The year 2016 has seen a rise of initiatives aiming to promote Africa using social media. On Instagram, Visiter l’Afrique – founded by Diane Ngako former journalist at Le Monde, inspires people to travel around Africa through breath-taking pictures of the motherland. On the other hand, Everyday Africa photographers share on Instagram the extraordinary that they find in everyday life. Then there is African trip: a concept created by young Africans showing a refreshing side of African lives, a better image of Africa and most importantly gathering African youth around the world. This takes places on Snapchat. Gifted54 had the pleasure to interview the administrators of Babii225, one of the 27 snapchat accounts created for African Trip.
Activated earlier this year and having more than 20 000 followers, Babii225 is for the Ivorian youth but not exclusively. Here is what the two administrators who have been interviewed by Jeune Afrique and France24 have to say about Babii225 and the phenomenon of African Trip.
Could you introduce yourselves?
We are two Ivorian students managing Babii225 and we wish to keep our anonymity.
When was Babii225 created and what inspired you to join African Trip?
Babii225 was created in February 2016, the 15th in order to gather and inform Ivorians around the globe and promote Côte d’Ivoire.
Which country created the first snapchat account for African Trip?
Somalia was the first to create a snapchat account dedicated to its community but was not part of African Trip. Cameroon was the second !
What is the concept of African Trip?
Everyday during 24 hours, someone that we call “guest” gets hold of one of the snapchat accounts created for African Trip. The guest’s mission is to show his/her daily life of young African in his/her country of origin or host country. The individual has to talk about his educational background, his studies, professional aspirations, hobbies and what message s/he has for the African youth while showing us around the city. The followers of the account will ask questions that the guest will answer on the snapchat story in order to satisfy the curiosity of everybody. When the guest’s time is up, the admins take back the account to make the transition for the following guest by creating a new password, putting up relevant adverts, thanking the preceding guest and most importantly, announcing the following one. Sometimes, we (the admins) suggest to the followers to react directly on the snapchat account on how to improve the platform. Everyone following the accounts need to feel concerned: it is important.
Amongst all the guests who came on Babii225, which of them made a remarkable appearance so far?
As guests who marked Babii225, we have Tchinzin who had a great sense of humour, an airhostess who made us discover her job and Hassan Kane, one of the first Ivorians to be admitted at MIT.
Could you cite Ivorian or African celebrities who have been guests on Babii225?Babi225 hosted many celebrities such as Kaaris, n°1 of French Rap and the Malian singer Mokobe. We also had some football players from the national team making cameo appearances (Max Gradel, Serey Die, Cyriac Goi By…) as well as Cissé Cheick, Côte d’Ivoire’s international champion of Taekwendo.
Any important events shared on Babii225?
Many guests took part in events that could be viewed on Babii225 snapchat story. Some of them covered the behind the scenes of one match with the « Elephants » – Côte d’Ivoire’s football players, we covered dance contests in Abidjan as well as Côte d’Ivoire beauty pageant in France, USA, Canada and the finale in Abidjan. And lately, two Ivorian guests travelling across Brazil shared videos of Rio Olympic games. We always want to see our followers entertained !
On the other side, during the Bassam shootings, we paid tribute to the victims by sharing encouraging messages from the Ivorians and the African diaspora expressing their sadness and support.
Any future plans for Babii225? And how do you see the whole concept of African Trip in the future?
We would like to reunite the Ivorian diaspora so that we can promote African culture! As for African Trip, we would like it to be seen in Côte d’Ivoire and in the whole African continent as THE platform that reunites African youth.
Gifted54 invites you greatly to follow some of African Trip snapchat accounts to see what it’s all about!