A year ago, an app called Afro Emoji was launched by a team of young Africans to feature African characters and pan-African phrases on the world emoji market.
As we celebrate World Emoji Day on Monday, July 17, 2017, we take a look at Africa’s place in the emoji world. This is best projected by Afro Emoji.
The app from Nigeria designed with West African-themed stickers features characters in African clothing coupled with pidgin English and popular local phrases including “Abeg no vex” (please, don’t be annoyed), “Chai!” (an exclamation of surprise) and “Akwaaba” (“Welcome” in the Ghanaian language Twi).
One of the developers of the Afro Emoji app, Ayoola Daramola told the media during the launch that it was created to increase African representation in the digital community.
“We, as Africans, definitely have an idiosyncratic way of communicating with one another. This is really a fun, accessible graphic depiction of that,” Daramola said.
World Emoji Day was marked globally through hastags, social media events and the lighting of the Empire State Building in New York City yellow to commemorate the day.
There are also the World Emoji Awards which welcomes votes from the public to determine the winner of Best New Emoji, Most Anticipated Emoji, or the new Lifetime Achievement Award.
🎉Congratulations🎉 to this year's Best New Emoji, PERSON FACEPALMING! 🏆🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/rm7A1ir5Ba— World Emoji Day (@WorldEmojiDay) July 17, 2017