O’Plerou Grebet: The Ivorian Artist Who Created African Emojis

O’Plerou Grebet, a self-taught artist, graphic designer and illustrator from Ivory Coast has created more than 300 emojis illustrating traditional and modern-day Africa

As Africans are now rising to tell their own stories from different parts of the continent with different modes, the world will soon realise that Africa is not just a place of war, hunger and poverty.

Because that’s exactly what inspired this talented Ivorian designer to create over 350 emojis telling African stories.

O’plerou Grebet is a graphic designer and illustrator from Ivory Coast, some years back, the young artist was looking for stock images of Africa for a project but what Grebet discovered broke his heart.

He saw different online media and publications promoting Africa as a place of war, hunger and poor people.

This annoyed Grebet so much that he started thinking of how to change these bad narratives about our beloved continent, and the result was awesome!

Grebet started watching tutorial videos on YouTube on how to create emojis in September 2017 and in 2018 the young artist decided to create one African emoji per day and post on Instagram and throughout the year 2018, Grebet finished with 365 emojis, showing African cultures, histories and common practices among African countries.

All these emojis have now been compiled into a single mobile phone app called Zouzoukwa where the emojis can be used in conversations using apps like WhatsApp!

After this remarkable performance of Grebet, he was celebrated for his art of telling African stories in a unique way as he has won two awards for his work, one of which is the Young Talent Award at ADICOM DAYS, an annual event where digital creators from french-speaking African countries meet.

So for this reason the whole of Africa should be proud of having O’plerou Grebet because with his own unique way he is showing to the world that Africa is nothing but a beautiful place to be!

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