In an exclusive interview with Nneka Egbujiobi, ESQ. soon to be known as Nneka Ihim, ESQ as she is currently engaged, she explained the following.
Hello Africa is a mobile dating application connecting the 30+ million Africans in the diaspora. Hello Africa is not just your typical dating app, it is about dating/connecting with the purpose of restoring and preserving African culture in a concrete way as other immigrant cultures have successfully done (e.g., Chinese and Koreans have established Chinatown and Korea town respectively). Africans aren’t as numerous, which is where technology can be useful to help bridge the gap.
A platform uniting Africans is much needed, and in fact overdue. I am a first generation Nigerian-American. My parents immigrated to America in 1979. I grew up in Wisconsin where there was not a large African population, and being able to connect with Africans who have similar roots as me for dating, networking and other social purposes was difficult. Although I grew up in the United States, I was raised very culturally and traditionally as a Nigerian, much like many Africans raised abroad which further fueled my desire to connect with others like me.
In 2012, after graduating law school, I moved to Los Angeles to begin my legal career, and discovered early on that locating and connecting with other Africans in a 21st century way was a challenge as it took me over a year to learn where the Africans were located, the best eateries, grocery stores and lastly the social African hot-spots.
I have seen, experienced and heard the struggles first hand of Africans in the diaspora yearning to find an African community, outside of Africa, and to meet a mate that shares similar cultural values. Because of this, I felt moved to create Hello Africa.
Hello Africa is about relationships and community building. It works by requiring each user to first select their African “Heritage Country,” “Tribe,” and then select their African “Heritage(s) of Interest.” We do this in order to connect people with similar roots or those who have roots from the other 54 African countries on the continent. For instance, a Nigerian-American user who is from the Igbo Tribe, can connect with a Rwandan Englander who is from the Hutu Tribe. Then, based on other search fields, including the user’s location settings, Hello Africa presents profiles of other African users in the database within a specified distance. If two users “swipe right” on each others’ profiles (in other words “like” each other”), the users then match and can exchange text and voice messages. While the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily halted in-person meet ups, Hello Africa still remains a viable source to date and meet Africans as Hello Africa is set to release its new video speed dating feature which will permit users to engage in mini dates from the comfort and safety of their own home. During a time where self-isolation is encouraged, Hello Africa has been working to bring users human connection in an easy and exciting manner.
Another way Hello Africa facilitates African community building is by hosting dating mixers where millennial Africans can mingle and network.
Hello Africa serves to not only foster relationships and community building outside of Africa, but also ultimately as an entry point to effectuate change in the lives of the 1.2 billion people still living in Africa. Many of our users, African immigrants, are already sending physical goods and monetary resources back to their heritage countries.
Hello Africa is the bridge that not only connects Africans living abroad, but is also as a way for the diaspora to connect more deeply with Africa itself!
For additional information about Hello Africa please visit our website: sayhelloafrica.com, or our Instagram page: @helloafricaapp.