Oye Akideinde, one of Nigeria’s frontline tech entrepreneur and digital content creator, has unveiled a new collection of innovative digital products called MerryGo Kids.
According to Akideinde, he was inspired to create MeryGo Kids in 2016 when he wanted to amuse his eighteen months old daughter and educate her at the same time. “I discovered that most videos found on YouTube Kids (and YouTube) weren’t tailored for Nigerians and Africans as a whole and that African children’s content was seriously lacking,” he said.
The main character of MerryGo Kids, Ufan (which means friend in Ibibio), a fluffy adorable and friendly bush baby; yes a bush baby. The first of MerryGo Kids’ edutainment videos was released just in time for the 2018 Christmas Holidays-“We Wish You A Merry Christmas” and the second video “The Alphabet Song” was released a few days ago for toddlers and preschoolers to learn their A B C Ds.
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Speaking about the project, Akideinde stressed the need for Nigerian animated content creator to be more original and produce materials that tell the African story. “If the international countries can make our kids accept Halloween, Vampires, Purple T-Rexes and Wizards as nothing scary, I believe we should be able to also plug in our own African stories into kid-friendly characters.” Oye has currently developed over 30 characters for MerryGo Kids. Some of the recurring characters are Ife Ariya, Ike Anuru and Katumbiri aka Mother Nature.
Commenting further, the 2018 Marketing Edge’s Digital Innovator of the Year said, MerryGo Kids will specialize in engaging children through animated videos of traditional nursery rhymes, educational children’s songs, and short films in English and other African languages.
He added that these videos will be designed to reflect the classic nursery rhymes; with a colourful modern look and feel while ensuring it maintains a positive impact on habits, manners, and behaviour. “Our MerryGo Kids characters teach the kids all their favorite nursery rhymes, numbers, alphabets, languages, colors, shapes, and more importantly the educational foundations required to make them future leaders,” he added.
Reputed for being a serious comic collector, Akideinde revealed that one of the main challenges on his way to making the project a success – cost. “It is an uphill task. The costs associated with creating animation in Nigeria is quite high. I do believe in the long run, it will be worth it. I’m very happy doing this because I know it will positively impact the lives of many Africans and those of African (and Caribbean) descent. The goal is for MerryGo Kids to become the ‘go-to’ place for kids and their parents for educative and entertaining content.”