April Greetings Glocal Citizens!
This week, we’re venturing west from Ghana along the coast to Sierra Leone by way of the US to settle here in Accra. My guest, Joannes “Joe” Hotagua is a Sierra Leonian-American, Strategic Advisor with 16 years of professional experience helping startups monetize their digital assets and Fortune 500 brands reach their target customers through digital media advertising. He’s a modern-day iteration of the Ad Man. Early in his career, Joe was responsible for using email marketing and affiliate advertising to drive product purchases and lead generation for direct-to-consumer companies. In 2012, he began his investment career by personally investing in PeepsOut, a minority-run Livestream mobile app, allowing users to see the crowd size at bars and restaurants in real time. At its peak, there were 90 restaurants and bars (in two cities) on the service, and $350K was raised in funding. His current business, based in Freetown, focuses on improving the lives of underrepresented and underserved populations and operates in four sectors: African Startup Advisory, African Film Production, E-commerce, and Real Estate. Joe’s e-commerce platform, Authentic African, is both an e-commerce store and social media broadcast. The e-commerce mission is to connect the diaspora with their African roots through African handmade products while helping local African entrepreneurs build their businesses internationally. The @Authentic_African social media broadcast delivers history, news, and culture to the African diaspora. This conversation was another great opportunity to reflect on the shared mission many of us African content creators have around manifesting a new Africa, a new world.
What’s Joannes reading?
Clash of Civilizations by Samuel P. Huntington
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
The Silk Roads: New History of the World by Peter Frankopan
Silk Road by Eileen Ormsby
American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road by Nick Bilton
Other topics of interest:
Lungi, Sierra Leone
About Sierra Leone’s Mende and Mandingo people
Sierra Leonean Creole or Krio
On Pidgin languages
About Roc-A-Fella Records
Kazaa, LimeWire and the evolution of MP3 streaming platforms
On Programmatic Advertising
Boomerang, the film
On Frederick W. Smith of Fed Ex