Taking care of the future now

tjil chats to international model and TV producer, Luis Munana, on the importance of celebrating children.

28 September 2018 | Art and Entertainment

Chubby faces, rolls of extra love, straightforward honesty and curiosity are some of the qualities which portray children.

Children are the epitome of affection and the leaders of tomorrow. We should not, on top of this, forget that they are people before anything else and their lives need to be valued. “The one thing all children have in common is their rights. Every child has the right to survive and thrive, to be educated, to be free from violence and abuse, to participate and to be heard,” once said the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon.

Today, children across Namibia will be celebrating their day under the theme 'No child shall be left behind for Namibia's development'. The Day of the Namibian Child gives us another chance to re-dedicate ourselves to the cause of children and protect and promote their rights to a wider audience.

The importance of this day is to communicate to children that they are valued, loved and most importantly, that they matter.

A local celebrity who has a soft spot for children, Luis Munana, created an animated series that encompasses all aspects of early childhood development - amongst others. His dream from the beginning was to create something magical that each Namibian child could enjoy despite their background. Munana said that he never thought Waka Waka Moo would get as far as it has. Waka in this context means 'go on' and if one was to translate its meaning; it means “go on or continue doing and chasing your dreams”.

“I was in grade 3 and we watched Lion King. It sticks with me because even today I still remember the emotions I went through and that was years ago. I then decided that I wanted to create something so powerful that a child can watch it and be able to say 'ten years ago I watched Waka Waka Moo on TV, their crew even came to my school and put on a puppet show for us'. That's what keeps me going,” he said.

The cartoon series is a campaign incorporating songs, dance, storytelling, history, science and preserving culture in Rukwangali, Afrikaans, Oshiwambo, Otjiherero, Damara/Nama, Silozi, Tswana, Dutch and English. There are segments on the show that are only in cartoon form and then there are segments which involve child hosts interacting with real life hand puppets.





The aim, according to Munana is to preserve Namibian stories by making them relevant, fun and exciting. Munana has shot over 26 episodes thus far and he wants to ensure that every Namibian child sees one episode, at least.

“We are becoming too westernised and I believe that one needs to know where you come from. There are certain values, traditions and teachings that we need to carry to the next generations for them not to be lost. Once you lose things like language, your culture follows and you are likely to have an identity crisis. Waka Waka Moo tries to preserve some of the teachings through the stories told,” he said.

The model told tjil the reception to the series, which is a year and a month old, is overwhelming. There are countless occasions where he has been stopped in shopping malls by children and parents who bare the same sentiments of appreciation.

“They tell me not to stop and that's when I realised that what I am doing is actually important. It's like I have opened a Pandora's Box and I can't put things back in there,” he said.

Today, Waka Waka Moo crew travels countrywide to schools where they put on a puppet show for the children. Munana says his team receives requests on a daily basis from school teachers, both government and private schools, to have the crew perform at their schools.

Munana says not a lot is being done for Namibian children and efforts will be required from everyone to assure a safe future for them. He believes there is very little being done for children to explore their talents and creativity.

“Many government schools are removing artistic subjects due to cost cutting and that's not fair. Things like creative writing competitions and arts subjects are also important because there are career fields that require that knowledge,” he said.

Munana also spoke about the increase in child abuse. “Back then, the whole community was responsible for raising children. Today things have changed and each one is on their own. What happened to that neighbourly love? We need to educate the children not to speak to strangers, not go out at night. Giving credit where its due is how there is free education and that is effort put in by the government because now, every child can go to school,” he said.

Munana said he appreciates the support he has been getting both from the government and corporate world for his cartoon show. He says there would be no success story if many of them had not come on board. He plans on one day being able to create a Waka Waka Moo movie that will be consumed worldwide and not just in Namibia.

“My trips have been funded, I was given puppet material and my mascots from government entities and Sugar King has been very, very helpful,” he concluded.

June Shimuoshili

Similar News

 

Namibian hip-hop mourns Kanibal

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | Art and Entertainment

MICHAEL KAYUNDE WINDHOEK On Wednesday, 15 September, a dark cloud settled over the...

Zula with Gazza and KFC

3 days ago - 16 September 2021 | Art and Entertainment

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEK Last October, KFC Namibia approached Gazza to be the official judge and mentor for its 50/50 festive campaign.“Working with Gazza and...

Kanibal no more

4 days ago - 15 September 2021 | Art and Entertainment

JUST IN: Namibian hip-hop legend Kanibal has died. His body was found by his siblings at his mother’s house in Pioneers Park in Windhoek this...

Rekindling Nam hip-hop

1 week ago - 10 September 2021 | Art and Entertainment

MICHAEL KAYUNDE WINDHOEK KP Illest has without a doubt been causing quite a...

Meet the MultiChoice Talent Factory Class of 2022!

1 week ago - 10 September 2021 | Art and Entertainment

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEK MultiChoice Africa is excited to welcome the next generation of...

Coast well represented at Voice of Namibia finale

1 week ago - 10 September 2021 | Art and Entertainment

ADOLF KAURE WALVIS BAY The coast will be represented by four talented vocalists at the finale of the Voice of Namibia...

Keeping it real

1 week ago - 10 September 2021 | Art and Entertainment

What’s up, tjil readers? Shout out to you guys for keeping the culture alive. Preparing this edition really got me thinking about stuff.I think it’s...

Short and sweet

1 week ago - 10 September 2021 | Art and Entertainment

MICHAEL KAYUNDE WINDHOEK Although still unknown by many mainstream wise, singer Diolini dropped...

Livinge drops new song

1 week ago - 10 September 2021 | Art and Entertainment

ADOLF KAURE WALVIS BAY Swakopmund-based multi-talented musician Heather ‘Livinge’ Dennis - formerly known...

Music and science team up for a good cause...

1 week ago - 10 September 2021 | Art and Entertainment

MICHAEL KAYUNDE WINDHOEK Award-winning artist Antany Knows is using his musical talent and influence to increase vaccine awareness and uptake among the...

Latest News

How to save with confidence

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | Others

Neville Vries Everyone can save something. Having a goal is the first step. “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you...

Relief from the price monster...

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUStatistics released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) indicated that on a monthly basis, inflation decreased by 0.2% in August 2021 compared to an...

Unam dogged by fraud claims

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | Education

MATHIAS HAUFIKU WINDHOEK The University of Namibia (Unam) is facing criticism from its staffers for allegedly refusing to...

Kennedy Hamutenya - NAMDIA CEO

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | People

1. What do you bring differently to the table of your career? I served as chairperson and deputy chairperson of Debmarine Namibia, director...

Calista Schwartz CEO,NYC (Treasurer)

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | People

1. What do you bring different to the table of your...

Business and Intellectual Property Authority...

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | People

1. What do you bring different to the table of your career?I have had the privilege to work in both the public and private...

Public Enterprises Chief Executive Officers...

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | People

On 03 June 2021, the 6th annual general meeting of the Public Enterprise Chief Executive Officers Forum (PE CEOs’ Forum), a new PE CEOs’ Forum...

NAMCOR MD, Immanuel Mulunga (Chairperson)

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | People

1. What unique attributes do you bring to the SOE CEO Forum?I bring a dynamic and transformational leadership to the table...

Maria Nangolo – ED NIPAM,...

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | People

1. What do you bring different to the table of your career?I am a result driven, leader, strategist and...

Load More