'Cipta,' an anti-bullying superhero with the power to turn her drawings into reality, is the main character of Rizka Ramli's comic story. (Photo courtesy of Unicef)
Indonesian Student Wins Worldwide Comic Contest With Anti-Bullying Hero
JANUARY 14, 2019
Jakarta. Rizka Raisa Fatimah Ramli, a 17-year-old high school girl from Makassar, South Sulawesi, won a worldwide comic contest last week with a story that inspires children to speak up against bullying.
The contest was part of an ongoing global campaign by the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) to end violence against children. Rizka competed against thousands of entrants from around the world.
"I created Cipta to draw attention to the violence and bullying children in Indonesia and around the world face every day," Rizka said, as quoted in a statement by Unicef.
Cipta, the main character in Rizka's story, is a 15-year-old with a superpower that gives her the ability to turn her drawings into reality. She can then control her creations to stop violence and bullying in schools.
Cipta gives her sketchbook to children who are afraid to speak up, allowing them to draw or write what they want her to create or control – to share the problems they face.
In a video interview provided by Unicef, Rizka said she had an interest in drawing since she was little. After witnessing cases of bullying around her, especially in school, she realized the extent of a problem.
"Bullying is one of the reasons I draw… Through drawing, I feel that my character is alive and I have control over the bullies. I hope I can inspire many people, especially children, to tell their stories and if they can't say it directly, to do so through a drawing," Rizka said.
Unicef and Comics Uniting Nations launched the contest in October last year, calling on children and young people to create a comic superhero that would defeat The Silence, a supernatural character with the power to prevent children from speaking up and stopping violence in and around schools.
The UN agency said it received nearly 3,600 submissions from more than 130 countries, and that more than 23,000 people voted online to determine the winner.
"The number of incredible entries we received sends a powerful message that children and young people want to break the silence on school violence and bullying," said Paloma Escudero, director of communication at Unicef.
As the winner, Rizka will be working with a professional team to produce a full-length comic book featuring Cipta.
The final product will be presented to world leaders at a high-level conference in July this year and distributed to children across the globe.