Africans are well adapted to the digital communication craze. However, more often than not, the available emojis (smileys) that aid the fluidity of conversations are sometimes not enough for us Africans.
In a bid to facilitate diversity and inclusivity, Apple and Whatsapp created an emoji upgrade that allows users to pick from a variety of skin tones, yet it is sometimes unsatisfactory. Considering these emojis are created by non-Africans, some of our unique expressions can hardly be conveyed by these smileys. Nonetheless, Afro Emoji begs to differ.
Afro Emoji is an app that features African characters and African expressions created by a Washington D.C based company, iManagement Consulting.
“We, as Africans, definitely have an idiosyncratic way of communicating with one another,” Ayoola Daramola the Afro Emoji team leader told CNN.
“This is really a fun, accessible graphic depiction of that. For a continent of almost 1 billion people, we are woefully represented and this really grated with me, so I decided to do something about it.”
The current emojis are available on Android and iOS for free. The stickers can be customized and can also be used on a variety of social media platforms such as; Blackberry Messenger (BBM), WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Google hangout and Skype. Although it contains characters with expressions that are more common with West Africa, Daramola, overwhelmed by the reaction and recognition of the app, plans to upgrade it to include other African expressions.
Afro Emoji is not the first african-based smileys/stickers available. There are others available mostly on the app store, like Oju