Embracing African Pop Culture In Global Marketing And Advertising

Steve Babaeko is the CEO & Chief Creative Officer, X3M Ideas and a Visiting Fellow at the Henley Business School, University of Reading.

Africa, the birthplace of humanity, has always been a source of fascination for the Western world. Whether it’s as a subject of scientific and cultural curiosity, the continent with diverse wildlife, landscapes, ethnicity and culture has over centuries found itself welcoming a legion of explorers, anthropologists and naturalists seeking to explore its array of natural gifts, albeit at a vicious cost.

A brutal exploitation of its people and resources in the form of the transatlantic slave trade and forced labor in mines and plantations meant the continent endured years of dilution of its identity—historical, religious and, especially, cultural. Notably, African artifacts and art collected during this time were displayed in European museums and galleries, often without proper context or acknowledgement of their cultural significance. Similar experiences are recorded in popular culture, where Africa and Africans tolerated gross stereotypical misrepresentation in Western media.

Shifts In Popular Culture

History, however, shows Africa has been no pushover in influencing remarkable shifts in popular culture. Jazz music, which first appeared in the late 19th and early 20th century, for instance, has its firm roots in African music, as it borrows heavily from African folk music and culture. The distortion of history (or lack of authentication) has meant many of these influences have largely gone unnoticed and uncelebrated, unfortunately.

It is therefore interesting that Africa is yet again finding itself at the center stage of an emerging cycle of global influence. The Economist notes that there is increasing worldwide recognition and interest in African pop culture, encompassing music, film, fashion, arts and cuisine.

Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry, has become the world’s second-largest film industry in terms of output, surpassing

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Cybercriminals Sell Android Hacks for Up to $20K a Pop

Cybercriminals are finding ways around the official Google Play app store’s security, developing tools for trojanizing existing Android applications and selling their malicious wares for up to $20,000 a piece on cybercrime markets.

In an April 10 blog post, researchers from Kaspersky published the results of a broad study of nine of the most popular Dark Web forums. Tracking activity from 2019 and 2023, they found a thriving marketplace of buyers and sellers trading access to app developer accounts, botnets, and malicious Android applications, sometimes for thousands of dollars at a time.

In some cases, particularly useful wares — like source code that can burrow you into an existing cryptocurrency or dating app on Google Play — are going for multiple thousands of dollars.

“It’s an infinite cat and mouse game,” Kaspersky researcher Georgy Kucherin says of Google’s app security. “The attackers find a way to bypass security scanners. Then the people developing the security scanners deploy patches to ensure that doesn’t happen again. Then the attackers find new flaws. And it goes on and on.”

A Google spokesperson tells Dark Reading, “Google Play has policies in place to keep users safe that all apps must adhere to. All Android apps undergo security testing before appearing in Google Play. We take security and privacy claims against apps seriously, and if we find that an app has violated our policies, we take appropriate action. Users are also protected by Google Play Protect, which can warn users or block identified malicious apps on Android devices.”

The Marketplace for Google Play Hacks

Any software uploaded to Apple’s or Google’s app stores is subject to rigorous vetting.

“But just like any security solution that exists in the world, it’s not 100% effective,” according to the Kaspersky researchers. “Every scanner contains flaws that

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