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?
Absa believes 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. It claims #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.
But, on October 28th, #AfricaEmoji will no longer be available on Twitter. She should not let it go gently into that good night. That would be so un-African. Instead, Absa is 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. To join the Virtual March, all you have to do is tweet #AfricaEmoji @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.