In July 2018, in true Africanacity style, Absa gave a new emoji life on our Twitter screens – #AfricaEmoji. A clever media buy on Twitter, its lifespan was limited to only 3 months. Within just a few hours, it was trending, with Africans using it to express their hopes for the continent, pride in where they come from and unity with those that they admire.
But why should something as tiny as 72 by 72 pixels be such a big deal?
We believe it’s because Africa is so much more than a beautifully-shaped continent, a trendy tattoo or a travel dream. Africa still has an untold story – the story of our inimitable spirit, our true sense of belonging and born-with-it tenacity.
#AfricaEmoji is the start of a new narrative – the one told by us as Africans. It’s a tiny symbol with massive clout – an emoji that lets us share our version of this continent with the rest of the world.
Africa’s time IS now. Not because Shakira told us. Not because it makes for a cool T-shirt. Not even because… Wakanda. We need #AfricaEmoji because there is a thing we do better than anyone else. We do whatever it takes, no matter what. This is how we will push the world forward.
On October 28, #AfricaEmoji will no longer be available on Twitter. But we’re not letting it go gently into that good night. That would be so un-African. Instead, we’re inviting everyone on this continent to a Virtual March on the Unicode offices. Unicode is a global body that has the power to make #AfricaEmoji a permanent feature on phone keyboards across the globe; we have the reason why.
We’re calling on all Africans to join the Virtual March. All you have to do is tweet the #AfricaEmoji with the Fist Emoji @Unicode
This is not just for our unborn children or for the history books – it is for us, for our time. Let us have our Africa, in our hands, in our pockets, in everyone’s conversations, in our minds… and in all our hearts.