this phrase still had the same tenacity to hold children spellbound, their eyes glued to the storyteller or the storybook.Day after day, as the digital age rolls by, I keep wondering if technology will pay for this or somehow, if it would find a way to bring back story time,” the team said.

With Asa, once upon this time, children would sit again around the digital story teller to hear the same old folktales once told and retold by our forefathers. Àsà also has a language series, to help kids follow the cultural evangelists on their journeys to get kids acquainted with our rich languages.Though build majorly for kids, the team say, Àsà’s audience has gone beyond the 12 year olds — parents are in love with this digital storyteller, young adults don’t mind being told stories or taught languages in a new exciting, colourful way and parents from as far as UK and US are calling with testimonies.

According to Kirkus Reviews,The illustrations are cleanly drawn, depicting Nigerian figures in brightly patterned dress and village settings. They are brightened up both by a chorus that sings a song to the Iroko Spirit in one scene but can be heard in the background throughout and by a particularly lively, accented narrator.”

The language series from Àsà includes: Yoruba 101, Igbo 101, aHausa and Oluronbi.Yoruba101 is an interactive Yoruba language teaching app, with a virtual recreation of a classroom complete with a cultural teacher (Oluko Àsà) who takes the kids through topics like Alphabets, Words and Sentence formations. It also includes games to help the kids test their acquired knowledge. It features animations, colourful illustrations, voice, sound and text. It can be found as an iPad; iPhone; Android; Blacberry Z10/Playbook app.

The Igbo101 is an interactive Igbo language teaching app, it also has a virtual recreation of a classroom complete with a cultural teacher (Onye nkuzi Àsà) who takes the kids through topics like Alphabets, Words and Sentence formations. It also includes games to help the kids test their acquired knowledge. Other features include animations, colourful illustrations, voice, sound and text. It can be downloaded for the iPad; iPhone; Android.

The aHausa is an interactive Hausa language teaching app. Modules taught include Alphabets, Numbers, Body Parts, Animals and Greetings. It uses a combination of sounds, voice, text, colorful graphics and animation to get the user acquainted with the language. Users can download for Android, BlackberryZ10.

 Apart from languages, Asa has Oluronbi, a popular West-African folktale about a pretty young lady that has everything going for her except a child. With her sadness about to be broken, thanks to the kind-hearted Iroko Spirit, Oluronbi’s desperation and attitude are put to test. This is a story of trust and attitude with cultural and moral lessons for its audience. The app has features as different reading modes, games, interactive elements for cultural tips and the popular folksong etc. The folklore is available for iPad; iPhone; Android;and BlackberryZ10/Playbook.

 The lazy chicken is a story that teaches kids against laziness, chronicling the events that led to why Chickens are used for sacrificial offerings in some African cultures. Its features include different reading modes, games and interactive cultural tips. It can be downloaded to iPad; iPhone; Android;and BlackberryZ10/Playbook while the Monkeys’ Quest is a folk-tale takes readers through a story involving monkeys and how they came about their look. It includes folk-songs, games amongst other features and is available for iPad; iPhone; Adroid;and Blackberrry Z10/Playbook.

 

 

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