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The Five Must-Have Apps for Diaspora Africans in 2020

These mobile apps and digital platforms are making it easier for Africans across the world to find jobs and scholarships, get new citizenship and send money overseas.

Sponsored content from World Remit

Mobile apps and digital platforms have fundamentally transformed nearly every aspect of our lives. Whether it's ordering food, keeping track of our work or life goals to sending money to our loved ones, these apps and digital platforms have made lives easier, efficient and more productive.

As the brand new year begins, we have compiled a list of five must-have apps and digital platforms that we believe will help Africans in the diaspora, especially in the U.S. make the most of the year.

​Job Opportunities

It is one thing migrating to the U.S. and another getting a job to sustain your livelihood in a new country. Upwardly Global helps work-authorized Africans in the diaspora, and Special Immigrant Visa holders (SIVs) restart their professional careers in the U.S. Their online Job Search Program helps users adapt their skills, education, and previous careers into the American workforce, whilst demonstrating the value of their experience to potential employers.

The majority of people who move away from their home country, look for jobs to support their family abroad assisting with key necessities like food, education, medical and housing costs.

If you are looking for a platform to assist with your job search, Upwardly Global will provide the support you need.

​Citizenship Education

Another goal for many Africans in the diaspora after settling in the U.S. is to start their journey towards securing their U.S. citizenship. The 'USCIS Citizenship Test Prep' App helps Africans in the diaspora who are studying for their naturalization civics exams to access mobile tutoring. The app provides flashcards on 100 different civic questions, covering topics like U.S. history and geography.

Available on Android and iOS, this app seeks to help new Africans in the diaspora to adequately prepare for their American citizenship test as they continue to pursue the American dream.

Finding Scholarships

This app is particularly relevant to Africans in the diaspora that want to pursue higher education and would need a scholarship to make this possible. Trying to find scholarship money for yourself or your child can be very tedious and time consuming. The Scholly app enables tuition-starved students to procure the funds to enroll in higher education. The Scholly app now has over two million users and has helped students to secure more than $100 million in scholarships. The app can be downloaded from both Android and iOS app platforms.

Language Translation

Tarjimly means "translate for me" and was founded in 2017 with the aim to connect a community of volunteer translators with African immigrants and refugees in real-time. The connections between the immigrants and volunteers are anonymous, and the only information shared is the translator's first name. Other information is up to the participants to share. When someone requests a translator for a particular language, Tarjimly's machine which uses a learning matching algorithm, selects the best volunteer available in a community of 8,000+ people. The translator is then connected in a live chat with the person in need, where they can send text, documents, and start a phone or video call.

The app can be downloaded from both Android and iOS stores.

Sending Money Home

Sending remittances back home is important to many Africans in the U.S. and around the world. Money that is sent back home is used for necessities such as food, clothing, housing, education as well as to start small businesses. We understand the sacrifice being made; leaving everything you know and love to provide a better life for your loved ones. To help make this journey a little easier, the WorldRemit service offers lower fees and faster transfer times so more money makes it to loved ones when they need it most.

Available online or via the WorldRemit mobile app, you can make a transfer to family or friends in a matter of minutes. We are connected to more mobile money services around the world than any other money transfer operator and with mobile money, people can instantly receive remittance payments on their phones instead of travelling long distances to foreign exchange bureaus to collect cash.

Around 70% of our transfers are sent from the mobile app, and 90% of our transfers arrive in less than 10 minutes.

Looking to transfer money online to your loved ones in Africa? We are offering zero fees on your first three money transfers when you use the code "3FREE". All you need to do is download our app or sign up on our website, choose where you want to transfer money and how much you want to send. It is super simple to sign up and you can start sending money in minutes. See www.worldremit.com/3FREE for more details (T&Cs apply).

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Interview: Dimpie Dimpopo on Channeling Online Clout into a Lucrative Career

We chat to Internet sensation Dimpie Dimpopo about his moves and music.

This interview is part of a series of interviews and profiles on amapiano artists and personalities sponsored by Corona. You can follow the rest of the series here.

Dimpie Dimpopo (real name Nadiem Poen) is an all-round entertainer. He became popular in South Africa after a series of gig guide videos he was consistently sharing on his Instagram account since 2018. His favorite catch phrase "Oh Nkosi Yami!" is now used by many South Africans, especially in the party scene. Dimpie is a staple in the country's dance scene which is dominated by the house subgenre amapiano at the moment.

This Internet fame has enabled the 23-year-old to share his other gifts with his growing fanbase. When he sits down for an interview with OkayAfrica, he is preparing for his first stand-up comedy show, and has just returned from a meeting to seal a partnership with an automobile brand that's collaborating with him for a campaign.

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8 Tips on How To Save Money While Sending Money to Africa This Holiday

WorldRemit shares some tips to help you save money this holiday.

Sponsored content from WorldRemit.

Sending money abroad during this holiday has never been easier. When planning to send money, most people do not realize that they can also save money while sending money back home to friends and family. Here are some tips to help you save money this holiday.

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5 Women Doing Amazing Things Behind the Scenes in South African Hip-Hop

Behind every successful South African rapper of the last decade is a woman helping to get ish done. Helen Herimbi spoke to a few of them.

South African hip-hop had a great run in the last decade. As we start a new era, it's important to highlight the women who have played a pivotal role in the growth of the genre.

​Thuli Keupilwe

Thuli Keupilwe is the founder of LAWK Communications, an artist booking and representation agency that now works closely with the likes of DJ Maphorisa and Kabza de Small.

But she's not all about the yanos. Thuli has worked with urban music brands like Dreamteam SA and Homecoming Events, but in 2016, she cast her booking agent net wider and started LAWK Communications where she worked with DJs Capital and Sliqe.

The following year, Thuli received a phone call that would force her to level up. "Boom," she exclaims. "February 2017. PJay from B3nchMarQ called me. I was the one that pushed A-Reece to get onto his first Maftown Heights around 2014 and we're all from Pretoria so I'd known them since forever."

B3nchMarQ and A-Reece were gearing up to leave Ambitiouz Entertainment and when she agreed to be their booking agent, Thuli hadn't anticipated how much it would stretch her. Partly because the artists weren't initially permitted to perform their own songs—problematic for an agent who is meant to book them for gigs.

"I didn't see that coming at all," she says. "I was going up against the big guys, people I looked up to. I realized I needed to get a lawyer." Eventually, the artists were legally permitted to gig. "I had one of my biggest years with Reece after that. I am still with him till today."

A-Reece had managed to amass an enviable fan base size mostly from his online and streaming presence. Thuli works closely with him and counts using A-Reece's "Rich" song in a sync deal with the gambling website BET.co.za as a milestone in their partnership. "It was a good check," she chuckles. "And he was being himself and that's the most important thing to me."

Kay Faith

Authenticity has been the drive behind Kay Faith's work. The Cape Town-based engineer, producer and budding vocalist began her career behind the boards during sessions for the likes of Yasiin Bey, Nasty C and E-Jay.

She put out her own EP, In Good Faith, in 2017, and in 2018, she became the first female producer in the world to be featured on Apple Music's New Artist Spotlight.

She has also given us hip-hop bangers like "Slam Dunk" by Da L.E.S and YoungstaCPT. The latter is a frequent collaborator of hers. So much so that when his album 3T won the Best Album category at this year's South African Hip Hop Awards, she felt it was a win for her too. Especially since projects she'd worked on had been nominated and lost before.

Read: Meet The Woman Engineering Your Favorite South African Hip-Hop Releases

"When we started [the song] 'YVR,' I had this emotional feeling that it would be something big for Cape Town," Kay excitedly says. "From recording to mixing to mastering and featuring as a vocalist on 'The Cape of Good Hope' and 'KAAPSTAD NAAIER,' I was behind all of 3T. I even co-produced the 'Pavement Special' intro and the 'Outro' with Chvna.

"We spent 11 months crafting and him trying to get it to be perfect so it was a surreal feeling when we won Album of the Year. I even sent out a tweet saying: 'Can we just take a moment to realize that the South African Hip Hop Album of the Year was entirely engineered by a woman?'"

Kay's upcoming album, Antithesis is slated for a 2020 release. "It's going to be the first album of its kind, I believe," she says. "And I'm really trying to play with that idea of being the antithesis of hip-hop. I am a woman, an Afrikaans kid, in hip-hop. When I walk in, people don't expect me to be an engineer or a hip-hop producer and when I roll out my accolades, then they're like, 'damn, Kay's got game.' That reaction is what this album is about."

Phindi Matroshe

For Phindi Matroshe, the outside reaction to her work is not the most important thing. Phindi is a publicist and talent manager who owns At Handle, a PR and social marketing solutions firm. She was there before Nadia Nakai became a Reebok or Courvoisier ambassador and before she had sold-out ranges with Sportscene's Redbat.

She was also there when Nadia bagged a Best Female pyramid at the 2019 South African Hip Hop Awards. And she was right beside her when she scooped awards at AFRIMA 2019 for Best Artist, Duo or Group in African Hip Hop as well as Best Female Artiste: Southern Africa.

"Winning awards was never the mission," Phindi confesses. "Honestly, we have never done things to try and get awards. Nadia truly loves what she does and it feels great when that is acknowledged and someone pats us on the back for work we've done. I really love and respect what I do and don't see it as a job."

Having handled publicity for the likes of JR, Tumi Masemola (of Gang of Instrumentals), Shane Eagle, Major League DJs and more, Phindi pivoted to managing Nadia. She says: "Seeing the things we talk about come to life or when we're in the boardrooms signing those deals, those are personal milestones for me."

​Ninel Musson

Ninel Musson has been brokering some of hip-hop's biggest deals for over a decade. She co-owns Vth Season, a boutique full-service entertainment marketing agency with Raphael Benza.

A former party promoter and publisher of the wonted.co.za website, Ninel helped start a record label wing of Vth Season where AKA was their first signee. Together, they turned AKA into a mainstream success that the artist could bank on when he started the now defunct BEAM Group independent record label with Prince Nyembe in 2016.

Recently, Ninel and Benza, together with the Sony Music team, presented AKA with diamond and platinum plaques for several songs at a surprise dinner. "The music we went on to create became some of the best-selling records of all time in South Africa," Ninel says matter-of-factly. "When we started with him, the major labels said SA hip-hop would never go this far. We said we believed it would and then we did."

​Sibu Mabena

Cassper Nyovest seems to make it a point to work with women. In addition to Cassper's sisters running his Family Tree store, several Fill Up dates have seen PR maven, Sheila Afari at the helm. And while it's clear that the Fill Up series was always the brainchild of Cassper and his longtime friend and business partner, T-Lee Moiloa, bringing it to fruition has also included the skills and power of women behind the scenes. Women like Sibu Mabena, a multi-hyphenate creative entrepreneur who owns the Duma Collective.

"The day I landed back home from the EMAs, I went straight to The Dome," she remembers. "I said: 'yo, T-Lee, give me a job. I want to work on this thing.' He was like: 'bra, there's nothing for you to do.'" Sibu stuck around at the Dome, watching the production come together when a lightbulb went on in her head.

Read: Sibu Mabena Works Behind The Scenes in South African Hip-Hop, And She's Kicking Ass

"I thought: 'Cassper has 11 outfit changes. Who is helping him with those?' So Gareth Hadden from Formative, who was building the stage, said they needed someone to help with those changes. I forced myself into the Dome, and the next year I pitched to T-Lee to run the stage at Orlando Stadium. The following year was Fill Up FNB Stadium and there, I got a bigger job to run the talent operations. That's how we started doing the Fill Up Intern Search."

In the next decade of Mzansi hip hop, Sibu has her heart set on parties with a purpose. "All the things I have learnt along the way have led me to contribute to AKA's Fees For All Mega Concert," she shares. "I'm not coming on as just a creative or event organiser or marketer. It's demanding all of me. We're all tapping into a more philanthropic and less commercial role than we usually have so the pressure is that much greater."

There are plenty more women who've got game. From Lerato Lefafa, who has been a part of the team that brought us the SAHHAs and Back to the City to Bianca Naidoo who is a big part of Riky Rick's triumphant trajectory to women like Spokenpriestess, Caron Williams, Azizzar The Pristine Queen, Loot Love and way more who have, in the last decade, used their media platforms to lift up Mzansi hip-hop. In the next decade, women will still be a huge part of hip hop. It'll be interesting to see where that contribution takes the movement next.

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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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