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iHub By Jessica Colaço / November 15, 2011

POWO: African Languages on Kenyan Blogs

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Creative Writers in Kenya make up almost 40% of blogging community in Kenya, this is according to blogs_ Kenya; an aggregator site that collects new posts from Kenyan bloggers and tweets the links to its followers. The latest statistics on Kenya Unlimited indicated that about 1024 blogs have so far been registered. This means that there are about 409 blogs run by Poets and Writers.

Out of the 409 blogs, most use English as the primary blogging language. The number of Creative Writer blogs written in other languages is a handful. It is a well known fact that language is the carrier of culture and traditions from one generation to another. We are however seeing an increased use of English not just in the blogs but even with poets in their performances.

What is the role of creative writers online in promoting the use of African Languages online especially through their blogs and other social media services?

This is what the November POWO meetup on the 19th of November, 2011 addressed. The Panel gave their insights on the following:-

  • Panelists’ personal journey with language; Use of African languages today.
  • Importance of learning African languages; Online development of Kiswahili.
  • Effect of creative writing (poetry, blogging, short stories) on African languages.
  • Use of Sheng.
  • Transformation and spread of languages through internet.
  • Role of translation.
  • Role of creative writers in promoting African languages online.
  • Guarding the authentic: “Preserving” African languages.
  • Future for (African) languages.

There was also Poetry by Jacob Oketch in Dholuo,

and Teardrops in Sheng.

Author : Jessica Colaço

Jessica Colaço is currently the Director of Partnerships at iHub. She was the Founding Manager between 2010 and 2011 at iHub and Research Director between 2011 and 2013 at iHub Research. She is passionate about Innovation, Research, Mobile and Robotics Technology, Mentorship and Entrepreneurship in Kenya as she uses her position at iHub to court local, regional and international stakeholders to adopt Kenyan-made and African-made solutions. As an upcoming angel investor, she courts local and international investors to invest in great tech ideas and companies at idea and concept stage. She is also a Mobile and Robotics Tech Evangelist, Co-Founder of WMIAfrica and AkiraChix, ISOC-Kenya Chapter, Treasurer, ACM-W Nairobi Chapter Chair, TED Global Fellow 2009 and upcoming Guitarist. She was named one of the top 40 women under 40 years in Kenya's business scene by Business Daily on 2009, 2011 and 2012. Her endeavour is to put Kenya and Africa on the map for technology achievements and spur innovation within the country and continent! She blogs at:

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