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Kenya’s Creative Leap: Black Rhino VR’s Media-AR Revolution

In recent times, the digital revolution has played a pivotal role in reshaping various facets of society and the economy across Africa. Ranging from mobile financial services to online education, encompassing smart agriculture, healthcare, and even arts and culture, innovative enterprises are sprouting all over the continent. Among these contributors, Kenya stands out as one of leader countries in this domain.

It’s in the vibrant city of Nairobi that Black Rhino VR (BRVR) has established its headquarters, significantly contributing to the development of the country’s virtual industry. This startup plays a crucial role by collaborating with an array of local and international businesses to devise inventive approaches for content distribution, utilizing extended reality technologies.

Exploring immersive technologies

As a grantee of the ACP-EU Culture-Ignite Culture programme, Black Rhino VR is currently working on the creation of the Media-AR project. This initiative signifies the birth of Africa’s premier online augmented reality design studio and application. “In simpler words, we are creating a tool—a plug-and-play platform aimed at empowering anyone to construct AR content. This is our way of making the technology accessible to all,” explains Shamina Rajaab, Creative Technologist at BRVR.

The platform empowers artists and other creative individuals in Kenya to leverage immersive technology—virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality—to generate virtual art exhibitions, augmented reality performances, and other forms of artistic expression that challenge conventional boundaries.

Technology for greater financial inclusion

In addition to the technological aspects, Media-AR is also introducing an inclusive financial model. “Typically, creatives and artists are left out from the value chain when it comes to marketing and communication. Thanks to the platform, when a major company purchases a specific number of scans of a creator’s work, the designer will receive a portion of the revenue. The platform will manage the billing for the brand. The company will pay for its scans, out of which 20% will be directed to the artist,” elaborates Shamina.

This way, artists and creatives will continue to generate profits from their work as long as their artworks remain in circulation.

Deeply committed to empowering young people through technology, BRVR is delighted to have been able to use the Ignite Culture grant to realise its vision. The completion of Media-AR will enable BRVR to strengthen their position as a major player in accelerating the development of Kenya’s virtual industry. With its skilful fusion of immersive technology and creativity, this innovative project opens up new opportunities for artists and creators while redefining economic norms.


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Watch the interview with Shamina Rajab during the Zanzignite regional event:


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