Venn Oputa: Protecting historical past on the blockchain

Venn Oputa: Protecting historical past on the blockchain

Regardless of the dearth of documentation, African historical past is replete with tales of individuals with inspiring achievements like Warrior Queen Amina. Though historians have conflicting theories about her life, the consensus is that she personified bravery and valiance in struggle.

Amina was born in 1533 to the ruler of Zazzau (now Zaria), and, not like most girls in her time, she had an uncommon curiosity in warfare. 

When Amina’s brother, Karama, ascended the throne, she fought in all the main army campaigns he organised and displayed unparalleled army competence. After her brother’s loss of life, she was the undisputed option to take his place because the Zazzau’s ruler. 

She dominated for 34 years, most of which have been spent main wars and increasing her territory, dominating most of what’s generally known as Hausaland. 

Queen Amina. Supply: BBCUnlike Western legends and histories which were changed into films, Queen Amina’s story might be discovered predominantly in historical past books till its latest adaptation right into a Netflix film. 

Curiously, a workforce of Nigerians is creating a brand new residence for the story on the blockchain.

Queen Amina on the blockchain 

Animated model of Queen Amina story by Afrobubble. “We began eager about transformative characters we will immortalise on the blockchain. Now we have tales, Africans have good tales, however we’ve simply not heard about them. 

“Like there are not any films about them as usually as, say, Alexander the Nice. We find out about Napoleon and all however barely find out about sure histories in Africa.”

Venn Oputa, Co-founder of the non-fungible token (NFT) assortment, Afrobubble, determined to create one among Africa’s first NFT collections to place a bit of Africa on the blockchain. With the appearance of Web3 as the brand new Web age powered by blockchain, the Afrobubbule workforce hopes to carve out room for African historical past.

The choice to make use of one among Africa’s most revered feminine warriors was a no brainer for the Afrobubble workforce. On a name with Techpoint Africa, Oputa stated,

“We requested ourselves, ‘Who can we immortalise?’, and it was Queen Amina. If you happen to examine her historical past, she is like Alexander the Nice; she was this mighty queen who was conquering lands. She was even like the elemental concept of feminism, a robust [and] empowered queen.”

The African warrior impressed the Afrobubble assortment, which recreated the story, bringing the sixteenth Century warrior to the twenty first Century, the place she’s the one one capable of defeat a terrific, yet-to-exist evil. 

For lovers of cartoons and comics, the story bears some resemblance to Samurai Jack, an animated American TV collection a few Japanese samurai who will get despatched to the long run to destroy a villain from his previous.

“So we went with Queen Amina however determined to do a few issues, like including our twist to the story and giving it a futuristic strategy. 

“Like Samurai Jack, this can be a queen who was very highly effective previously. Now she’s moved into the long run the place individuals find out about her, however she doesn’t find out about them.”

The NFT assortment that homes the futuristic model of Queen Amina’s story has 3,000 NFTs or bubs — Africa-themed characters with completely different ranges of rarity that affect the worth of every NFT on the Solana blockchain. 

How an NFT assortment preserves historical past 

Afrobubble websiteWhile Queen Amina’s story is inspiring, how the NFT assortment preserves its historical past is likely to be a bit fuzzy. Oputa, also called Merlin on the Afrobbuble workforce, sees this as a name to curious individuals to go and study extra. 

“We would like individuals to know this character once they’re going by historical past, even on the blockchain. We would like them to be like, ‘Oh, who was Queen Amina?’ Now we have a rendition of Queen Amina. However they are going to be like, ‘Oh, let’s go and seek for her’, and that may result in a lot extra.”

Past NFTs and historical past

Based on Micheal Ugwu, Nigerian angel investor and NFT knowledgeable, branding is without doubt one of the many causes individuals purchase NFTs. 

NFT collections are themed and have messages to move, however that’s not all there may be to the creation of such collections. And Afrobubble desires to protect her story for posterity.

Oputa defined that the gathering is a advertising technique to get extra manufacturers and people into the NFT area, creating an infrastructure that reveals the advantages of making worth with NFTs.

“Afrobubble’s preliminary Genesis assortment was a go-to advertising technique for creating extra digital collectables and tales from Africa. 

“What we needed to do, or what we’re doing now, reveals which you can launch a group and fasten one thing of worth to it. However the finish aim is infrastructure for area.”

A terrific instance of NFTs as a advertising technique is what the Web3 firm, Yuga Labs, achieved with the Bored Ape Yacht Membership (BAYC) NFT assortment. 

The gathering was used to lift cash for Yuga Labs, changing into much more in style than its dad or mum firm. 

The Bored Ape assortment noticed acceptance from celebrities and have become so in style that different companies constructed a model off the gathering. 

Curiously, Oputa revealed that even well-known manufacturers have used the NFT advertising technique and recorded success. 

 “A number of retail within the West has come into this area. Adidas, NBA, Topshop, and different manufacturers, have benefited from the NFT area by serving to them enhance their model consciousness. 

“Adidas NFT generated over $22 million whereas an NBA Topshop generated over $700 million. Nike and Disney generate thousands and thousands of {dollars} from their collections and provides individuals advantages of holding this assortment.”

The thrilling factor concerning the NFT advertising technique is that it concurrently creates model consciousness and generates income. 

From eCommerce to Afrobubble

Venn OputaBefore co-founding Afrobubble, Oputa sharpened his advertising abilities within the eCommerce business. 

“Earlier than Afrobubble, I attempted my fingers in a few eCommerce-related startups and had an fringe of competency in advertising for native and overseas manufacturers. One was, the place we have been making an attempt to attach material retailers with prospects digitally. 

“From the onset, I’ve all the time tried issues to see what works. eCommerce has all the time been my competence, discovering merchandise, discovering what individuals will like, promoting to them, and discovering a method to join expertise to that.”

His transition from eCommerce to NFTs and Web3 got here in 2020 when COVID-19 hit and companies have been looking for their footing. His material enterprise thrived totally on the supply of bodily occasions and was on the point of failing. 

Nevertheless, he didn’t flip to crypto and NFTs out of the blues. Oputa had been investing in cryptocurrencies since 2017, however because the 2020 bull run that noticed Bitcoin attain an all-time excessive of $20,000 began, he paid extra consideration to the evolving crypto and blockchain area. 

He observed the area was evolving past hypothesis. Improvements have been coming to the area, from decentralised finance (DeFi) to Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs); there was extra use for crypto.

He was significantly excited by DeFi and the best way it supplied decentralised monetary providers to anybody on the earth with an Web connection. It wasn’t till he learnt about NFTs that he found how his advertising abilities would match into the crypto area. 

“If you happen to have a look at it, it’s nonetheless eCommerce; individuals buying and selling NFTs forwards and backwards, shopping for and promoting digital belongings, it’s nonetheless eCommerce. In order that was after I realised that Africa has good tales, we now have a terrific tradition that’s just about unmatched, and I requested myself, ‘How can we convey that on the blockchain?’”

Oputa got here up with the plan to create an African NFT market, however creating a group and rising from there was a extra logical course of, so Afrobubble was born. 

The workforce, roadmap, and earnings

Afrobubble teamLaunched in October 2021, the gathering has constructed a neighborhood of over 4,000 individuals on Discord. The workforce is engaged on creating 3D artwork editions that may assist onboard much more individuals. 

The Afrobubble assortment was created by a core workforce of 4, which included Oputa because the advertising knowledgeable, Gbemi Onakoya because the mission supervisor, and Olatoye Sulaimon because the blockchain developer. 

On the creative facet of issues, Adefisola Onakoya created Afrobubble characters representing the completely different clans Queen Amina tries to name to order. 

For Oputa, neighborhood constructing is essentially the most thrilling a part of creating this assortment. He’s stoked that individuals are coming collectively to be part of what the workforce has created.

“Seeing an concept come to life and folks shopping for it’s the most adrenaline rush you may ever get. You considered one thing you felt there was a marketplace for, went forward, and did it.”

Whereas a set of people often create NFT collections, the neighborhood is all the time an enormous a part of them, and it’s important to have a roadmap detailing the plans of the gathering, particularly by way of monetary good points. 

The aim is for the Afrobubble workforce to construct an infrastructure that helps different artists, manufacturers, and companies create NFT collections simply. 

A superb a part of the earnings will convey extra gamers into the area. 

The gathering is working with in style Nigerian artiste, Dangerous Boy Timz, serving to him onboard his neighborhood within the NFT area. And even with a major downturn within the crypto market, Oputa believes offering worth with NFTs will decide the survival of collections and the NFT area at giant. 

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