BY TOM JACKSON
Nigerian startup Ogelle is an an online video-sharing resource and entertainment platform entirely focused on African content, aiming to help creators share and monetise their projects.
Launched in 2019, Ogelle is a user-generated content and subscription video-on-demand platform with pan-African coverage in terms of diversity of content themes, content creation and representation in languages.
“Ogelle’s content is 100 per cent African, created by Africans for global consumption. The platform enables every African in Africa and or in the diaspora to create, post, and share Africa-focused video content and monetise the same, by views, no matter their country of origin, cultural heritage or language,” founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Osita Oparaugo told Disrupt Africa.
“For established filmmakers and studios, Ogelle offers an avenue to generate revenue from completed projects and commissioning of new projects.”
Oparaugo, who has a background in Law, founded investment firm Footprint to Africa in 2014 in order to promote investment opportunities in Africa to both Africans and foreign investors mostly.
“As I moved around Africa with my team, we realised that Africa was not telling its story; that Africa is the world’s best kept secret in terms of content creation and distribution,” Oparaugo said.
He also learned that of the top 10 user-generated content social networking platforms in the world, not one was Africa-focused.
“This has made it impossible for Africans in Africa and in the diaspora to communicate with one another freely, share video content, promote, codify and integrate common cultural experiences, values, and art that cut across people of African descent, no matter the language they may speak, and to showcase this content,” Oparaugo said.
“Knowing that content shapes the world, the inability for Africans to tell their stories themselves, to sing their songs and to dance their dance gave rise to a lot of misconceptions about Africa, lack of opportunities for the youth, and has hindered developmental growth mostly in the creative industry.”
Africa, he began to believe, needed a platform through which the world would see the true Africa; one that would showcase its rich heritage. That is Ogelle, says Oparaugo, which he founded in 2019. So far, so productive, in terms of productions at least.
“We have concluded pre-production of 50 movies, 20 shows of 26 episodes each, 10 shows of 13 episodes each, and 25 documentaries in English, Swahili and five other languages for the Ogelle Premium Launch in 2022,” said Oparaugo.
The startup also has an e-learning platform, and is developing over 1,000 hours of educational content covering six years of the post-primary education system. Oparaugo said the aim is to make Ogelle the platform where African youth come to learn, play and develop. It has seen strong early uptake.
“In two years of operation, we have hit over one million users, more than 100,000 app downloads on iOS and Android combined, over 50,000 videos in English, Swahili and other African Languages, a young and agile content creator ecosystem of about 68,900 creators and a 1.6 million database of content creators across Africa,” he said.
Started with funds from family and friends, Ogelle secured its first investment in January, from the New York-based African Discovery Group. Available worldwide, it is focusing on Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda and Tanzania in terms of creating original and exclusive content.
“By the last quarter of 2021, we hope to open three more content creation and aggregation offices in South Africa and Morocco or Tunisia and an administration with a marketing head office in California to target Africans in the diaspora and, most importantly, to become the bridge between Africans in Africa and black people all over the world. We believe that this move will be highly beneficial to our movement,” said Oparaugo.