OKACOM, The Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission, is an organisation made up of all of the countries that have a stake in the Cubango-Okavango River Basin, namely Namibia, Angola and Botswana.
It was established in 1994 and its mandate is to ensure the sustainability of developments along the river basin and to conserve the river basin’s natural environment. They want to make sure that all countries share the resource equitably and to address the needs of the people who live along the river.
One way that they’re getting the word out about the importance of the river basin and why cooperation is imperative is through a book written by our own Bontekanye Botumile called River Cousins- The Search. It is a comic book about three characters: Domingos, a student from Angola; Qana, a girl from Botswana and Hausiku, a young man from Namibia.
In the book the three are thrown together and at first they struggle to understand each other. Each has their agenda. Domingos needs a lift on Hausiku’s boat to get to school across the river in Namibia in time for his geography test. Qana, who lives near the Tsodilo Hills, has been sent to find a medicinal herb near the river but instead nearly gets eaten by a hippo but she’s saved by the other two. And Hausiku has been out fishing and needs to get his catch to his family who is expecting it. Instead they end up on an adventure where only working together will allow them to have success.
I think the book is a fantastic way to promote cross cultural understanding and to learn more about the Okavango River and how it is important to the people who live around it. You can read the comic book online at http://www.okacom.org/okacom-news/blog/river-cousins-comic.
According to the executive secretary of OKACOM, Ebenizario Chonguica, the comic book was tested with primary school children in Maun; Rundu, Namibia; and Menongue, Angola. The book has been translated into a theatre play and the play was presented in Luanda, Angola during the last 18th OKACOM annual meeting. Country specific roads shows will take place soon in basin communities in Maun, Rundo and Menongue. The book ends with “…to be continued”, so the hope and intention is that there will be more books in this series.
Kwani! Manuscript Project Extends Deadline
The deadline for you to send in your novel manuscript for the Kwani Manuscript Project has been extended to 17 September, 2012.
They’re looking for book manuscripts of between 45,000- 120,000 words. It should be adult fiction (either genre or literary). It must be unpublished and in English. Send as a Word attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Eligible participants should have at least one parent born in an African country who holds citizenship of the same.
Name of author (Times New Roman, 12. Bold left justified)
Contact address, telephone number and email (Times New Roman, 12. Bold left justified)
Title of manuscript (Times New Roman 14. Bold, centered)
The manuscript should be in Times New Roman, black, size 12, justified, 1.5 line spacing
Page numbers and name of author on every page please
Word count at the end of the manuscript, bold and left justified
Please also include a cover letter providing an overview and synopsis of the manuscript, and a brief author biography.
Prizes include cash and publication. This appears not to be an annual contest but rather a one-off event so if you’re thinking of entering this may be your only chance. For more information go to their website (http://manuscript.kwani.org/).