Following complaints that different races are not represented in the current set of emojis, an African company has released the first set of black digital faces.
Oju Africa launched the collection of 15 faces this week in the face of criticism of Apple’s lack of diversity.
Oju translates as “face” in the Yoruba language of Nigeria. The emojis are available now for Android (search for “oju emoticon app” in Play Store), and will be released soon for iOS.
“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!” said Creative director Eserick Fouché.
A petition was launched for Apple to do away with its list of 800 emojis. Only two appear to be non-white: “man with gua-pi-mao” and “man with turban.”
One of the first critics of the list was pop star Miley Cyrus, who first tweeted in 2012 about the need for an “emoji ethnicity update.”
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