As part of its celebration around ‘Africa Day’ on 25th May, Facebook today announced the launch of its global campaign titled: ‘Made by Africa, Loved by the World’ – a series of short films unveiling the stories of eight phenomenal creatives and small business owners from across the continent who are breaking ground across the world.
Available to view on a dedicated ‘Made by Africa, Loved by the World’ microsite and the official Facebook Africa page from 21st May 2021, the films provide a glimpse into the global successes of African creatives and businesses hailing from Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and Gabon. This includes fashion designer Laduma Ngxokolo from South Africa, whose clothing brand ‘Maxhosa’ has been worn by global names such as Beyonce and Alicia Keys, and most recently had his designs featured in the film ‘Coming to America 2’. Also featured are Sauti Sol, a collective Afro-pop music group hailing from Kenya who have gained international recognition with nominations and shows in Europe and the US and Mark Angel, a Nigerian comedian who has amassed over 15 million global followers on Facebook. The series is aimed at showcasing, hero’ing and honouring the people that are impacting Africa, as well as the world, through their music, arts and crafts.
Included in the ‘Made by Africa, Loved by the World’ campaign are:
Mai Atafo (Nigeria) – Fashion designer and bespoke tailor
Lafalaise Dion (Côte d’Ivoire) – Fashion designer and visual artist
Jessica Allogo (Gabon) – Founder of Les Petits Pots de l’Ogooué Garmout Food brand
Blinky Bill (Kenya) – Musician, DJ, Rapper and Producer
Sauti Sol (Kenya) – International award-winning Afro-pop group
Lola Pedro (Nigeria) – Founder of Pedro’s Premium Ogogoro drinks brand
Mark Angel (Nigeria) – Digital comedian, script writer and video producer
Laduma Ngxokolo (South Africa) – Founder of fashion brand Maxhosa and creative artist
Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director, Facebook Africa, said “At Facebook we’re deeply invested in the creative industry in Africa, and nowhere is it more exciting to witness this vibrant creative scene than here on the continent. These people and businesses are changing the way Africa is seen, not just in Africa, but around the world, and are cementing our position as leaders in innovation and the creative industries. We know that Africa is the future, and in honour of ‘Africa Day’ and the Africa Union’s 2021 celebration of African ‘Arts Culture And Heritage’, ‘Made by Africa, Loved by the World’ is our way of recognising just some of these remarkable individuals who continue to inspire the world.”
As part of the ‘Made by Africa, Loved by the World’ campaign, Facebook will be creating dedicated ‘Africa Day’ Facebook profile frames available to Facebook users, and holding free virtual trainings for SMBs and Creators across Africa through its local training partners. Focused on providing other upcoming creatives and entrepreneurs with the digital know-how to take their ideas global, these will focus on creativity and Instagram including: how to creatively engage with your audience through Instagram; Reels school, Interactivity in stories and how to get creative with ads.
Opera Launches Hype, an in-browser Chat Service for Opera Mini Users, in South Africa
Today, Opera has announced the launch of its dedicated chat service Hype, built into the Opera Mini mobile web browser, in South Africa. With the introduction of Hype, Opera is redefining the concept of mobile browsers, providing users with a personalized, engaging browsing experience that enables seamless chatting, surfing and sharing – without compromising speed or driving increased data consumption.
Browsing and chatting, all in one app
Hype is the first African-inspired chat service built into a mobile browser, allowing users to easily set up an account and start chatting with secure end-to-end encryption right away. This means users can now browse the web, chat with friends, and share self-created memes, stickers and GIFs with other Hype users, all in one app.
Hype was built because younger generations of internet users are expecting more social connectivity from the apps they use on their devices. With this integration, Opera Mini becomes the first major browser in the world to integrate a social component that keeps users connected to the ones that matter the most. This unique and innovative blend is something that no other mobile browser in the Google Play Store offers.
“Hype is an original instant messaging service from Opera, designed for the new generation of African internet users to elevate the traditional browsing experience and make it more engaging. With Opera Mini and a Hype account, South Africans can enjoy a browsing and chatting ecosystem tailored to their needs,” said Jørgen Arnesen, EVP Mobile Browsers at Opera. “Hype bridges cultures from Sub-Saharan Africa with mobile technology, as the world’s first African-inspired chat service.”
Hype was first launched in 2021 in Kenya as a pilot market, and it is already showing impressive results with more than 400k activations and more than 10k invites to join Hype per day. This launch was one facet of Opera’s emphasis on investing and growing its digital ecosystem in Africa, with the goal of bringing more people online.
Free chatting with Hype
To help familiarize people with the concept of an easy-to-use chatting service built into a browser and as a response to the high cost of data in South Africa, Opera has partnered (https://bit.ly/3gi1suV) with CELL C in South Africa to enable free daily browsing and chatting for those using the service. Users of Opera Mini (https://bit.ly/2TeFhh3) and CELL C can activate the free data anytime by opening the Feedback Bot in Hype, sending “Unlock my free data” in chat, then clicking the link in the reply message. The free 25MB of mobile data per day will be activated when the page is loaded.
Opera is constantly working on improving the chatting experience. Hype users can now use link previews, GIF support, and the unique built-in meme creator to make chatting with friends even more personal and fun.
The built-in meme creator
Memes are an essential part of internet culture. People not only use existing memes, but also wish to create and spread their own. Now, Opera has introduced the first meme creator built directly into a browser’s messenger! Users can choose memes in Hype chat, then edit them by changing the text and experimenting with fonts, colors and placement – more easily than ever. This comes in handy as users no longer need to copy links from websites and switch between apps to share the memes they want.
GIF support in chat
Hype supports GIFs, and makes choosing them super simple with its search capabilities and scrollable GIF grid. To help users choose the one they want, GIF previews and full screen view are also available.
It’s always good to know what’s hiding behind a link we’ve sent or received, which is why Hype comes with the link preview feature. With it, a snapshot preview, website header and description will automatically appear in chat. This function is also available in encrypted chats and on metered networks.
Share online content in a snap
Today, new generations are relying on formats like memes and stickers to express themselves. To make this easier, Hype includes WebSnap, a feature already known from the Opera desktop browser, allowing users to take snapshots from the web. Once a websnap is captured, users can edit it by adding colors, text and emojis, making it fun and entertaining before sharing with others. WebSnap also allows users to smoothly share the link of the original website from which they took their snaps, so users no longer need to switch between apps to share the content they want.
First African inspired chat service in the world
Hype is the first African inspired chat service built into a mobile browser. It offers its users a series of stickers created by African artists such as Musonda Kabwe from South Africa. The sticker packs have been designed to include everyday expressions currently popular in South Africa. This unique offer from Hype stands out from other chat services and gives South Africans the new ways of expressing themselves more accurately when using chat apps.
Hype account setup
To activate the Hype account, users should have an Opera Mini application. Users set up a Hype account by tapping the Hype logo at the bottom of the Opera Mini browser, or through the O menu. Next they choose their name and take a selfie or upload a personalised photo, which will become their profile picture and will be visible for other Hype users. Once this process is completed, users sync Hype with their phone contact list to start chatting with others.
FG Denies Giving Conditions To Lift Twitter Suspension
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, has denied media reports quoting him as giving conditions for lifting the suspension of Twitter Operations in Nigeria.
ON Monday, the minister held talks with some envoys of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union. Mr. Oyenma had said that “Twitter’s operations in Nigeria will be restored only if the platform can be used responsibly”.
However, Ferdinand Nwonye, the spokesperson for the ministry said the “Minister has been quoted out of context.”
In a statement released on Monday shortly after the meeting to clarify the Minister’s comments, the statement reads;
“The attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to misleading reports by several media outlets published today, June 7, 2021, in which the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, was misquoted as giving conditions for lifting the Twitter suspension.
“The Minister, after a meeting with some Heads of Diplomatic Missions resident in Nigeria, was quoted to have said that Twitter’s operations in Nigeria will be restored only if the platform can be used responsibly.
“This statement by the Minister has been quoted out of context.
“Contrary to the publications, the Minister was speaking about the responsibilities that go with freedom of speech, stating that platforms that have the power to instantly disseminate information among billions of people have the added responsibility to exercise that power responsibly.
“The ministry wishes to state categorically that the Minister did not give any conditions regarding lifting the Twitter suspension.”
SERAP Condemns NBC’s Directive to All Broadcasting Stations to Deactivate Twitter Handles
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has condemned the directive by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to all broadcast stations in the country to suspend the patronage of Twitter with immediate effect.
NBC had given the directive on Monday following the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria by the federal government over the purported use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining the corporate existence of Nigeria.
But SERAP, in a statement by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, described the directive as illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and has political interference written all over it.
SERAP said it’s also a blow to Nigerians’ rights to freedom of expression, media independence and diversity and must be immediately withdrawn.
The statement read in part: ”Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. This action by NBC is yet another nail in the coffin for human rights, media freedom and independent journalism under this government. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights should publicly and vigorously express concerns over the Nigerian government’s increasingly brutal crackdown on media freedom, and use all possible means to urge the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to protect and respect freedom of expression.
”The international community should stand with the broadcast stations and journalists and make clear to the Nigerian government that freedom of expression, media freedom, transparency and accountability, as well as respect for the rule of law is essential to democracy. The UN and donors should continue to take every opportunity to call on the Nigerian government to rescind the unlawful suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, respect freedom of expression and media freedom and hold to account anyone targeting broadcast stations and journalists simply for carrying out their profession.”
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