MTN buying 144 plots of digital land proves that buying physical land is too lamestream   

1 March 2022: Whether people agree or disagree to the existence of the metaverse, Africa’s largest mobile network provider, MTN Group, went ahead and bought 144 plots of digital land ( with and area of 12*12m) in the African virtual reality world- Ubuntuland. This African metaverse was launched in South Africa last year and is being developed by Africarare and Mann Made Media to showcase some of the finest African art, fashion, entertainment, sport, tech and creativity while also providing a platform for artists from across the continent to virtually display their work. Africarare is the first South African metaverse, housing digital land with roots in Africa. It sold out its debut Non-fungible token (NFT) art collection last year for about $50,000, Techcabal reported.

According to the company' Group Chief Marketing Officer Bernice Samuels, the move aligns with the MTN Group's ambition 2025 which includes leveraging trends to amplify its customers' digital experiences, whilst actualizing overall business growth.

This is an exciting moment for us as we lead businesses on the continent to enter the metaverse marketplace. This is exactly what our Ambition 2025 strategy is premised on – leveraging trends that amplify consumer’s digital experiences and engagement. We have always been at the forefront of technological and digital changes and we remain alive to the exciting opportunities the metaverse presents for us and our customers," Samuels said.

This move not only supports African tech innovation but also makes the company more alluring to its customers by providing them with "a series of experiences merged with consumer passion points like gaming and music.”

If you have been living under a rock and are unaware of the virtual reality world which has taken the tech space by storm; Investopedia defines metaverse as "a digital reality that combines aspects of social media, online gaming, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and cryptocurrencies to allow users to interact virtually.”

In the metaverse, Users are able to interact with each other virtually while engaging in typical daily activities like going to school/work, watching concerts, shopping at stores/malls, playing games, etc.

MTN is the first company in Africa to jump on the trend, albeit not the first company in the world. Many companies including some of the largest - Apple, Microsoft, Facebook have already created their space in the metaverse, in order to provide their consumers with a wholesome digital experience.

Not just companies but celebrities like Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, and Justin Bieber have bought NFT-backed virtual spaces to provide their fans with virtual performances.

MTN Group's emergence on the platform is very likely to lure other African companies (especially those in tech and ICT) to follow suit.

While many African governments have often taken a hostile view of cryptocurrencies, countries like South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria have always supported the use of blockchain technology in the future. NFTs are, thus, gradually gaining popularity among African tech enthusiasts and celebrities.

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