To celebrate Nigerian Independence Day, WhatsApp has tapped three music artists and three illustrators to create a series of stickers to use on the messaging platform. Called “Naija Spirit,” the new range of 29 visuals pay homage to the country, known as the Giant of Africa, by bringing together emerging visual artists with globally-renowned musicians who are giants of Africa in their own right. Naturally, each pairing collaborated via WhatsApp to bring to life the themes of rhythm, optimism and determination — traits that are at the core of their culture and their own practices.
To fuel inspiration for the stickers, each musical talent shared personal stories that relate to their particular theme to foster a meaningful connection to the illustrator and his or her designs. Responsible for showcasing the rhythm of Nigeria, London-based DJ and producer Cuppy came together with Lord Kpuri. Singer and rapper Tobe Nwigwe tapped into optimism for his partnership with Ohab TBJ, marking the first time the Houston-based musician worked with a fellow Nigerian — a longtime goal of his. With determination at the core of their creative output, singer and rapper Rema and Alexis Tsegba joined forces for what would mark their second partnership, having previously worked together on the song “Jollof on the Jet.”
Holistically, the talent represents the Nigerian diaspora across three countries and continents, including the U.S., U.K. and Nigeria. It’s a testament to the global appeal of WhatsApp and its ability to create conversation in every corner of the world. A new short film showcases this, highlighting the collaboration and dialogue between the creative pairings and the bond they formed from their shared roots and vision. “The energy of Nigeria is fueled by connection and it was exciting for us to take this moment to celebrate Nigeria and the creativity that the connection of Nigerians brings to the world,” says Vivian Odior, head of global brand and integrated Marketing at WhatsApp. “No matter where Nigerians live, they showcase resilience, determination and a sense of pride and connection to Nigeria.”
Check out the video above to see how the WhatsApp “Naija Spirit” stickers came together. The pack is available now on the platform.