Using IT to tell traditional stories

Clever use of an online cartooning app helped Tyrone Smith (Te Arawa rāua kō Ngāti Kahungunu) turn a gorgeous photo of his nine-year-old daughter Malaika and her brother Tahir, aged four, into the winning entry in the Mana Manaaki section of the inaugural E Tū Whānau poster competition.

“I’m all about whānau and self-empowerment – playing around, using modern tools, apps and programmes, to connect to the wisdom of our traditional ways.”

The ebullient and constantly creative Ōtautahi based Whānau Ora Youth Mentor, proud husband and father of three, uses his self-taught skills to turn phone pics of tamariki, friends and whānau into story books.

“I use apps to play around with the images, maybe add some words, then print them, put the A4 sized images into a binder and read them to the kids at bedtime. Anyone can do it.”

The competition to design a poster was based around three of the values that underpin the E Tū Whānau kaupapa:

  • AROHA – giving with no expectation of return
  • MANA MANAAKI – building the mana of others through nurturing, growing and challenging
  • WHAKAPAPA –knowing who you are and where you belong.

E Tū Whānau is a movement for positive change developed by Māori for Māori. It’s about communities  taking responsibility and action and supporting whānau to thrive.

Entrants could use any medium to depict a value and could enter as many times as they liked. More than 250 entries were received overall.

You can read more about the poster competition winners here.

This is the second time Tyrone has taken part in an E Tū Whānau online competition. Tyrone and a close crew of fellow community youth workers produced the playful, whānau-centered video, ‘Bros for Change’, for the 2018 E Tū Whānau Song Competition. Check it out and you’ll see what we mean by ‘ebullient and constantly creative.’