Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Writivism featured at Youth Village

We have been running the Writivism project since October 2012. In an interview with Youth Village, found here, I talk more about Writivism and other things.


"Youth Village: Being a young person what do you think is biggest challenge in Africa?

Brian: I think the biggest challenge in Africa is the thinking that only Africa has challenges. And so the search for Africa’s biggest challenge is Africa’s biggest challenge. I would say poverty is Africa’s biggest challenge, but show me a continent without poverty and I prove how much you know of the world. Some friends of mine think Africa needs education, by which they mean schools. Others say Africa needs health, by which they mean hospitals. And I ask myself, if education is the attainment of skills, through how many methods have we attained skills in Africa outside schools? If health is the condition of the person’s body and mind, how many of us in Africa keep our bodies and minds in good condition without going to hospitals? I think I have now discovered Africa’s biggest challenge. We have artificial challenges. We cry of not being healthy, but we the criers know the herb whose sap can heal us when we bleed, knowledge handed down from our ancestors and not given to us in schools. We say we are not educated yet we can weave mats, make iron tools through blacksmithing and other skills we have inherited from our forefathers and mothers, without school. Now, you agree with me, that if you do not get the problem right, you won’t get the solution right. There is our biggest challenge. Our failure to harness our potential. Our failure to tap into the opportunities that indigenous knowledge offer. Recently, a teenager at one of Kampala’s crowded high schools made a tablet that can heal worm infections. How? She is just a teenager? She did this by applying her grandmother’s knowledge, that pawpaw seeds heal worm infections. Her grandmother had used the seeds to heal their infections when they were young and voila, now we have a tablet made by a teenager. Will she be supported? Our failure to believe in our own potential and abilities is what kills us. We do not develop local potential and do not support solutions from within."

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