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AfroPioneer launches Kmerblagues, the Comedy Central of Cameroon
Today Cameroon witnessed the launch of Kmerblagues (Cameroonian jokes in French). The founder, Mohamed Ahmed Felata, a Facebook developer from Garoua in Northern Cameroon, describes his efforts as the beginnings for the ‘comedy central for the country.’ A fun application that creates a place for sharing jokes on Facebook. Its a creative idea and he makes a strong case for connecting brands with a difficult to reach audience – University students and young male professionals between the age of 19 to 32 – on a difficult to leverage platform. He believes there is a need for local content if we are going to get more Cameroonian users online. He says, ‘It’s content about the region and the people. Just the name gives an idea of who our users are and the jokes we offer are really about Cameroonian humor.’
When asked about his interest in Facebook he explains, ‘according to Alexa.com Facebook is the second most visited website in Cameroon with about 361,220 users according to the site (May 2nd 2011).’ The first is Yahoo, although Mohamed is quick to explain that Google runs multiple properties and likely claims the top spot when combined. He goes on to explain, ‘But Facebook is unique. As a Facebook user I know the site and understand how me and my friends use it. At the same time its difficult for brands to get their exposure there. The adverts are limited so why can’t we do something more with integrated applications?’
Asked about his background Mohamed explains that he was living in Youande. He used to work at the airport but hated his job. He smiles when he explains, ‘the best thing that happened to me was a small laptop and access to the wireless network at the airport. I spent my extra time reading and imagining what I could do. I always liked advertising and was learning about all of these different mashups. I went to the BarCamp and heard Fritz, a fellow entrepreneur, present his ideas behind an SMS appstore. I also heard about Kerawa and the exciting projects he was working on. Here was a guy who was doing it and he quit his job to follow his vision so I decided to do the same.’ Mohamed started working on Facebook applications at home. A friend from Buea used to send him Cameroonian jokes by SMS and he thought it would be interesting to integrate these jokes as a service on Facebook.
Curious to know how he ended up at ActivSpaces in Buea he explains, ‘I came to Buea three months ago when he heard about ActivSpaces from a friend. I was looking for a collaborative place to work and connections for help and maybe financing. In Youande I was paying 25.000 a month for a Ringo Internet connection. I was looking for some kind of solution and I wasn’t really making progress working alone.’ This seeded his interest in finding likeminded developers when in his words everyone in Yaounde focuses on doing management software.
He closes, ‘When I came to ActivSpaces I didn’t want to stay too long. I thought someone would steal my idea but when I got to know the team I could see everyone was doing great work. I realized this was the place I could grow. When I get stuck I have guys who can help me. Fua, Fritz, all of these guys can give me some advice. Ideas are shared and thats the best thing.’
My first day at ActivSpaces here in Buea couldn’t be better 🙂
About zia505The world is changing right before my eyes. Sometimes I don't know how I will ever keep up. There are so many ideas floating around on this internet. If only I had the means to collect them....
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