A new digital graphic novel, Ngarimu Te Tohu Toa / Victory at Point 209, has been designed and launched by Kiwa Digital. The new app is an interactive digital book in a comic format with audio and text in te reo Māori and English that tells the story of the Ngāti Porou hero.
Kiwa Digital is making use of the technological era to tell Ngarimu's story.
CEO of Kiwa Digital Steven Renata told Te Kāea, “We do quite a bit of work in the education space for tamariki rangatahi, we also do a lot of work now with adults and for businesses so we're working with some cultural apps for businesses to increase their baseline knowledge of tikanga Māori and te reo Māori.”
Ngāti Porou narrator for the app, Barry Soutar says, “I'm amused at the response from my elders at home who weren't too clued up on the computerised world. They thought they were watching a movie on TV, but when they observed the kids on the app, they were enlightened.”
It's a world easily accessible to the youth. The new app has numerous functions associated in telling the story in both Māori and English.
Soutar says, “The dialect is Ngāti Porou, but the whole story about the 28th Māori Battalion is great for the East Coast.”
“You've got different swiping techniques to move through the content whether you wanna read it from front to back, or just go through whatever pages you like, and then there's also an auto play function which allows you to push play, sit back and enjoy the experience,” says Renata.
A short history lesson about the battle for Point 209 in Tunisia, where Ngarimu, despite being under intense mortar and machine gun-fire, led the assault up the hill earning him a Victoria Cross.