Curious excited little faces illuminated by the light from the bonfire.Blankets over their shoulders to fight off the evening breeze. Their minds fill with wonder as they imagine what the different birds look like. Giggles emerge as the image of birds fighting for leadership positions crosses their minds. At this Gogo pauses as she lets the image sink in. Nuts, mealies and other farm delicacies are passed around while Gogo continues with her story. Because exploring another world requires some snacks. Excited hands shoot up as Gogo wraps up her story rousing an interesting discussion.
I grew up on folktales told to me by my grandmother and other elders, stories that transported me to other worlds, worlds of animals and people from other cultures. With many people moving from rural areas to urban areas, the art of family bonding through storytelling has died down or significantly deteriorated. I can’t remember the last time my cousins and I sat around the fire and listened to stories of worlds we could only imagine. With the world advancing digitally, it is only natural that we should advance in our storytelling too. An App like Roundafire is just what your kids need to get lost in the world of folktales and also access some educational material.
Roundafire is mobile app developed to improve the literacy rate in all primary schools in South Africa through multilingual and multicultural stories relevant and relatable to all children across the country. Changing the manner in which learning is conducted in the classroom through making reading and learning super fun and relatable for the children is the core of Roundafire. Mutlitalented- Kgosi Kgosi – the founder of Roundafire wanted African children to see themselves in books that they read at school and be able to process different learning content in their mother tongues. Through research, Kgosi realized that children learn better and understand school work better when it is taught in their home languages. The app has a reading level feature that helps parents choose an appropriate book for their kids to read. So far the app has children’s books in all South African official languages.
Although the books on the Roundafire App are for children, I found myself enjoying reading about the meetings birds had to choose their leader on “Umhlangano Wezinyoni” , Nana’s first day at school on “Nkosazana Nana; Usuku lokuqala esikoleni” and other books. You have a choice to either have the book read to you or to read it yourself. Because these are children’s books I like them being read to me because the narrator’s voice makes you imagine the characters and what they sound like. It is a truly an amazing experience. The joys of e-learning through Roundafire are that you can read the books anytime and anywhere and it is a great way to learn other languages. Aside from the educational element, the app has fun and imagination inducing stories and it is really easy for children to use.
Roundafire is available on Google Play and the AppStore and you can download it for FREE using the links below.
Google Play: shorturl.at/mBEOT