What better way to celebrate Mashujaa Day (Heroes Day) than with stories of brazen African women who have made an impact in their societies? That’s exactly what KaBrazen Podcast, a children’s podcast that features digital stories of brazen African women, did on 20 October 2023. They hosted a live bilingual performance in English and Kiswahili at the Nairobi National Museum, and also launched the Kiswahili edition of their podcast, which aims to celebrate and appreciate the Kiswahili language spoken by nearly 300 million users around the world.
The live performance was directed and produced by The LAM Sisterhood, a Kenyan content house that co-developed the KaBrazen Podcast. The LAM Sisterhood consists of Laura Ekumbo, Aleya Kassam and Anne Moraa, who are all passionate storytellers and advocates for African women’s voices. The performance featured stories of inspiring African women such as Wangari Maathai, Miriam Makeba, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti and more, narrated by Aunt Shishi (voiced by Laura Ekumbo) in English and Tata Nduta (voiced by Afrikan Nduta) in Kiswahili.
The audience, which consisted of children aged 4-9 and their parents, enjoyed a fun-filled adventure storytelling experience that was interactive, educational and celebratory. They also received a complimentary one-of-a-kind KaBrazen Colouring Book that illustrated the stories and characters from the podcast.
The KaBrazen Podcast in Kiswahili is now available on all podcast platforms and will air new episodes every Friday. The podcast aims to introduce children to the rich and diverse culture and history of Africa through the stories of brazen African women who have made an impact in their societies. The podcast also provides a digital archive that allows children to return and interact with their favourite stories and heroes as many times as they would like.
“We celebrate all the languages and stories that exist in the world and we cannot wait to take you with us on this special, adventurous KaBrazen journey in Kiswahili!” said Laura Ekumbo of The LAM Sisterhood.
Mashujaa Day, also known as Heroes’ Day (“mashujaa” is Swahili for “heroes”), is a national day in Kenya, which is observed on 20 October as a public holiday to collectively honour all those who contributed towards the struggle for Kenya’s independence or positively contributed in the post independence Kenya.
“Storytelling is an intrinsic part of African Culture. Particularly for children, it is an important tool for learning, strengthening communal bonds, and honoring the people who made an impact in our societies. Kabrazen’s approach of bringing this honored tradition to today’s children using the exciting medium of podcasting not only seeks to make the stories of African women as visible as possible but also provides a digital archive, allowing them to return and interact with their favorite stories and heroes as many times as they would like.” noted Mars Maasai Program Manager at HEVA Fund which is administering the Ignite Culture grant, which has been supporting KaBrazen Consortium in Eastern Africa.
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