Afripedia: The First African Descent Talent Database

Afripedia is the name of a platform that aims to bring together, in one unique place, creative professionals of African descent who work from around the world. The initiative came from the minds of two filmmakers from Ethiopia and Eritrea: Teddy Goitom and Senay Berhe. They both produced in 2014 a homonymous documentary series. Split into five parts, the work showed emerging creatives from major African cities.

As a proposal to take a fresh look at what it is to be an African artist these days, the series has achieved tremendous success and has been presented at over 70 festivals since its launch.

“Afripedia has expanded beyond a docu-series to become an online movement where African-descent creatives can connect, share their work and soon be sought after by major global companies,” says Teddy Goitom.

During the production of the film series, Teddy and Senay realized how poorly represented African talent was global. This kicked off Afripedia’s launch as a “digital home” for the African community and its diaspora. In this interview with ATLANTICO, Teddy Goiton tells how he intends to connect and boost these talents to generate new jobs and promote new paradigms for the creative industry.

ATLANTICO – How did you come up with the idea to create Afripedia?

Teddy Goitom – Afripedia started as a 5-part documentary series showcasing emerging creatives from major cities across Africa. The work of the featured artists was not only intriguing but it challenged stereotypes and changed preconceptions of what it means to be African today.

Teddy Goitom

While producing the Afripedia series, we ( co-founders Teddy Goitom and Senay Berhe) connected with talents across the African continent It became evident that there was a significant group of talents across the continent that had remained underrepresented in the global creative industry.

This is where the light bulb went off an idea that would disrupt the whole creative industry: the world’s first database with talents of African descent. From there, Afripedia has expanded beyond a docuseries to become an online movement where creatives of African descent can connect with one another, share their work and soon be sought after for hire by major global companies.

ATLANTICO – What is Afripedia’s proposal?

Teddy Goitom – At this moment we offer creatives the opportunity to be part of a thoughtfully curated platform, where their works will be accessible and promoted. Afripedia will make it possible to collaborations between African creatives and it will also open the door for business opportunities on a global scale, being an inspiration for others, especially the present and next generation of creatives.

ATLANTICO – What are the Afripedia’s goals?

Stylist Hodo Musa Photo: Afripedia

Teddy Goitom – Our goal is for Afripedia to serve as the premier search engine to identify the best creative talents of African descent, a platform for creative collaborations across Africa and her diaspora, and a global employment pool for future top talents.

ATLANTICO – How is curation done? Quality is most important than quantity at this moment?

Teddy Goitom – Yes, quality is more important than quantity, that is why we want to grow organically and not focus on numbers. We do put an immense amount of effort into the verification process to maintain the high standard and artistic integrity of Afripedia.

ATLANTICO – What are the Afripedia funding sources? How do you expect to gain new financial resources in the future?

Teddy Goitom – The development of Afripedia has mainly been self-funded. We have also been awarded funds for cultural enrichment from Sweden. We are currently in the process of developing new business models and ideas on how to sustainably finance Afripedia´s future.

ATLANTICO – What are the expected impacts for Afripedia as a hub for creative professionals?

Teddy Goitom – We want to contribute to the success of our community of African creatives. We hope that the platform will become a digital home for our community and that it will continue to grow and become larger than what we envisioned at its beginning.

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