SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Just in time for Black History Month, there’s a new app with some pretty cool afrocentric emojis.

It’s called Afro Emoji.

“Express yourself realistically, people!” says the website caption.

Apple recently diversified its emoji offerings, but Afro Emoji speaks specifically to African culture. Launched in January, the app features brown-skinned men and women, wearing an array of African styles and headdresses.

Although the emojis were created for Africans, they are bound to resonate with blacks all over the world.

Afro Emoji even provides a guide to the unique lexicon of expressions. For example, “I don vex” means “I’m pissed,” or “abeg no make me laugh” means “please don’t make me laugh.”

:Oya, shake body" means do something relevant, and is also the name of a 2014 hit Nigerian song. (Afro Emoji)

:Oya, shake body” means do something relevant, and is also the name of a 2014 hit Nigerian song. (Afro Emoji)


“We, as Africans, definitely have an idiosyncratic way of communicating with one another, and Afro Emoji is really a fun, accessible graphic depiction of that. We are building a modern African hieroglyph that represents us,” Ayoola Daramola, the app’s team leader told Okay Africa.

At first the emojis and expressions seemed more Nigerian, but Washington D.C.-based company updated the app in February, and now offers characters from different parts of Africa in an effort to “give it a pan-African feel.”

Afro Emoji costs $1.99 at the Apple App Store and works on Android and Apple devices.


CBSSF.com writer, producer Jan Mabry is also executive producer and host of The Bronze Report. She lives in Northern California. Follow her on Twitter @janmabr.

 

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