The debate around digital diversity and, specifically, the racial make-up of much-loved emoji has been brewing for a while. Last summer, Fast Company asked if emoji are racist, there was a petition started to urge Apple to diversify its emoji set, and by December Miley Cyrus was tweeting for an emoji ethnicity update.
More recently, MTV’s Joey Parker got in touch with Apple over its overwhelmingly white (and bright yellow) emoji set and the company responded that it was working on it. But now a division of African mobile manufacturer Mi-Fone has beaten them to it and created its own set of Afro-emoji for Android.
In a statement, Oju Africa creative director Eserick Fouchehe said, “We follow global trends but we are differentiated by our authentic African voice. So as a brand we wanted to do something that only Africa could pull off, something that could become so iconic that it would have the world talking. I believe what we have created will ensure that every African on the planet won’t be able to help but love it!”JB