“The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is not just a competition/ It’s an opportunity, a writer’s exhibition”, raps Daniel Kisekka (aka Survivor) on NewzBeat, “an innovative rap-news programme delivering the latest information in verse and rhyme” (Facebook).
In this video Newzbeat rap their report on Jennifer Nansumbuga Makumbi becoming the Regional Winner for Africa of the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize (also the Overall Winner) for Let’s Tell This Story Properly.
That Newzbeat rap in the local language, Luganda, as well as in English, is part of their aim to tell the news in a way that teenagers can relate to.
In this article Kisekka shares his view that in Uganda most youth aged under 30 are not interested in news and current affairs, but that “hip-hop is very popular with them”, and yet youth aren’t Newzbeat’s only audience. Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is also impressed with Newzbeat’s approach: “What an ingenious way of bringing news to young people! In my days, ‘the News’ was stiff and formal aimed at the old folks. Plus, if this video wasn’t posted online I would have missed this item on the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Good stuff.”
In a recent episode co-presenter Lady Slyke tells the audience to “follow the beat, follow the beat, from the studio to the street”, which gives the sense that Newzbeat not only wants Ugandan teenagers to learn about what’s going on in the world but that it also wants them to go out into the street and see the world for themselves.
Commonwealth Writers, Steve Willey
Newzbeat airs on NTV Uganda Saturdays 11am-12pm (during T-Nation) and before the 7pm news, Sundays after the 1pm news bulletin and before the 7pm news. You keep in touch with what’s happening with the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize here.Go Back To The Blog Go To The Short Story Hub