Umuntu Media started as a dream, a dream about connections, people and information. A dream to fill the gap and change the way six African countries will communicate, transact, find information and keep informed online.
Umuntu Media aims to become the largest internet portal in Sub Saharan Africa. The name Umuntu means “person / people” in the Ndebele African language. Ndebele is part of the Bantu group of languages in Africa– by one estimate there are 522 languages in the Bantu family.
In 2011 and 2012 Umuntu Media will be launching 19 internet portals across Africa. Each portal will be branched out into loads of brand extensions, mobile apps, WAP sites and online communities. This gives Umuntu Media a market of 96 933 300 internet users to play in.
Umuntu Media also launched as part of their international portal strategy Mimiboard: a virtual noticeboard, empowering local communities. For centuries, bulletin boards have served as valuable surfaces for posting messages and connecting with one’s community. With the rapid rise of connectivity and smartphone adoption, South Africa-based Mimiboard has taken the bulletin board and made it virtual.
Mimiboard allows users to upload announcements (texts, tweets, or shout-outs like traffic reports); news (real citizen journalism in action); and advertisements (local ads placed by the community on the board — things for sale, services, etc.) to engage and trade with one another. Anyone can create a Mimiboard, give it a name, assign categories to it, and get the community to pin notes onto the board. Once this begins, the board can be added to the user’s website, mobile site, Facebook page, or blog.
By serving as a virtual hub of social engagement, Mimiboard has great potential to solve every publisher’s problem: maintaining an engaged community of followers. A digital board that is updated with local, relevant content in real time might be a strong solution.