This Young Nigerian Man Created A Digital Collection Of African Stories For Kids
PUBLISHED: Oct 16, 2020 4:00 PM
We can’t say it enough, but representation matters. For 23-year old Dominic Onyekachi, the lack of stories available for school-aged children across Nigeria, bothered him.
An avid storyteller himself, Onyekachi found himself trying to read stories to his 6-year old niece only to see that her library mostly contained books from other countries and they didn’t contain many characters that she could identify with.
“I wrote a few stories for her and I got my friend to illustrate. She liked it, her friends in school liked it too. And that’s when I really thought about writing more books and putting them in a place where many more children can access them,” Onyekachi said in an interview.
After seeing how well-received the stories were among his niece, and her friends, he decided to create an entire digital platform of stories that children could access.
In May of this year, he launched Akiddie, along with his friends Fanan and Tolulope. The online portal gives young children across the continent of Africa an entire library of stories that they can not only understand, but also those where they can find characters that actually look like them.
“More children should have characters to look up, characters that have their hair, look like them and share their culture,” he said.
The platform currently has 21 books available, with more on the way. The stories range come in a beginner reading level and intermediate, and has now been used by six schools in Lagos, Nigeria.
Users of the platform are gifted with five stories to start out, and they can then opt for a subscription which costs about $1.55 per month. The stories have been translated to Yoruba language, spoken in West Africa, Hausa language, spoken in Sub-Saharan Africa, and Igbo language, spoken in southeastern Nigeria.