Thursday, August 10, 2017

App Features World's First Black Emojis -- An Idea That Could Potentially Generate $1 Million Per Day!

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Back in 2014, an innovative app company called Oju Africa, based in the country of Mauritius, has introduced a set of African/Black emojis as a solution to the lack of diversity on Apple's popular set of emojis used around the world. The unique emojis can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, and are designed to work on all Android platforms.

An emoji (or emoticon), for those that don't know, is a graphic representation of a facial expression, formed by using various combinations of keyboard characters. For example, typing in :-) creates a smile. Emojis are generally used in text messages, and on social meda platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and others. Emoji apps are so popular that some of them are making up to $1 million dollars a day!

So why the need for Black emojis?

CNN recently interviewed Alpesh Patel, CEO of Oju Africa, and during the interview he explains why there was a need for the emoticons: "Oju is an iconic African character -- if you look at the main logo with the tongue sticking out, he's a cheeky, very friendly, cool African character that also works in digital by the smilie, but also works in non-digital by a traditional character licensing. Today Africa does not have its own Mickey Mouse, does not have its own Hello Kitty, there is no African character brand."

According to their web site, the company was created to "celebrate Africa", and what better way to do it then to give Africans a digital face that looks like them.

Just how big is the mobile phone industry in Africa?

Well, according to, since the year 2000, the mobile phone market in Africa has grown from 16.5 million cell phone users to more than 650 million cell phone users. That means that the continent of Africa has more cell phone users than the United States or the entire European Union.

Patel comments, "Mobile is basically what makes Africa go round today, what makes Africa work today. We never had any fixed infrastructure so Africa has come from nothing to wireless and in that process we've been able to develop some superior networks in Africa compared to the ones in the western world."

Obviously with that many cell phone users in Africa plus the millions of African descendants around the world (African Americans, African Europeans, etc), it would be nice to have a digital set of emoticons that they can identify with.

For more details about Oju Africa, visit:

To download the Black emoticons to your mobile phone, visit:

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Posted by community events coordinator, Nzinga Lonstein Austin, is a prolific blogger who writes on the entertainment industry and issues for people with developmental and physical challenges.

She is presently in high school looking to have a career in video, film, and media. You can see more of her entertainment writing on Lonstein Movies.

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