Meet the student behind African emojis

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Screenshots from the Zouzoukwa : African Stickers for WhatsApp app created by O’Plerou Grebet
Image: Screenshots from the Zouzoukwa : African Stickers for WhatsApp app created by O’Plerou Grebet

Ivory Coast student O’Plerou Grebet is the creator of Zouzoukwa African emojis, a collection of 350 downloadable emoticons created to honour west African traditions. The images comprise things like west African food dishes such as garba (popular dish made from cassava meal), worô-wôro (communal taxis of Abidjan), national monuments, traditional costumes of different communities or typical expressions like “You saw, right?”.

The graphic designer said the idea came to him during a conversation on WhatsApp. “Seeing all the smileys embedded in the application, I thought that I was missing some to describe our Ivorian realities, to make our jokes. And I thought I could create it myself!”

He launched his project in January 2018 not thinking how popular they would become. Grebet plans to learn more about 3D and virtual reality and wants to create an application through which Zouzoukwa can be used by anyone on a phone. Each emoticon is numbered, captioned, sometimes explained and are available for android devices. – You can read more on the Face2Face site