Kontax, Africa’s first dual-language mobile novel, has drawn a wide following of young South Africans due to its accessible and enticing format. (Image: Kontax) MEDIA CONTACTS • Steve Vosloo m4Lit Project Leader Shuttleworth Foundation +27 83 208 9891RELATED ARTICLES• Taking the internet to townships • SA internet use skyrockets • Skills via phones for rural women • Young reporters go mobileJanine ErasmusAfrica’s first dual-language mobile novel, or m-novel, Kontax, has grabbed the attention of local tech-savvy youth by offering an intriguing tale packaged in a highly accessible, exciting format.The story is available to download from the Kontax mobile site in English and isiXhosa. It can be accessed for free, although a once-off fee of R1.50 (19 US cents) is charged when registering via mobile.Those who do not have Wap-enabled mobile phones can still read the novel on their computers by visiting the mobile site in a normal web browser.Story for today’s youthLaunched at the end of September 2009, Kontax describes the adventures of a group of graffiti artists in a South African city. It’s written by award-winning scriptwriter Sam Wilson of the Cape Town-based production and content company Clockwork Zoo.Project developer Mobiles for Literacy (M4Lit) opted for a serial-release format, issuing one chapter every day over a period of three weeks, ensuring that young readers would come back for more. Chapters were no longer than 400 words to sustain readers’ interest.The mobile site encouraged interaction and discussion of the plot through polls and comments, with the best comment from each day’s release winning mobile airtime. Mobile wallpapers, featuring the characters and the book’s logo, are also available for download.At the end of three weeks registered readers were invited to submit their ideas for a Kontax sequel. The competition runs until 20 November 2009, offering a grand prize of ($261.45) R2 000 airtime as well as two runner-up prizes of ($130.68) R1 000 and ($65.24) R500 worth of airtime respectively.Big in JapanMobile novels evolved from text messaging, and are said to have been started by Japanese women writing about their romantic experiences. The genre is hugely popular in Japan, with several websites luring authors with prizes of up to $100 000 (R766 316), and generous offers to buy the print publishing rights to their novels.In 2008 six of the 10 best-selling books in Japan began life on the tiny screen. Some have criticised the growing trend, saying that it is unacceptable for a country with a rich, thousand-year legacy of reading, but Japanese youth pay no heed.As Bernard Kedge, manager of 107-year-old Cambridge bookshop Galloway and Porter, put it: “This is sometimes how education works. Anything that actually encourages people to read more is a really excellent idea.”Building a love of readingM4Lit is supported and funded by the Shuttleworth Foundation. Project leader and ICT specialist Steve Vosloo, also the foundation’s 21st Century Learning Fellow, and his team are exploring the significance of mobile literature as a tool for increasing literacy and a love of reading among South Africa’s youngsters.In many areas of South Africa, as well as in other developing nations, it can be easier to access a mobile phone than the internet or even a printed book, and teens tend to be well-versed in mobile applications such as MXit.“In South Africa there is about 10% PC-based internet connectivity,” Vosloo blogged on Tech Leader during October 2009. “While the number of people with access to mobiles ranges from 60% to 90% (depending on which community you look at). Of those phones, a high number are Wap-enabled and can access the internet,” he said.The objectives of the project are to encourage youth to read and write more through the mobile medium, to assess the response of youth to mobile sites such as that of Kontax, and to fine-tune the medium in order to entrench the mobile reading culture.“We know that Japanese m-novels are very popular and for South Africa, this is the beginning of more to come,” said Vosloo.According to the M4Lit website, readers have described how the novel is helping them stretch their literary muscles, saying that they turn to the dictionary for words they don’t understand, thereby broadening their vocabulary.Intrigue and moralityKontax is essentially a mystery novel involving the four-member Kontax graffiti team of Sbu, K8 (Kate), Songezwa and Airtime. Each person plays an important role in the team, bringing strengths of vision, training, technique and creativity.Graffiti is their life and they practise their craft wherever and whenever they can (and even where they shouldn’t). At a party Sbu meets a mysterious girl who then disappears, leaving only her mobile phone. Attempts to trace her prove fruitless, as her mobile contact list offers no help at all. The team senses danger but presses on, and eventually the characters find themselves in the middle of a kidnap drama.Wilson also added a couple of moral dilemmas to the novel for youth to ponder and discuss. One examined the acceptability of going through a person’s private information when his or her life may be in danger.Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4
Ohio StateUrban Meyer is attempting to replace quite a bit of talent this summer. His Ohio State football team lost 15 players to the NFL, but the show goes on in Columbus, Ohio, which will likely still be home to a top 10 team. The Buckeyes will still be a top 10 team because Meyer has been recruiting at an extremely high level and there are plenty of of four and five-star prospects ready to step in. Those young players have apparently been performing fairly well this offseason. Ohio State released today a hype video titled, “Young Bucks On The Grind.” Check it out:15 #Buckeyes gone to the #NFL? Next man up.Young Bucks are on the #grind to make an impact in 2016.#GoBucks https://t.co/BlkMtf28M1— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) June 23, 2016Ohio State opens fall camp in a little more than a month. The Buckeyes begin their 2016 season Sept. 3 at Ohio Stadium against Bowling Green.
VANCOUVER – Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. says Oyu Tolgoi LLC has received an information request from Mongolia’s anti-corruption authority.The company says the regulator is seeking financial information relating to Oyu Tolgoi.The request relates to an investigation about possible abuse of power by officials during negotiation of the 2009 Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement, Turquoise Hill says.The company says there is no indication in the request to suggest that Oyu Tolgoi is a subject of the investigation.Turquoise Hill holds a 66 per cent stake in Oyu Tolgoi, while the Mongolian government owns 34 per cent.Rio Tinto holds a majority stake in Turquoise Hill.Companies in this story: (TSX:TRQ)
SAN FRANCISCO — Federal prosecutors say a California utility’s role in igniting wildfires last year could allow a judge to find that it violated terms of its criminal conviction in a deadly gas pipeline explosion.In a court filing Monday, the U.S. attorney’s office in San Francisco cited investigations by state officials that blamed Pacific Gas & Electric power lines for some of the fires in October 2017. Investigators also said they found evidence PG&E violated state law.Prosecutors say a judge could use those facts to determine that the utility violated conditions of its probation in a conviction stemming from an explosion of one of its natural gas lines in 2010. The blast in the San Francisco Bay Area killed eight people.PG&E didn’t immediately return a request for comment.The Associated Press
Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton believes that their biggest challenge in 2019 will be trying to avoid complacency.Brighton are sitting comfortably in 13th place in the Premier League table after amassing 25 points from 20 matches so far.But Chris Hughton has stressed the need to maintain their level of play as the second half of the season starts.“The biggest challenge is always complacency – in every game, we played in this division we are faced with tough opposition and that’s a reminder each week that if we don’t reach a level we can get punished,” Hughton told the club’s official website.“That’s always there for us, we’re still in our second season in this division and our aim is to maintain our status in the league and develop and grow as a club.Pep Guardiola: “Aymeric Laporte’s injury doesn’t look good” Andrew Smyth – August 31, 2019 Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola admits Aymeric Laporte’s injury “does not look good” and fears the defender will be out for a long time.“We’ve worked very hard to be where we are now, and we have to be respectful that every single game we play is a difficult one – there’ll be bigger and more experienced teams than us that will find it difficult – there are reminders every week in this league about that.”“My feeling is that we have to continue in the same mentality, the gap between ourselves and the bottom three will always be the most important thing for quite some time to develop as a team.”