TWO South African social activists, Mandisa Khanyile and Tumelo Baloyi are set to launch a new pro-black social networking site, DotAfro, with a range of services comparable to those offered by established giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
In an exclusive interview with Team Buntu Africa, Mandisa said the concept behind the DotAfro platform came out of a realisation that “social media was generally not a kind space for blackness.”
“I think there are things we do as black people which need to be highlighted and debated in a manner that is particularly Afrocentric,” Mandisa said. “DotAfro aims to open up that space. It’s a platform that will be free of censorship to subscribers who want to engage with like-minded people on issues that matter to them personally and to their communities. We believe that free speech is not a privilege, but a right and that identity is a big driving force which marks our space in the world.”
DotAfro will be launched on 18 November 2017. The platform is currently being tested on web and mobile with an app for Android and iOS.
In the interim users can already create accounts and test the features which include the updating of statuses (with mentions and hashtags), adding friends, creating groups, uploading pictures, creating events and customising individual profiles.
In addition, the platform provides new unique functions which include a like and dislike function. The site is also the first social network which allows subscribers to create voice note status updates or comments.
“DotAfro is a breath of fresh air, proudly South African and fully black owned and developed,” Mandisa said. “DotAfro gives subscribers a valuable option and a platform that is conducive and compatible to their own cultural modes of thought and expression.”
Mandla Sithole, a social media commentator said DotAfro should be regarded as a welcome addition, especially in South Africa where 16 million people use Facebook and eight million subscribe to Twitter.
“The global social media world is becoming more and more influential and persuasive in shaping political, cultural, economic and social discourse. African voices need to be heard in this maelstrom of ideas which ultimately impact on the way we view the world,” Sithole said.
Visit https://beta.dotafro.com to test the platform for yourself.