Africa’s first virtual reality “metaverse” platform, Africarare, this week launched a new virtual world called Ubuntuland, a 3D immersive hub that houses a marketplace and will showcase African art, fashion, entertainment, sport, tech and creativity. It also began selling virtual land, and its first customers are telecommunications giant MTN and leading South African advertising agency M&C Saatchi Abel.
MTN will own 144 plots of virtual land, with an overall area of 12x12metres.
“This is an exciting moment for us as we lead businesses on the continent to enter the metaverse marketplace,” says Bernice Samuels, MTN group executive for marketing. “This is exactly what our Ambition 2025 strategy is premised on – leveraging trends that amplify consumer’s digital experiences and engagement. We have always been at the forefront of technological and digital changes and we remain alive to the exciting opportunities the metaverse presents for us and our customers’.’
M&C Saatchi Abel is the first African agency to set up shop in the Ubunuland digital world.
Says CEO Mike Abel, “The unique afro-themed metaverse establishes local representation in a growing global digital universe and will open our continent up to significant digital and economic growth opportunities for both talent, clients and industry colleagues to come together to solve business and even societal challenges with creativity.“
Africarare launched in October 2021 with a premium collection of five pieces in two separate NFT (non-fungible token) works from world-renowned South African artist Norman Catherine, whose body of work spans painting, sculpture, printmaking and mixed media. This is the debut NFT collection by Catherine, following the likes of Gary Vee and Frank Miller, who have embraced the medium internationally.
“NFTs have opened up a whole new medium for artists to explore,” says Catherine. “I am very much looking forward to being part of this new and exciting digital era of art marketing. It has opened up a whole new audience for artists and judging by the exponential expansion over the last year it will be something that will continue to grow and become more accepted. This is a new era of investment art.”
Now, with Ubuntuland’s own cryptocurrency, $UBU Coin, land can be bought, traded, kept or used for various experiences, such as art exhibitions, games or social experiences. Once land is purchased, users create their own application on top of it. They can also create their own unique avatars that can be traded, along with accessories like hats, jackets and shoes.
Ubuntuland is created by Mann Made and will be open to public land sales shortly.
Mic Mann, CEO of Mann Made Media & Africarare, says: “For us it’s all about building a thriving engaged community and ecosystem in Ubuntuland as we develop this new metaverse.”