The soaring popularity of e-Sports in Africa amid the contagion

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Jiwe Studios’ first game, Usoni is based on a book of the same name by Marc Rigaudis, which is set in the year 2063, and is above all a story of injustice, love and loss, when Europe has exhausted all its resources, and Africa becomes the cradle of hope, and all have their eyes set on seeing the sun again./Jiwe Studios

The soaring popularity of e-Sports in Africa during this pandemic period is being felt within the borders of Kenya. Nairobi-based, Jiwe Studios is one of the companies fuelling this growth in the country as CGTN’s Saddique Shaban reports.

As the world continues to battle the global pandemic, sporting fans are still restricted from packing stadiums. This has driven thousands across Africa to turn to online gaming to fill the void.

In Kenya, one entrepreneur has taken advantage of the situation to start a business.

“We got into gaming mid-last year. I think this was at the height of COVID. COVID I think started around March there, by May, June we were getting into game development. You know I have always been a gamer but at that time I could really see how the shift in attention and entertainment would now focus on gaming. So I took the opportunity to start Jiwe Studios to develop games in Africa for Africa,” Max Musau, CEO, Jiwe Studios.

Within a few months, Jiwe- which is the Swahili name for stone- developed their own online game- Usoni- which means future in the same language. The prototype was released in December and the reception has been encouraging.

“So the story tells of Ophelia’s journey back to the Turkana, back to her ancestral land and in that journey, she fulfills prophecies along the way. And in it you know it’s set in the future the year 2062 so there’s climate change and what’s happening in the old immigration routes that people are using currently now to leave Africa to go to Europe are now working in reverse because people are now trying to get into Africa because Africa is the only remaining place where the sun shines.”

Besides Usoni, the company engages in organizing e-sports competitions for Kenyan and other gamers from Africa online.

Max Musau: “We host tournaments that engage mostly mobile players from across Africa in E-sports mostly we play Call of Duty and we have almost a 1000 viewers globally so we have an E-sports tournament, or rather E-sports league online as well.”

Jiwe Studios represents the changing face of sports across Africa and the company is confident its market will expand exponentially in the coming years.

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