Nigerian Company Launches Afro Emoticons, Claims To Be No. 1

Avatar
Written by Dana Sanchez

A Nigerian company, Oju Africa, today launched ahead of schedule what it claims are the first Afro emoticons, made for use on all Android platforms, and soon, IOS, ITNewsAfrica reports.

Oju means faces in the Yoruba language of Nigeria, and the emoticons will be powered by Mi-Fone, the first African mobile devices brand.

Afro emoticons, released today ahead of schedule, will address the need for a more diverse range of emoticons, the company said.

Oju Africa was created in 2012 and forms part of Mi-Group International Ltd. The African mobile giant planned to launch the Afro emoticons at its global brand launch April 10
but decided to launch early “following discussions surrounding #EmojiEthnicityUpdate
and subsequent trends on Twitter last night,” ITNewsAfrica reports.

“We had a dream of digitally uniting Africa, liberating Africans from digital exclusion,” said Alpesh Patel, CEO of Oju Africa and Mi-Group International Ltd. “With
the launch of the Oju Africa Afro Emoticons we are sharing African soul, funk and unparalleled smiles with the world.”

Patel said timing of the launch is ideal since celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Tahj Mowry are also becoming increasingly “vocal about the need for a more
diverse range of emoticons. They have even gone as far as approaching Apple with this request, yet what people don’t realize is that there is no need for anyone else to develop these when we have them available right now,” he said.

Oju Africa’s scheduled global brand launch will still be held April 10 in
Johannesburg. Oju Africa also plans to attend Licensing Expo 2014 in Las Vegas, June 17-19.