In the Singularity community, our stories are uniquely different, but we all arrive at the same goal – to create impact. The convergence of innovative people at our programs is what makes our community so transformative. That's exactly what happened at an SU program in 2016, where Kenyan artist Chief Nyamweya met Canadian blockchain entrepreneur Anne Connelly. They connected over their passion for technology and the ability of storytelling to educate the next generation of entrepreneurs.
"Young Africans are hungry for a vision of an African future rooted in trust, sustainability and freedom from unaccountable state power. A desire to satisfy this hunger with a story of a practicable grassroots alternative led us to create a transmedia project called, 'TRUST.'" says Nyamweya, also the co-founder of Freehand Studios.
'TRUST' features a graphic novel, motion comic and NFT collection. Set in a fictional African Republic, TRUST is a gripping story of a young whistleblower, Moraa, who uncovers a plot by one of the most powerful men in the country to illegally acquire the oil-rich Olorur Valley in Wahengaland. With the help of her community and blockchain technology, she goes on a perilous journey to protect her homeland - the last autonomous region in the country - from cultural and ecological destruction at the hands of the ruthless oligarch, Max. Along their journey, they learn about the power of blockchain to organize, fundraise and transform their future.
To make understanding blockchain concepts easier, they have woven use cases for the technology right into the storyline. The book will also link to educational partners across the continent to help readers take the next step to becoming crypto users, entrepreneurs and developers of the future.
Nyamweya adds, "graphic novels and motion comics can be used as both entertainment and educational tools that allow readers and viewers to use visual elements to support the synthesis of complex concepts."
Their goal? To reach 1 million African youth and share the potential impact of decentralization. To reach that goal, they have put accessibility at the forefront of their launch. The book will be completely free to read and available in easy-to-download pdfs and in mobile-first digital formats on platforms like Kindle and Webtoons. In addition, the motion comic will be available across YouTube and social media.
"We have received support from blockchain communities including Algorand Foundation, Interchain Foundation, Gitcoin Grants, Consensys, Cardano Foundation, Conflux Network, the Graph Foundation, the Foundation for Art and Blockchain and Africalia – a sign that there is support for TRUST's vision from across the industry," says Connelly, who is an expert with Singularity.
Diversity and equality in blockchain are necessary for bigger, better and more varied ideas when using technology to transform our collective future. 'TRUST' was made to show African youth a new and exciting way to grab ahold of their future and ultimately fill them with purpose. Everyone deserves opportunities to access resources, including technology, for the good of their communities and the world. To change the world, we must first educate, acknowledge that diversity and equality breed new and different ideas and trust the youth to build a better and brighter future.
"By using storytelling to educate readers about blockchain technology, we hope to inspire millions of African youth to imagine alternative futures and create them by providing them with the training and tools to create it," says Connelly.
Join Anne and Chief on this exciting ride as they launch their novel and inspire millions. Read about the adventures of Moraa as you learn about blockchain technology and the role it plays in real change. Don't miss out on the motion comic that will bring the story to life, and be sure to browse the NFT collection to help support local blockchain education initiatives. The project launches on September 21st, and details can be found on their website, trustgraphicnovel.com.