Collecting and disseminating location-based praises “Omitandu” through crowd-voicing.

BY Adilson Sebastiao Clemente (Honours)

Principal Supervisor : Mr. Colin Stanley, Namibia University of Science and Technology
Associate Supervisor : Mr. Gereon Koch Kapuire, Namibia University of Science and Technology

Otjiherero praises of places “Omitandu” in Namibia are facing a perceivable risk of annihilation that could eventually result in the loss of the Otjiherero-speaking indigenous knowledge (IK). With no initiatives devoted to digitize this praises, there is an imminent need to solicit the participation of IK holders and youth. Meanwhile, emerging technologies provide numerous possibilities that are being contextualized and devoted towards understanding and safeguarding of local cultures. This study explores crowdsourcing model to support the collecting and dissemination of Omitandu. Following a certain stream of Research through Design (RtD) approach with co-design, a crowd-voicing application was developed to enable participation of IK holders and youth in capturing Omitandu in Namibia. Co-design workshops were conducted and the co-design partners’ perspective were ensured and incorporated in the early stage of the prototype design. The resulting prototype was evaluated by the co-design participants and was regarded as easy to use and exciting. The study was conducted to find out the challenges and considerations for co-designing such an application. The significance of the study is in its attempt to contribute towards much needed interventions to safeguard IK in Namibia. Awareness of the Otjiherero praises of places is created. Cross-culture learning among different tribes in Namibia and elsewhere is enabled. Guidelines for future conceptualization of applications for safeguarding oral IK belonging to other communities in the country is provided.