Africarare, Africa’s first metaverse, is set to unlock African creativity and connect Africa to the global digital economy. At an event in Johannesburg on Monday, plans were announced for the commercialisation of the 3D virtual reality experience, that is set in Ubuntuland, a virtual world that marries creativity, cryptocurrency, and commerce.
Firstly, virtual land will soon be available to purchase and develop with MTN, Africa’s largest multinational mobile telecommunications company joining Africarare with an upcoming 12×12 village (144 plots of real estate) secured in Ubuntuland.
Buying Virtual Land
Additionally, M&C Saatchi Abel has entered the metaverse as the first South African agency to do so. There will only ever be 204 642 plots of land available, made up of different village sizes in various community hubs. The land is positioned and priced according to a tiered value system.
Landholders will be able to customize their 3-D land spaces, such as hosting shops, producing resources, renting virtual services and developing games or other applications. Designated spaces will serve the community for work, play and wellness purposes, including a state of the art meeting rooms, online therapy rooms (with optional anonymity), concert stages, film festival spaces, meditation lounges and other dynamic interactive environments.
And, there’s more to come, such as staking, DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) and blockchain play-to-earn gaming.
African Avatars, African Metaverse
Renowned South African artist Norman Catherine has developed a unique collection of avatars for the metaverse, which will shortly be available to purchase. The Normunda tribe is based on the artist’s signature lexicon, which has fetched record prices in galleries around the world. An avatar is a 3-D graphical representation of a user or the user’s character or persona in this space.
Furthermore, an exciting collaboration between Africarare and South African superstar Boitumelo Thulo has been announced. Popularly known as Boity, the acclaimed television personality, rapper, actress, businesswoman and model, revealed her first virtual reality music video, entering the event in the same Sun Goddess custom creation upon which her outfit in Queen Boity avatar form was based. The Boity tribe of 10,000 avatars will soon be available for fans, with a Boity village currently being developed and plans for virtual concerts underway.
The $UBUNTU Token
The currency in Ubuntuland will be the $UBUNTU token, which is built on the Ethereum blockchain and available later this year. Everything in Africarare can be bought, sold or traded using $UBUNTU tokens, including buying, developing, selling or renting plots or villages in Ubuntuland, and the in-world purchases of digital goods and services. The valuation of the token will be calculated according to what users invest/build/play/trade inside the metaverse.
Two art galleries will feature in Africarare, dedicated to showcasing Africa’s prolific creativity. The Mila gallery (Swahili for ‘tradition’), already open, will host curated collections by some of Africa’s foremost artists, while the Inuka gallery (Swahili for ‘rise’) will feature works by emerging African artists from later in 2022. Both galleries will stage various exhibitions on an ongoing basis with art pieces being be sold as NFTs (non-fungible tokens).
In the Africarare marketplace, creators and developers can trade-in in-world assets such as land, avatars, avatar additions and other goods and services that are and will be available in Ubuntuland. The marketplace focuses on four main areas: Art, Ubuntuland, Avatars & Skins and Digital Services. Users will also be able to trade on secondary platforms such as Opensea and others.
The Central Hub land area is reserved for Africarare custom made experiences, ranging from art to education and including experiences like galleries, live performances, stand-up comedy, video content channels, film festivals, safaris and more.
“Africarare will connect Africa to this booming arena of the global economy, stimulate growth and create multiple new jobs such as digital designers, creators and architects,” said Mic Mann, co-founder and CEO of Africarare.
“Additionally, it will enable South African artists to showcase their talent to the world and monetize their distinctive creations,” he added.
“With Africarare being built on collaborative partnerships, the possibilities for commercialisation are endless,” said Shayne Mann, co-founder of Africarare.
“This is an exciting moment for us as we lead businesses on the continent to enter the metaverse marketplace. This is exactly what our Ambition 2025 strategy is premised on – leveraging trends that amplify consumers’ digital experiences and engagement,” Bernice Samuels, MTN Group Executive, said.
Edited by Zintle Nkohla