“In Africa an old man dying is like a library going down in flames" _Amadou Hampte Ba, Malian writer and ethnologist.
PLEASE VISIT YENKASSA.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THIS PROJECT.
Greetings friends, family, and fans!
“In Africa an old man dying is like a library going down in flames"
_Amadou Hampte Ba, Malian writer and ethnologist.
The Yenkassa team will travel to Ghana in August to collect stories from older generation Ghanaians with the goal of preserving their personal histories from their own perspectives. In 2007, as part of my master's thesis, I collected stories from WWII Ghanaian veterans—to prove that it can be done systematically, I want to go back to Ghana to collect a few valuable stories that might have, otherwise, gone untold. I will be joined by two talented producers who will film five interviews/conversations, take theme-based photos, and help train selected Ghanaian amateur producers to continue with the work. The stories we collect would be made available free online. Our determination along with your commitment to help with dollar donations would make us meet our goals this August. Please read on:
"Until the lion learns how to tell his own stories, the hunter will always be the victor"- Ghanaian Proverb
I am a Ghanaian living and working as a User Experience Designer in Boston, US. I have always been interested in history, anthropology, genealogy, ethnology, etc. I am a very curious customer when it comes to searching for answers to questions that helps bridge historical gaps, especially pre-colonial sub-saharan Africa. What started as a graduate thesis (Read[add:link]) has evolved into the "Yenkassa" project. Yenkassa (yen-kah-sa) meaning "Let's Speak" in the Ashanti Language, "Twi," seeks to restore the histories, stories, and traditions being lost to the dying art of Oral Storytelling Traditions.
In most parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, most of our history was never written, instead, it was passed from generation to generation through oral storytelling traditions. Unfortunately, this institution heavily relied on for keeping our identity intact, has become unsustainable in our modern society due to several factors (read article). With Yenkassa, we plan to keep oral stories alive with some of the same factors (e.g. modern technology like the mobile phone) that have contributed to the demise of oral storytelling traditions.
For all the Africans reading this, when was the last time you asked your parents or grandparents about their childhood and growing up? Also, what exactly is the meaning and origin of your last name? Who is the founder of your village or town, what's his origin? For most of us, we never asked and so will never know because those with the answers have passed on or are at death's door. As children, we were told not to ask until spoken to; as adults, we just don't have the time because we are busy working to meet society's expectations. As an example, the sole keeper of my family's history is my 80yr old aunt; should she die, I can't begin to fathom the wealth of information she would be taking along to the grave. Yenkassa's goal is to prevent that loss of information, a valuable resource for generation X.
Yenkassa's success depends on your support. We value your contributions and see it as not only a financial means but, also a stamp of approval that gives us confidence to persevere in our efforts in collecting these unique personal stories. Let's keep our histories and traditions alive, the next generation is counting on us!
A large portion of the pledge will cover air travel and equipment, other expenses, including living in Ghana, would come out of our pockets. We have already spent our own money to get this far but at this point, we need a little more support. Let's make it happen!
Note that this project will NOT be funded if we don't reach our $ target by the end date, 08/10/2012, so, please donate now and spread the word as far as you can on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Email and everywhere else.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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One Ghana-themed photo postcard, designed by the Yenkassa team (blank for you to use).Estimated delivery:
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Two Ghana-themed photo postcards, designed by the Yenkassa team, (1 blank for you to use and 1 with a handwritten note expressing our thanks!)Estimated delivery:
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Three Ghana-themed photo postcards, designed by the Yenkassa team, (2 blank for you to use and 1 with a handwritten note expressing our thanks!)Estimated delivery:
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Six Ghana-themed photo postcards, designed by the Yenkassa team, (4 blank for you to use, 1 handwritten note from one of our storytellers, and 1 with a handwritten note expressing our thanks!)Estimated delivery:
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14x11 limited edition photo print of your choice. Plus, you get to sit in on a live storytelling session (feed from Ghana) via Skype or Google+.Estimated delivery:
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Limited edition signed print (silkscreen) from Matey, and a Yenkassa t-shirt. Plus, you get to sit in on a live storytelling session (feed from Ghana) via Skype or Google+.Estimated delivery:
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Handmade, recycled bag made in Ghana by Kokrobitey Institute (http://www.ghanalife.tumblr.com), a Yenkassa t-shirt, plus you get to be on our buddy list.Estimated delivery:
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Yard of handwoven Kente cloth from the Ashanti region, a Yenkassa t-shirt, plus you get to be on our buddy list.Estimated delivery:
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Invitation to the beta version of Yenkassa. Permanent mention and link in the supporters section of the website. Bolt of traditionally made Adinkra-patterned cloth (a valuable and prized piece of Ghanaian fabric art), plus a Yenkassa t-shirt.Estimated delivery:
- (20 days)