Meet Inonge, a Zambian marketing professional and video game enthusiast. Inonge took part in Global Game Jam for the first time and co-wrote the storyline for an adventurous, Afrocentric game called Kifaru Wa Vita. Get to know Inonge, her obsession with Mortal Kombat, and her views on how more women can be encouraged to get into games.
Fun fact: Inonge worked with our first interviewee, Tendai Njovu on the writing for their Global Game Jam game.
Tell us about yourself Inonge.
My name is Inonge Kamona. I am a Marketer, and I have loved video games since I was really young. The first game I played was Tekken and it blew my mind away. The movement of the characters was just astounding! I am currently looking to better myself in creating storylines for video games. I officially joined Global Game Jam in January this year because I wanted to participate in game development. What made me join is the diversity of the players and game developers.
How did you get interested in games?
I remember visiting my uncle while on a school holiday and I coming across a Playstation 2. It had this amazing game called God of War. It was then that I fell in love with video games. I’d spend hours and hours trying to complete the challenges!
Tell us about the game you helped create for Global Game Jam.
Global Game Jam was an amazing experience for me and GGJ 2021 was my first experience. I was one of the writers for the storyline which was centered on the theme “Lost and Found”. The story was about a Rhino village that loses the health of its land due to a volcanic eruption, to restore the land, one of the Rhinos had to go on a quest to find the village’s long-standing Afrormosia heritage plant which was also lost in the eruption. The plant would restore the health of the land.
The experience was amazing because I got to see my game come to life!
How long did it take you to come up with the story? Were there any inspirations behind this?
So we tried to create an African-based game in 4 days. This meant that everyone participating had to bring their A-game to help create an amazing game. It took my co-writer and I about a day to come up with a storyline, though it was a back and forth process as we had to work from different locations due to COVID-19 restrictions. We opted to use a social network platform called Discord where we interacted and update each other as a team.
Some of the inspirations of this game came from different angles of African folklore such as the Nyami-Nyami, and nature – the Rhino which is one of the Big 5 animals and the Afrormosia plant also known as the African Teak.
What are some of your favourite games? What are you playing now?
My favourite games are Mortal Kombat (all day every day!), God of War, Need for Speed Most Wanted, and The Ghost of Mordor. I am currently playing The Last of Us, an action-adventure game and I am enjoying it so far.
What inspired the characters you helped create? Did your favourite games play a role in this?
Yes, Mortal Kombat. It did play a major role in coming up with a two-foot animal character. The game paves a way for unlimited imagination and allows me to create characters without limitations, that is the beauty of video games you can create anything you want and it can do whatever you code it to do!
How do you think we can make more Zambian women a part of the creation of games?
I think we can start with schools and universities. The way we take the time to invest in career talks for other industries, the same can be done for games. Create video game events targeted at young women and girls and allowing established women in games to shed more light on how amazing game creation is. It would be best to guarantee that food and drinks will be served at the event, lol. It would be a great way to also share how empowering the experience can be for a girl child.
What would you like to see more of in the African gaming scene?
I’d like to see more women take up more coding and game development roles in games. This would inspire a lot of women to take up different roles that contribute to technological advancement.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us? A fun fact about yourself?
I chose my gaming name “Mushu” because of the dragon in Mulan. And I love all the female characters in Mortal Kombat, they can surely fight!
Play Kifaru Wa Vitu here: https://globalgamejam.org/2021/games/kifaru-wa-vita-5