Friday, October 2, 2009

First isiXhosa mNovel written in South Africa

by Karen Coppock

Steve Vosloo let me know that the Shuttleworth Foundation has just launched the world's first mNovel written in both isiXhosa (an indigenous South African language) and English.

The first chapter of this teen mystery story set in Cape town (about a group of graffiti artists) is available at: - you can read it on your WAP-enabled phone (or your PC).

Check back daily as a new chapter will be posted every day through October 19th.

According to the press release for this mNovel, the pro of mNovels is that it allows teens access books, which are largely unaffordable for them, using the most commonly available technology tool in Africa - the mobile phone. The con is that they many teens use "txtspk"when writing on a mobile phone, which hinders, rather than improves, literacy. The Shuttleworth Foundation is working with University of Cape Town researchers to determine the impact of these novels on teens.

What are your thoughts on mNovels and m4Lit?

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