I am a creative entrepreneur, writer, director, advertising creative and producer. I am a Nipkow fellow and an alumnus of Maisha Film Lab, Berlinale Talents, Durban Talents, Cinemart Rotterdam Lab. I have received grants/awards from the Sundance Institute and Durban Filmmart. In 2018, I was an Odyssee Artist in Residency in Saint Jean D’Angeley France.
I have been an artist since 2008.
I am applied for this grant in order to pay for some of my living expenses as I concentrate on writing a children’s picture book and to pay an editor and the artist who will do the illustrations and the designer who will layout the final ebook.
I will self publish an illustrated children’s picture book. This is the first of the book series ‘’The Misadventures of Keerabow" which is also the basis of a multimedia franchise that includes books, animated series, toys, T shirts etc.
During this residency, I completed a children’s book, the first of a book series titled The Misadventures of Keerabow. The book was written by me and illustrated by Peter Kasaija. It was also edited by Bob Kisiki.
These activities relate to the topic of “Thinking the world of tomorrow” in the sense that in the world of tomorrow African children should also be inspired by childhood heroes who look like them. For over a century, animated films have shaped the childhood memories of children all over the world. Children in Europe and North America, though, have had the privilege of recognizing themselves in these characters. This is why Disney princesses, Jasmine, Mulan and Tiana were almost revolutionary for being Middle-Eastern, Chinese and African-American, respectively. Those characters just don’t exist for African children. There is a lack of diverse children’s characters in today’s media such as books, education material, animation and games.
During the Covid 19 lockdown period, our children have been home exposed to Western children’s media. The world of tomorrow includes diverse children’s media which includes home grown local African children’s media. The book created as a result has a strong female hero. This is not a normal occurrence in African tradition which marginalizes girls and women there by perpetuating gender bias and discrimination. In order to fight this, we have to instil in our children from a young age, the belief that whatever boys can do, girls can do.
The grant relieved me of the pressure to survive and I was able to concentrate on my work without worrying about living expenses. I have been able to create the work that I imagined. I am satisfied with the result.