Gombolola.

When outside Africa for an extended period of time; it’s almost normal to be nostalgic about all things uniquely African that you took for granted back home.

I wouldn’t know anything about that. Not really. But I have endured too many conversations with IJGBs* where they carped on about how much they missed Africa (the food especially), while outside the continent.

Where do you find that quaint African place? An African store, restaurant (to eat pounded yam and Okra), hair salon,event, Church, Mosque, and even the people (when you’ve had enough of your cousins)? It’s where Gombolola comes in handy.

Gombolola (Ugandan for community) is a search and social mobile app which connects Africans in the Diaspora with everything African around them. A kind of Yelp meets Google for African places and people in the diaspora.

Gombolola is still in development mode, however. The developers, Obi-Okoye Chidozie and Jonas AttaBoateng told TechCabal that it will be available in the UK starting from January of 2016.

Other features on the app will be a social layer (that allows users to find other African flatmates, organize meet-ups and more), a loyalty programme organized in partnership with listed businesses and a news tab for stories about Africa. “We would also throw in the most popular music and  gossip blogs from your country too,” the developers said.

Obi and Jonas have  £30,000 in funding from private investors and the product is the first from FingersFingers, a software development firm in Glasgow, Scotland.

*IJGB: an initialism that represents “I just got back”. It is used to refer to Nigerians who have returned from an extended stretch of time abroad, typically for study.

Gbenga Onalaja | Author

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