While she was born and raised far from her parents’ country, this Franco-Cameroonian has launched an application to reconnect with her language and her memory of Africa.

It is not enough to say that the project of Stéphie-Rose Nyot Nyot is taking shape. For proof, while she launched last June the mobile application of her project “I speak bassa 2.0” which is positioned as a pioneer in the learning of African languages ​​online, she was honored in September 2017 of an Innovation Award in Atlanta after, moreover, his project was nominated for the World Youth Summit Award and won the prize for the best digital learning project in Cameroon. It is that, without realizing the force of its initiative, Stéphie-Rose Nyot Nyot has responded to an essential need of a certain diaspora: to combine the achievements of its new environment with the desire not to lose the original ties of the parents. As a result, the community’s Facebook curve around the project continues to grow and has far exceeded 10,000 members. It is that the tank is important. Mainly spoken in Cameroon by some 2 million people, the bassa has some 800,000 speakers scattered around the world.

What about the application “I speak 2.0”?

It addresses bassaphones and non-bassaphones through some fifty lessons and exercises in English and French, facilitating learning.

How it works ?

When connected, the user can select exercises from twenty themes: conjugation, grammar, vocabulary, calculations, everyday life. Each of these themes is accompanied by an image and a translation in bassa. At the end of each exercise, he obtains an overall score allowing him to evaluate his level.

No wonder that, as of May 2016, the crowdfunding campaign launched by the “I speak Bassa 2.0” team has achieved the small success that has allowed it to progress and materialize today as a result projects implemented with the money raised, as of September 2016: bilingual English / French website, manual of lessons and exercises …

While waiting to talk to Douala * in the first workshop “Educate tomorrow” *, Stéphie-Rose Nyot Nyot told Africa Point.

Africa Point: What in your personal history led you to feel the need to deepen your relationship with the Bassa language?

Stéphie-Rose Nyot Nyot: After living five years away from my family cocoon, among others in Ghana, England and Canada, it was in 2013 that I returned to Paris for an internship at UNESCO within the Memory of the World and Education for All Program. During this period, I relocated to my family where we speak in bassa. With some distress, I realized that I had lost some of my understanding of the Bassa language for lack of listening. In fact, I had never been able to express myself properly in bassa, but I had always understood a few words and sentences, while there ….

My question was: What could I be able to pass on to my future children when I lost part of my identity?

Having always been interested in cultural diversity, languages ​​of the world and digital communication, I decided, after several researches on the language, to launch the Facebook page in 2013 with the help of my parents and to propose a playful method colorful, modern and participative.

Thus, through JPLB 2.0, we want to show that African regional languages, like so-called commercial languages, also deserve to be spoken. And we are not part of a community but intercultural approach.

Before embarking on this project, bassa was a necessity. Today that it is realized, what does it bring you?

The bassa is still a need, I do not consider to have reached my goal with this project. We have certainly been able to rally a number of people, but beyond the Bassa language, we want to demonstrate that regional African languages ​​are important and deserve to survive, so in the future we want to develop other African languages ​​through our method, for example “I speak mina 2.0”, “I speak fang 2.0”, it will depend on the contributors and the demand.

Africa Point: What in your personal history led you to feel the need to deepen your relationship with the Bassa language?

Stéphie-Rose Nyot Nyot: After living five years away from my family cocoon, among others in Ghana, England and Canada, it was in 2013 that I returned to Paris for an internship at UNESCO within the Memory of the World and Education for All Program. During this period, I relocated to my family where we speak in bassa. With some distress, I realized that I had lost some of my understanding of the Bassa language for lack of listening. In fact, I had never been able to express myself properly in bassa, but I had always understood a few words and sentences, while there ….

My question was: What could I be able to pass on to my future children when I lost part of my identity?

Having always been interested in cultural diversity, languages ​​of the world and digital communication, I decided, after several researches on the language, to launch the Facebook page in 2013 with the help of my parents and to propose a playful method colorful, modern and participative.

Thus, through JPLB 2.0, we want to show that African regional languages, like so-called commercial languages, also deserve to be spoken. And we are not part of a community but intercultural approach.

Before embarking on this project, bassa was a necessity. Today that it is realized, what does it bring you?

The bassa is still a need, I do not consider to have reached my goal with this project. We have certainly been able to rally a number of people, but beyond the Bassa language, we want to demonstrate that regional African languages ​​are important and deserve to survive, so in the future we want to develop other African languages ​​through our method, for example “I speak mina 2.0”, “I speak fang 2.0”, it will depend on the contributors and the demand.

Beyond the mastery of the language, do you have a deeper cultural project concerning the bassa universe?

Every language belongs to a world in its own right, to a well-defined universe, and we see it through the translation of certain words or terms that find no equivalent in French or in English. We want to develop tools and supports that fit into this universe. That’s why during this holiday season, we launched our first book, a 24-page booklet called “Bi Banga bi hop Bassa” which offers to learn basic words and phrases through the alphabet bassa. This one is for the little ones, but also for the beginners. To get it, it’s easy to visit our website: www.jeparlelebassa2point0.com

Now that the application is in place and that “I speak bassa 2.0” is a concrete achievement, what is the next step?

We have just launched the mobile application on Android, which was recently rewarded in Atlanta. We are very proud of this, but it is a beta version of what we want to achieve in the long run. In addition, we would also like to develop the application on IOS. Currently, this technology and support remain too high compared to our current resources. We produce project by-products, t-shirts, mugs, bags and wish to find distribution points.

Le Point

About The Author

CEO AfrikaTech

Comme beaucoup de personnes j’ai connu l’Afrique à travers des stéréotypes : l’Afrique est pauvre, il y a la guerre, famine… Je suis devenu entrepreneur pour briser ces clichés et participer à la construction du continent. J’ai lancé plusieurs entreprises dont Kareea (Formation et développement web), Tutorys (Plate-forme de e-learning), AfrikanFunding (Plate-forme de crowdfunding). Après un échec sur ma startup Tutorys, à cause d’une mauvaise exécution Business, un manque de réseau, pas de mentor, je suis parti 6 mois en immersion dans l’écosystème Tech au Sénégal. J’ai rencontré de nombreux entrepreneurs passionnés, talentueux et déterminés. A mon retour sur Paris je décide de raconter leur histoire en créant le média AfrikaTech. L'objectif est de soutenir les entrepreneurs qui se battent quotidiennement en Afrique en leur offrant la visibilité, les connaissances, le réseautage et les capitaux nécessaires pour réussir. L'Afrique de demain se construit aujourd'hui ensemble. Rejoignez-nous ! LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/boubacardiallo

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