#UgBlogWeek is always a welcome opportunity for me to psyche myself into thinking I can write consistently everyday for an entire week. Today is day three & this is my first post but who is counting?
This time we are envisioning the future of storytelling. We are already in the future if you ask me because I almost fell in love based on emojis. Before you judge me, I saw a tweet the other day about BBC having an emoji translator, so first be humble.
According to google average human being with access to the internet spends about 5.6 hours a day on their phone.
While book stores are still in business most are struggling because we are the generation that prefers the sight of a swipe on our phones to the sound of paper turning.
We would rather have our discussions on topical issues in whatsapp groups, brainstorm ideas on slack and open links on Facebook than sit in a book club. The book club community in Kampala is unknown to most. It presents both a problem and an opportunity.
A problem because Uganda is a country with the youngest population t(at least according to a fancy report by World Population Review on google) and if that population doesn’t read, we are in trouble.
We may not have a country to grow old with if that happens. It’s an opportunity because, there are numerous platforms from which we can tell our stories. There is a joke among twitter users twitter users that, the revolution will start on twitter.
I don’t go the stall to buy newspapers because I know that when I open twitter in the morning, all the news making headlines will have been summarized for me, maybe in a thread or a link while facebook will have caught me up on all the world’s problems in an attempt to manipulate me into “typing Amen”
When I am not in time for my favorite South African soap, Scandal, because Kampala traffic is having a worse day than usual I just catch up on YouTube.
I can miss a concert and have enough information about it to write a review and blogging has made all of us who want writers.
The way we tell our stories has evolved, the platforms are endless and this is the part where convey our gratitude to the inventors of internet and their cousins who made smart phones.
It presents us with an extra ordinary opportunity to reduce books into blogs of 500 words and newspaper articles into 140 characters so that our minimal attention span can cope.
We have seen hashtags backed by proper execution create successful campaigns (Ask any #savesomeone ) and overnight stars being born because their dance video went viral.
So while we mourn the death of reading of white pages with black ink, & while book clubs are tight knit circles we also have a lot of power.
To shape the stories the 78% young people in Uganda consume. I don’t know if Mills & Boon, Sydney Sheldon, Daniel Steele, John Grisham, JK Rowling are still teenage favorites, but I know that the 1st thing my 17 year old sister asks for whenever I pick her from school is her smart phone (which by the way is better than mine).
What she reads, watches or talks about is up to everyone who considers themselves a story teller. Flood this place with Ugandan stories, pictures, videos nebirala and I can guarantee, if she spends 6 hours every day staring at that stuff the entire month she is on holiday, she will start to think it’s cool to wear an outfit by a Ugandan fashion designer, attend Bayimba Festival instead of some pop star’s concert in Hollywood or just read a Ugandan blog in instead of an article advising her on how to keep up with the Kardashians.
We are already in the future, consider yourself invited to define what it should look like . The Writivism Festival is a good place to start. ( This is not an Ad😀)