It’s no surprise that a lot of developing markets tend to borrow trends from the more developed markets. There have been several clones of international products on the African and Ghanaian market. Although some of these have been successful, like iROKOTV, unsuccessful ones in Ghana like Easy Taxi have also borne the consequences of the market differences.
Quite recently, while browsing on Web Summit, I noticed that Nas would be speaking at the conference. That drew my attention to a lot of similar happenings in the tech space recently — celebrities getting involved in tech and startups.
About two weeks ago, I watched a video on Shaq where he talked about how he makes investment decisions on startups which pitch him. I’m sure we’ve already heard the stories about Kim Kardashian’s game, Ashton Kuthcer’s, Jessica Alba’s $1 billion startup, and Snoop wanting to be CEO of Twitter. Oh, there are several others. More.
Im ready to lead @twitter !! #SnoopforCEO
— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg) June 11, 2015
In all these analysis, I realised that Ghanaian celebrities have not taken much interest in tech yet. Maybe it could be a premature topic to discuss. However, I think if Ghanaian celebrities could start developing an interest in tech, it could make the populace more aware of the various ways in which tech can make life easier and better.
There’s another twist to that. Are there enough tech innovations for these celebrities to be interested in? Are there music-related, or even sports-affiliated tech products which could drive the interest of these celebrities? I have only seen Reggie Rockstone talk about Suba and Suba holding some events at Django Bar. How about the others?
I’m not sure Ghanaian tech startups will pass an opportunity to be funded by one of our own, especially if the person has a good brand appeal. Though we can’t tell whether they have the financial muscle to do so, showing an interest will be a good start to get the conversation.
Aside – I heard a funny story about how some internationally-signed Ghanaian footballers were approached by some Ghanaian techies, and they thought it was “sakawa”, aka online fraud. ???
[Tweet “Are we waiting for foreign interests on tech products too before we gnash at lost opportunities?”]
Are we waiting for foreign investments on tech products too before we grumble at the opportunities we have missed? Imagine an entertainment/sports product with one of these investor celebrities as a brand ambassador, and the interest it will give to up-and-coming developers to put in their best.
I look forward to a day where celebrities in Ghana go beyond social projects to invest in tech and its related products to grow Ghana, if even in a small way. How soon till this happens?