Some of the biggest brands in Africa, which provide exclusive products and services to Africans are not owned by Africans. From mobile phones to e-commerce platforms, automobiles and even television shows, these products and services are big players in Africa but are owned by foreigners.
To Osita Oparaugo, Founder and CEO of Ogelle Africa, the continent’s foremost online resource and entertainment user generated content platform –akin to YouTube and Netflix– that is not right and African must therefore help push products and services that are owned by Africans and serve the continent exclusively.
To underscore his point, he quotes American writer, Allen Ginsberg, who said: ‘Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture’. To Mr. Oparaugo, Africans must own and control their stories, otherwise, the African story would always be misrepresented and told through the viewpoint of others.
“I hope that Africa wakes up to realise that Ogelle is a platform that is designed to give Africans a global voice in terms of content generation. This continent is a strategic content generator, meanwhile we don’t control what we generate. That’s not very fair to us as a people.
So we are saying to Africans, our message is the same and has never changed from day one: Ogelle is Africa. Let us warehouse African content in an African platform that in the next 20, 30, 40, 100 years to come our kids will look back and see how we evolved as a people in this platform. So it is the platform that is designed to give African content creators a voice globally,” he said.
As a product of Reddot Television Network Limited, Ogelle offers unlimited entertainment with 100 percent focus on African content and has a community blog for anything from films to music, comedy, cuisine, lifestyle and many more (with the exception of hates, violence, cyber bullying, and a crime against women and children).
“Ogelle is not a television station, rather a resource and entertainment platform where the general users can create their own channels, create their own content, upload same on Ogelle and the world is watching. With Ogelle, every African now has his or her online television channel.
The platform provides multiple opportunities for African content producers whose work will now be available around the globe, providing these producers a global voice. To lovers of African content, Ogelle presents world-class content that is rich in Africa’s customs and traditions, bold, diverse and globally appealing,” he said.
To Mr. Oparaugo, Ogelle presents an excellent avenue for learning through its vocation training content creators known as Ogelle Vocation. The section presents an excellent avenue for learning, allows vocations training content creators to upload their training modules on different skills so that interested persons can come and learn.
While at it, Ogelle creates competitive returns for content creators by monetizing any content that exceeds 10,000 views produced in line with its partner programme. The process is easy, he says, since any content creator in Africa is allowed to go on the platform to create their content on the platform free of charge.
Ogelle will monetize these contents on individual basis and may not submit such content to its sponsorship programmes or pitch. For each content posted on Ogelle, a content creator will receive US$100 per 10,000 views, US$500 per 100,000 and US$5000 for 1,000,000 views maximum.
But under its Ogelle Ambassadors Partner, an elite partnership programme for frequent content creators and celebrities who have at least one million followers and above on all their social media platforms, Ogelle pays slightly higher for views such as US$600 for 100,000 views and US$6000 for 1,000,000 views.
Since the launch of Ogelle’s Ghana operations some seven months ago, the B&FT sat down with Mr. Oparaugo to pick updates on how the platform has been doing and what are the next steps on total African domination.
B&FT: I think it’s been a year since you launched in Ghana?
Osita: Actually it has been just seven months since we launched in Accra.
B&FT: How has it been so far?
Osita: Fantastic. What we did in Ghana actually wasn’t a launch. It was like a press parle. We got people together to introduce the platform. Ever since then we have done the same in Kampala, Uganda; Kigali, Rwanda; and Nairobi, Kenya and the acceptability of Ogelle is amazing.
On the 31st of December, I tweeted that tomorrow Africa will wake up and I hope that Africa wakes up to realise that Ogelle is a platform that is designed to give Africans a global voice in terms of content generation. Africa is a strategic content generator but we don’t control what we generate. That’s not very fair to us as a people.
We are saying to Africans, our message is the same, it is constant, it has never changed from day one: Ogelle is Africa. Let us warehouse African content in an African platform that in the next 20, 30, 40, 100 years to come our kids will look back and see how we evolved as a people in this platform. So it is the platform that is designed to give African content creators a voice globally.
B&FT: Since you launched can you give us some data on how many content creators have signed up?
Osita: It’s amazing. In Ghana, of course, you cannot tell most times 100percent how many content creators you’ve signed from each country because even as we speak now maybe one or two other people have signed up and thrown up a content so it’s sometimes most difficult to tell but it’s is amazing what has come out of Ghana as at the end of last year we had nearly 480 content creators from Ghana.
The traffic is growing and it’s amazing that we have over 6,000 videos on the platform today this is irrespective of videos that violate the community rules that have been brought down or don’t meet our standards that has also been brought down
B&FT: How many of such videos have you taken down?
Osita: It’s over 3000. We have people working on this platform round the clock to ensure that videos that violate our platform including pornography, child pornography, hate speeches, and others are not allowed on the platform. It’s a social platform. It’s engaging, it’s built to bring fun, entertainment, resource about Africa and African activities, so such videos are brought down.
B&FT: What’s the average view duration on the platform?
Osita: Five minutes fifty seconds. The view duration is five minutes fifty seconds. It’s quite high. We appreciate that people come on the platform and stay on the platform.
Also, since we launched we’ve had some videos which have done extremely well. We also have videos which have not done well. But then you look at it and say well this is a 7/8 months platform and most of the time people are set in their ways they go to what they know.
Our message is let’s continue to push, because we’re not in competition with anyone. This company was not built to be a competitor to any existing content generator platform. We are built to warehouse African voice, African image, African content and that’s what we set out to do. So it’s not time to take stock yet. Businesses like this are businesses of future. Let’s keep pushing until the time when these statistics will show themselves.
B&FT: Have you paid any Ghanaian content creator since you launched seven months ago?
Osita: A. A lot. Because you know that to pay a content generator on a bill it starts from 1,000 views so a lot of people have been paid on a thousand views, 100,000 views in Ghana, in Rwanda, everywhere. We have strategic partnerships with content creators in Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya.
B&FT: Since you’ve been in Ghana for 7 months, you’ve gone to Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya, where next?
Osita: Tanzania and Morocco are our next destinations and in the next 90 days, you will be hearing from us.
B&FT: At the end of the year, how many countries are you looking at?
Osita: Africa has 54/55 countries; we don’t want to be in all the countries at the same time. We want to limit our physical presence to 12 African countries. We’re doing it gradually so by the end of 2020 we hope to be in 12 African countries and then we stop. It doesn’t mean that people from other African countries cannot throw up their content or cannot use the platform but this is where we want to, then we grow from there.
So we don’t want to be in 54 African countries and then at the end of the day not be in Africa. Its strategic. So we’re in Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda, so now we will extend to Tanzania and Morocco and then we keep it there for another six months. We will push in those countries and then take up two or three countries more.
B&FT: Will South Africa be part, knowing how big the content generation market there is down south?
Osita: You know South Africa has started a very revolutionary movement that is so amazing. Majority of South Africa TV platforms are focused on local language content. Which is very amazing. Xhosa, Zulu, and others are major language content on regular television in South Africa. This is the real message of Ogelle.
We are taking Ogelle to South Africa by the end of year. And we want to say to our brothers and sisters in South Africa that this is where you belong because what we see them trying to achieve in South Africa is to warehouse their culture, preserve their culture and their language. That’s why they have gone 100percent local language and we hope that they will also appreciate where we are coming from and understand that, yes, we have the same ideology about housing African content in Africa.
B&FT: By the end of 2020 how many videos do you want to have on the platform?
Osita: By the end of 2020, we’re looking at a 150,000 videos. Because we’re growing. When we started in the first month, we had about a hundred videos but within four months we had about 3,000 so it grows. And there’s going to be a major announcement out of Ghana very soon but I won’t pre-empt that. I won’t say anything until that happens.
B&FT: In Nigeria, you have a brand ambassador in Judith Heard, a supermodel and fashionista. Will you go into every country with a brand ambassador?
Osita: Where it is necessary, yes.
B&FT: Who is your major partner here in Ghana?
Osita: That’s exactly what I said to you that there’s going to be a very big announcement. We are talking but you will appreciate who our partner in Ghana will be. And I think in the next 30 days it will be known. We have found a partner in Ghana that’s big in the industry extremely and understands the revolution, understands the movement.
B&FT: Apart from Judith Heard, do you have other partners in terms of original content generators?
Osita: We have several of them in Nigeria who we have partnered with us. We have content generators in all areas including music and film. Most recently we have commissioned one of the biggest filmmakers in Nigeria, Igwe Chuku, to actually produce a film on irregular migration because we’re bothered about the Africa youth. So we have quite a lot of them. In Rwanda we have amazing content creators who have had millions of views across boards on all their platforms and they buy into this ideology – the Ogelle programme.