…providing one-stop platform for resource, entertainment content about Africa.
By Chris Onuoha
Ogelle, Africa’s first user generated content platform with 100 percent focus on African content, was launched in Lagos in April 2019.
Since then, it has continued to break news grounds, recording impressive acceptance not just from users in Nigeria but all over Africa and globally. It has also received endorsement from prominent figures across Nigeria and beyond.
Osita Oparaugo, CEO of Reddot Television Network and founder of Ogelle, in this interview, highlights Ogelle’s impressive achievements in the past over one year, projects in view, expectations beyond 2020, among others. Excerpts:
Ogelle launched in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, in April 2019. Over a year after, what has the journey been like?
We are excited as a team at the acceptability of the platform across Africa. Nearly 500,000 users, over 15,000 videos and a bounce rate less than 4 percent, according to Google analytics, show how much Ogelle is valued within and outside Africa as an only-African-content platform.
You see, our message is consistent, that we must use the creative industry and our creativity to change the negative narrative about us as a people and that African voice, image and data should be on an African platform.
That is why we built a platform that is user-generated, meaning any African no matter where he or she is in the world, can create content, create channel on Ogelle and share with family and friends and even make money from views from such videos.
What do you consider the key achievements of Ogelle in the past year?
We have produced exclusive content for the platform to support the user-generated content because our quality control is high and many videos are deleted unfortunately. Apart from that, we partnered with 13 film directors from Nigeria, Ghana and Rwanda and released 30 films for the month of August and 15 films for September, October and November before which most of the projects we commissioned will be ready.
We have opened a studio in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in partnership with a production company there and talks have progressed to set up another in Kenya.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted on Ogelle as a business? Has the impact been positive or negative?
This is one question I hoped you wouldn’t ask because we feel the pain of families who have lost their loved ones to COVID-19 and entrepreneurs who have watched helplessly as their investments vanish. For Ogelle, it was different. Between March and June 2020, we had more than 37,000 app downloads on Google Play Store alone and an increase in traffic by over 1,000 percent.
Tell us a bit about Aluko’s Residence, a series you produced last year, and other projects you are currently working on?
We started production of Aluko’s Residence Season 1 in 2019, finished early February 2020 and premiered in March 2020. It was well received by our audience and we will start showing Season 2 by November 2020. Currently, we are scripting a movie about former president of Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR. The storyline is amazing and surprisingly has less than 15 percent of politics in it. We are looking at other aspects of this great man’s life that are worthy of emulation and, most especially, his resolve and decision to put the lives of millions of people into consideration for the choice he made. We will wait and see.
Ogelle has entered into a number of content creation partnerships in recent times. Could you tell us about some of them?
Currently, we have over 20 content creation partnerships across Africa and five notable ones in Nigeria. She’s A Boss with Anto Lecky, a 13-episode show showcasing female bosses from that akara seller in Ajegunle to the bank CEO in Ikoyi. Blame Josh, a 16-episode drama series with Josh2Funny and team, A Thousand Miles, a migration film project with Izu Ojukwu which our New York partners are scouting for a Hollywood actor suitable for one of the roles, a music video collaboration with Don Sylvester Records, and working with McLively and Broda Shaggi for promotional drama series. We have several others in Tanzania, Kenya and Ghana.
You wrote an article some time ago that trended on LinkedIn. What was it all about?
Oh, that has nothing to do directly with Ogelle. It was during the Black Lives matter and I wrote an article about the march. It was good that black people all over the world marched. I loved it.
But the truth is that white people didn’t march, they took action, positive action towards building a community that they deserve. I called on black people all over the world to use the advantage of the age we are in which has made everyone almost a publisher to start creating content to change the negative narrative about us, to embrace technology by taking their businesses online and to support one another.
Imagine if black NBA players in America invested 70 percent of their takings into building academies and clubs of their own and coming to Africa to recruit talents! Imagine if the ones in music did the same! Imagine if we Africans in Africa use our mineral resources to develop our countries by building infrastructures and business hubs here and there!
Africa’s problem is Africa. We complain about the West ripping us off but we collaborated with them. Ok, listen to this: we built Ogelle, first user-generated content platform in Africa for Africans in Africa and Africans in the diaspora and we still see people calling us names instead of embracing what we have built. They rather support foreign platforms because they have been brainwashed to believe that their own is not good enough. That was my article.
Three months to the end of 2020, what should we expect from Ogelle for the rest of the year and going forward?
In 2020 and in the next 100 years, our goal and message is the same: to become the highest aggregator of African content, thereby providing a one-stop platform for resource and entertainment content about Africa. A platform that speaks to culture where Africans in Africa, Africans in the diaspora, black people all over the world and lovers of African content globally will find peace; a platform every African will be proud to call his or her own. Ogelle is African.
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