As the fashion world (and every other that has access to a smartphone or the internet) well knows, emoticons, or ’emojis’ have kind of taken over the way we communicate, and – giving Africans their unique voice in all e-conversations going forward – Oju Africa introduces its ‘afro emoticons’; emojis, by way of Africa.
The new characters, which are comprised of various black faces and a heart with a map of Africa inside it, will launch officially from Oju Africa – a company created in 2012 as part of Africa’s premier mobile device brand, Mi-Group International Limited. And, with a launch event scheduled to take place this month, the project not only continues the brand’s habit of innovating the continent’s mobile industry, but also helps raise funds for the empowerment and education of African children.
The new afro-centric characters and emoticons are described by their creators as “iconic, important, innovative and authentic,” with a portion of their licencing fees going to the Mi-Oju Children’s Foundation, which the brand launched recently in association with the globally celebrated author, Robin Sharma.
Alpesh Patel, CEO Oju Africa and CEO of Mi-Group International, explains;
“The purpose of the Foundation is to empower and educate the Children of Africa via ICT. The launch Oju and the Mi-Oju Children’s Foundation with Robin Sharma will undoubtedly help us achieve our dream of digitally uniting Africa, liberating Africans from digital exclusion.
With the launch of the Oju Africa Afro Emoticons we are sharing African soul, funk and unparalleled smiles with the world, allowing the world to help empower African children in return.”
While a snippet of the Ojus (meaning ‘faces’ in the Nigerian language of Yoruba) are already available to download here, the remainder of the 65 new emojis will launch officially at Oju Africa’s event in Ikoyi, Lagos on 26th of May, where there will be celebrities, media and business leaders in attendance, giving guests a chance to network and presumably discuss the project via the new emojis, too.
Said emoticons will be available to use across all Android platforms, with IOS and other platforms being facilitated soon after, though for us at SPICE, it’s all about the blue eyeshadow, earring and head scarf clad Oju (we’re a sucker for those who accessorise) and the heart that holds Africa inside it, which we predict will be the most overused emoji in existence by 2015.
Tell us your thoughts and your favourite via the comments box below, or tweet us them via @SPICETVAFRICA and the hashtag #AfroEmojis.
Image source: Ojuafrica.com