The Yoza Library
On 22 August a new library of cellphone stories – also known as mobile novels or m-novels – was launched by the Shuttleworth Foundation as part of its m4Lit (mobiles for literacy) project. Yoza is the name of the m-novel library, which uses cellphones to support teen reading and writing. The m-novels are cool, interactive and free. Yoza is available on www.yoza.mobi and on MXit (go to Tradepost > MXit Cares > mobiBooks) on all WAP-enabled cellphones, as well as on Facebook (search for Yoza Cellphone Stories).
What’s in the Yoza Library?
· Kontax, the flagship title about a group of four teenage friends in Cape Town. In trial publications, the first two instalments of this m-novel series were read 34 000 times in seven months! The Yoza library features all m-novels in the series, with a fourth sequel launched on 22 August. This series is written by Sam Wilson and Lauren Beukes of Clockwork Zoo.
· Streetskillz is a brand new soccer series written by talented young writer and soccer fanatic Charlie Human. The first story – Golden Goal – launched on 22 August and is set in the month of the soccer World Cup. Unforgettable international soccer reality merges with a dramatic fictional street soccer competition in Du Noon township in Cape Town.
· Sisterz is a sassy new series by local chic lit star Fiona Snyckers. On 22 August Latoya’s Secret launched straight into the depths of dark family secrets, the highs of friendship, school Pop Idols auditions, and the breath-stopping sensations of first love.
· Confessions of a Virgin Loser by talented, thoughtful novelist Edyth Bulbring is the story of a Joburg boy steering his way through the complicated world of peer pressure, teenage sex and HIV/AIDS, while just trying to be a cool kid at school.
Sequels to the above stories will generally launch on the first of each month from October 2010.
· A Bicycle Ride through Lesotho by Duncan Guy – of Learn the News fame – tells the entertaining tale of riding through the Mountain Kingdom on a bicycle.
· Yoza Classics is a section of its own, featuring a range of public domain titles. School prescribed work Macbeth is one of the first titles selected for Yoza Classics. The idea is not necessarily that teens will read the whole of Macbeth on their cellphones, but if they have to read Act 1; Scene 1 for homework and they don’t have a textbook, then they can do so on their phones.
- Press release (pdf download)