As a white dude, it’s rather easy for me to express myself with an emoji that looks kinda sorta like me.

While it may seem silly to some, emojis have become part of our everyday language and as such there should be more ways for folks to express themselves by way of tiny caricatures of themselves.

Well now, Africans can with the launch of OjuChat.

Part of the Oju app, OjuChat, sports region specific and culturally appropriate emojis for the diverse people of the world to make use of.

“It is our ability to celebrate our differences, along with our own need to empower people to express themselves freely through the use of visual content that aligns to their own individuality, which has driven the creation of the platform,” say the creators of OjuChat, Oju Holdings.

“As global citizens, our diversity is our strength and we believe that inclusion is the key to unlocking that strength, especially in an increasingly digital world. All people experience emotion and we all smile in the same language – OjuChat will be the platform that connects us through our diversity.”

Much like WhatsApp and Telegram, OjuChat encrypts messages from both ends of a conversation. Also of interest is that the instant messaging service is peer to peer meaning messages don’t touch Oju Holdings’ infrastructure.

Users are also able to send images, video and voice notes using the OjuChat app.

At present there are 4 800 unique emojis to make use of with more being added.

“Imagine inviting a friend round for a ‘Bunny Chow’ or ‘Pap ā€˜nā€™ gravy’ and having the right emoticon to share at your fingertips. Users from all cultural backgrounds will find shareable content that is appropriate to their own cultures ā€“ from Maoris to the Masai Mara,” says Oju Holdings.

The OjuChat app is currently only available for Android and in a beta state. You can however download this beta from the Google Play Store if you wish to give it a test.