Ever since a snake was said to have offered an apple, to a gullible Eve, almost every human society has had a horror of snakes. It is an instinct, that for social media users at least, the young tech company, Snake Nation, hopes to change, by getting users to associate any mention of Snake, with only good things, provided of course, it is immediately followed by the word, Nation.
Founded in 2015, the company’s aims are nothing, if not ambitious. Unlike other similar, social media applications, as well as encouraging creative, entertainment content, and offering a platform for the creators’ expression of what they can do, Snake Nation, also aims to tackle youth unemployment, combat social ills, such as sexual crimes against women and girls, gender based violence, drug and alcohol abuse.
The added bonus to engaging with the app in anyway, is that the user gets remunerated for their interest, in digital currency, of course, which can be converted into your boring, run of the mill analogue paper and coin, if you can bear the indignity of admitting to being a bit of a luddite.
Technology meets culture, creativity and digital economy, is the message that Snake Nation is taking to young people, or even the not so young, analogue children, who may have embraced the digital age, and are at ease with being outside the target demographic.
To reach as many young people as possible, the company has formed partnerships with African universities, over two thousand to date, including those in Rwanda. The company’s directors, were most recently in Rwanda, as participants in this year’s YouthKonnekt Summit, held in the country’s capital of Kigali.
If the programmes Snake Nation is offering partner universities, is anything to go by, demand will almost certainly be guaranteed to be high.
“We are basically getting young people, into the creative and digital economy” explained Snake Nation’s Africa director, Tshitso Mosolodi, “We are setting up creative and digital communities, working with the All Africa Student Union, we are rolling out communities in Universities, throughout Africa. We are setting up studios where young people can book, come in, record their music, or create other content, and distribute it through our platform…”
The company believes that Africa’s young are poorly served by other, similar, social media platforms, and aims to offer Africa’s creators, the same opportunities, as their peers, in the Asia, or Western nations. Mosolodi, fizzes with passion about the need to change, or challenge, what he sees as a grossly unfair, even unjust system.
“Our digital platform is a social media front, and banking at the end other end. Every social media activity is a transaction. The guys in Asia, are getting paid, for pushing their content, in the States, people are getting paid…but on the continent [Africa], we are being taken as consumers.”
We are not getting anything, we are just participating in the challenges, but getting nothing for it…youngsters are pushing their content on big media platforms, like Instagram, TikTok, but are getting nothing for that…so, we knew that we needed to create a platform, to help youngsters to tell their story, their way, and get paid…”
Alongside the creative societies, the company has also established programmes to tackle the gender imbalance, in the technology sphere. “Quantum Woman” will encourage more girls, and young women into digital technology, and “techpreneur” will help young people consider entrepreneurship, while still at university.
The company expects its revenue to come primarily from advertising, as well universities, and governments, sponsoring their more responsible programmes.
And why, “Snake Nation”? The ouroboros, which is sometimes interpreted, as a symbol of cyclic renewal.