Africans have been telling stories for centuries, passing nuggets of cultural knowledge and heritage from one generation to the next through fables, folktales, and epic narrations. Newly launched storytelling app, BookBeak, is now making it possible for those new and old African stories to be shared with the world.
Founded by three young South Africans, BookBeak is the first African app-based platform to aggregate African short stories from published, unpublished and self-published writers and serve them to a global audience.
Empowering Africa’s storytellers
It all comes down to accessibility. “Our continent is rich with writers who have great stories to tell, but no real way to share those stories with the rest of the world,” comments Kamo Sesing, founding member of BookBeak. “We’re changing that. Africa is the fastest-growing smartphone market in the world so it only made sense to build an app that could serve the people of the continent these African stories directly into the palm of their hands, as well as audiences across the rest of the world.”
Of all of BookBeak’s remarkable features, it’s most meaningful and impactful is by far its revenue sharing model to benefit its contributing writers. Revenue generated from BookBeak’s global subscription base will be shared on a 50/50 basis with contributing writers, and then further tiered remuneration based on the number of downloads received by their respective stories. This will allow people to make a living through their unique storytelling talents.
Says Sesing, “Our continent has huge unemployment problems. BookBeak will not only provide an additional income stream for these storytellers but also help them build their audience and following, propelling them towards future success.”
Encouraging Afro-centric reading
“We also realised that many African parents have been struggling to find children’s stories that are representative and relevant to them,” adds Cameron Naidoo of BookBeak, “so we’ve created a library of beautiful, culturally relevant African short stories just for children, allowing their creativity and imagination to flourish while engaging with the diverse library on the app.” Parents can download kiddies’ short stories, as well as audio shorts to keep their little ones entertained and engaged. “Parents can even create a personalised story for their little one in minutes, simply by typing in their child’s name to replace the main character’s name from one of the many stories on the app,” adds Naidoo. “This is an amazing feature where the kids become the heroes of their own story!”
For adult readers, there is an impressive library of African short stories from published, unpublished and self-published authors, which is updated with fresh and exciting content every week.
BookBeak is now available for download from Apple and Google Play stores. When signing up, you become eligible for three FREE premium reads followed by a monthly subscription of only R59 a month to get full access to BookBeak’s entire library for your enjoyment, whilst also supporting Africa’s talented storytellers.
“The global appetite for African stories is growing. Whether you’re a writer or a reader, join BookBeak and start sharing your African story today,” Sesing concludes.