A new sticker app featuring African characters and pan-African phrases has launched worldwide.
The app, called Afro Emoji, features phrases that are used everyday on the continent. These include “Abeg no vex” (Please, don’t be annoyed), “E make brain” (It makes sense) and “My Oga at the top” (My boss at the top).
“We, as Africans, definitely have an idiosyncratic way of communicating with one another,” Afro Emoji team leader Ayoola Daramola told CNN.
“This is really a fun, accessible graphic depiction of that. For a continent of almost 1 billion, we are woefully represented and this really grated with me, so I decided to do something about it,”
The idea comes from Washington D.C.-based iManagement Consulting, who have created over 50 free character stickers.
“I was also inspired by the rate at which mobile adoption in Africa is so rapid, so aggressive. The way Africans communicate, both at home and abroad, is really changing very quickly,” Daramola said.
This isn’t the first time an app has been launched for African emojis.
Though different in appearance and style, in 2014, a Mauritius-based app company called Oju Africa announced that it was tackling the lack of racial diversity by introducing its own set of Afro emoticons on Google Play Store.
The first group of emojis are predominantly West African and have been created to gauge reactions.
“Africans bring noise and exuberance and a saying to practically everything we do,” said Daramola.
“There are so many cultural nuances and mannerisms from across the continent, what we’re looking to do with Afro Emoji is portray them in pictorial form and package them in a way that millions can use and share.”