Osita Oparaugo, Founder of Ogelle, the first and only Africa-focused user generated content video sharing platform, speaks on a number of great feats the platform has recorded since it’s launch in 2018 and some projects it is working in going into 2021.
He clarifies that Ogelle is not in competition with anyone because it’s nitche and long term strategic goals are different
How long has Ogelle platform been in existence and what is the idea behind it?
Ogelle was launched in April 2019 after nearly two years of work and original content creation. It is an entertainment user generated content (UGC) video-sharing platform for African content only.
Ogelle is a platform with pan-African coverage in terms of diversity of content themes, content creation and representation in languages. It is designed also for the enjoyment of Africans in Africa and Africans in the diaspora and to give content creators a voice at the global stage and financial returns based on views.
How can you have an estimated population of 1.2 billion people projected to hit 1.5 billion by 2025, with 75 percent of the population under age 40, and not have a social platform they can call their own? Ogelle is Africa for Africa.
Could you talk us through some of the major breakthroughs Ogelle has recorded since it launched?
The acceptability which has resulted in creating a young content creator ecosystem with over 25,000 content creators across Africa and more than 30,000 videos in almost every language spoken in Africa under 24 months is most welcoming.
The fact that Africans are realising that we must embrace our own platform, build our community, create and share quality content and use that as a tool to change the negative narrative about us is something we consider a major breakthrough. We are not there yet, not even 10 percent of our business strategy has been achieved, but we are excited and hopeful for that global African community that is built by Africans telling our stories ourselves, and the real stories that represent who we truly are devoid of any misrepresentation. That, to us, is a major breakthrough.
What specific projects has Ogelle executed since inception? Are there also partnerships you have entered into or currently working on?
Yes. We are working with over 100 chefs across Africa to provide the largest do-it-yourself videos in the area of food. These special channels will host over 500 videos on how to make African dishes the African way.
We have partnered notable talents in the area of music too, like the Nobody remix by DJ Neptune featuring Laycon and Joeboy that was released exclusively on our platform. We will be releasing Wire Wire by Caftan exclusively on the 10th of December. Talks are ongoing on talents from Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda too.
We just concluded the Ogelle Music Show in Owerri, Imo State capital. It was a strategic show aimed at promoting Ogelle in the eastern part of Nigeria and giving content creators, especially in the area of music, a chance to shine.
We have completed pre-production on over 24 film titles in English, Swahili and Kinyarwanda and the launch of our dedicated Swahili channel is due late January.
What do you consider the biggest challenges that Ogelle has faced since it came into being and what are you doing to overcome these challenges?
Our biggest challenge is changing the brainwashed mindset that anything Africa is bad or that Africans are not capable of creating a platform for themselves. If it’s African, its bad, and if it’s foreign, it’s good. It is indeed a sad mindset.
If an African logs on to a foreign platform and it’s down or delayed for some reason, he or she will say, oh, they are down for now, and keeps trying. If it happens on an African platform, you will hear, I know they will never get it right. It’s really a sad place to be. May God help us.
The other thing is that you have some established content creators who feel they are too big to put their content on an African platform or a new platform. This is really sad.
At Ogelle, our strategy is to look for the young and growing or upcoming content creators, give them a platform and a voice and in all honesty, they are in the majority. We hope that our brothers and sisters creating content will recognise what we have built and embrace it.
When Ogelle was launched back in 2019, it was reported to have described itself as Africa’s YouTube. Looking back, would you say that comparison has been an asset or a liability for Ogelle?
In all honesty, we at Ogelle have never described ourselves as Africa’s YouTube because we know that we are not. It is people in the press and some content creators who have described us as such.
YouTube is global in terms of content creation and enjoyment, Ogelle is global in terms of content enjoyment but strictly African in terms of content creation and focus.
That YouTube is user generated and Ogelle happens to be the first and only African-focused user generated platform at the moment doesn’t make us YouTube for Africa or Africa’s YouTube.
So, if as you said some people compare Ogelle with YouTube, do you think that’s a fair comparison given that Ogelle’s focus is Africa-focused?
These comparisons happen a lot in this industry but we are Ogelle and Ogelle is African. I remember one of my colleagues showing me a video on Ogelle made in either Swahili or Kinyarwanda comparing Ogelle with YouTube.
As I said before and keep saying, YouTube is YouTube and Ogelle is Ogelle. Apart from both being user generated content platforms, there is nothing else we have in common. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are user generated platforms too.
We are not in competition with anyone for now because our niche, focus and long-term strategic goals are different in my opinion as a founder.
We are focused on building what we are building, the highest aggregator of African content, representing the true Africa and creating a world-class entertainment content platform for Africans in Africa, in the diaspora and global lovers of African content. We are building a go-to platform for African-only content where every African no matter his or her geographical location will find peace and happiness.
What plans are you working on to take Ogelle to greater heights going into the new year?
This year has been different, with the pandemic and all, and our prayers go out to people who have lost loved ones all over the world. May they find peace.
We have great plans for 2021. We will be setting up content creator bonds and programmes across Africa starting with six most vibrant content creation countries and gradually enter into other countries. No country will be left behind, every country is important to us, Ogelle is African.
We will focus more on young and talented Africans who have been shut out by other platforms due to the high entry barrier that is killing the creative industry in Africa.
For established content creators, film makers and studios, we will create a special avenue for them to generate revenue from completed projects and commissioning of new projects.
We are talking with a few smartphone companies to have Ogelle app preinstalled on their phones. It will be a win-win for everyone.
We will be launching several channels in partnership with some notable companies and countries. We are excited about the future. We pray for God’s grace.