Growing up, Faith Kisa had an aunt who habitually asked her and her siblings to write many stories.
Aunt Tuape encouraged them to draw various characters and act their stories out. In doing all this, Kisa never imagined such fun moments would shape her career.
Now 25, Kisa attended Taibah International School for her O and A-levels of education before attaining a bachelor’s degree in Animation and Multimedia from the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in Malaysia.
In 2013, Kisa, who was enthusiastic about developing children’s content based on African values, came back to a difficult reality at home. The high costs of producing animated movies aside, she found it difficult to create a team. This left her sad and stranded for a while.
However, amidst her storm came a brilliant idea. She decided to develop children’s storybooks, instead. For someone who grew up writing and telling stories, it was not long before her very first product Kiki’s Monster Collection was set rolling.
Among her other books is The Soup Monster which revolves around love, family and character-building; values she finds extremely necessary for her young audience.
“I want to entertain children, but to also teach them some morals through my stories,” says Kisa, adding that many African children enjoy watching animated movies and reading animated books yet they hardly identify with the Western and Asian characters therein. “I want to develop African characters that children can enjoy reading and easily identify with.”
The Soup Monster is currently available on the global online shopping platform Amazon. It can be downloaded at $2.99 (approximately Shs 10,823).
The book has been embraced with a number of downloads especially in the western countries. Many people in Africa, especially Uganda, still have credit card issues.
“Many people that I have told about the book want it, but they don’t have credit cards while others just want a hard copy,” notes Kisa, who is considering PayPal payments for clients who don’t have credit cards.
This year, Kisa plans to put her second book Kami’s Monster Fish on the market.
“I have so much work in the pipeline. I prepared well for this,” smiles Kisa, whose stories are inspired by her own childhood experiences.
Much as she is writing books now, Kisa’s ultimate dream is to develop games, video and audio content for children. In her bigger picture is a children’s brand that develops children’s entertainment content and products just like Walt Disney.
“I want to fill the African children’s content gap,” beams Kisa, who draws inspiration from children’s content developers JK Rawlings and Roald Dahl. “I want to create a kid’s brand that is strong, powerful and accessible to all kids.”
Kisa’s biggest role model is her mother, an accountant.
“She has taught me the value of resilience and hard work which have come in handy in both my education and career,” she says.
In her free time, Kisa enjoys researching and thinking about creating new and different things. Listening to music, dancing and travelling are her other passions.
“If I had the budget, I would travel a lot more often,” says Kisa, who enjoys seafood.
Unlike many girls who would choose an ideal man based on physical appearance and material acquisitions, such things are vain to Kisa. Her ideal man is one with ambitions; one who can complement her aspirations.
“I am not into comfort zones. I am pushy; so, I can’t have a laid-back guy,” she says.
For now, her best moment is seeing her Monster collection project come to life. Her worst is when she underestimated her course and ended up with a not-so-good performance in her first semester.
“I had to work doubly hard to offset my weak performance and I am happy I eventually did. But I got a lower grade point average than what I would have if I had been serious from the start,” says Kisa, who narrowly missed a first-class degree.
However, from her worst experience came a big lesson that she lives by. She has learnt never to take things for granted.