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Teddy Kossoko: Building Africa's First Metaverse-based Video Game celebrating African Legends

Updated: Jul 28, 2022

"In 2022 I created the first video game based on the myths and legends of Africa to be in the metaverse The Sandbox. I have the honour of being ranked twice by Forbes by the 30 under 30 that shaped the African continent in 19th position in 2018 and 1st position in 2022."

Q1:Tell us about your yourself:

Born in the Central African Republic where I lived for 18 years, I arrived in France in 2012 to continue my studies in computer science after obtaining a French and Central African baccalaureate the same year. I decided in 2014 alongside my studies to get into video games to promote Africa. I created my first company in 2018, just after my engineering degree in computer science applied to business management.

Besides, I worked for Capgemini on space projects such as the Biomass project of ESA and NASA In 2019, I started the Gara project, which is the first African edutainment platform to distribute games and books in Africa and facilitate their monetisation. The Gara company will be created in 2022.

In 2022 I created the first video game based on the myths and legends of Africa to be in the metaverse The Sandbox. I have the honour of being ranked twice by Forbes by the 30 under 30 that shaped the African continent in 19th position in 2018 and 1st position in 2022.

Q2:What does your company do?:

We create video games based on African stories and myths to build bridges between Africa and the rest of the world. We developed also the first Pan-African gaming and comics app store Gara to distribute and generate money with games and comics, everywhere in Africa

Q3: What inspired you to start your business?:

The lack of knowledge about Africa and the opportunities in Africa, but especially the impossibility of generating money with cultural and digital content on the continent.

Q4: How do you define your business model; what differentiates your products or Services from others?:

We have two products: The first is a video game we created. For example, we created the first African video game in the metaverse with The Sandbox. The 2nd, is our gaming and comics app store. We allow Western companies and African companies to generate money in Africa with their contents. People will pay with mobile money, airtime or even cash.

Q5: Starting a business is not easy. What struggles did you experience in the infant years of your company and how did you overcome it?:

I struggled to secure funding. I had to network, continue to develop my products, work 18 hours a day, build a team, roll out successful products and gain people's trust.

Q6: What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started?:

Money is not as important as we think. We can do a lot with a little

Q7: What are your 3 priorities right now:

Our biggest priorities right now include:

  1. Finish our game in the metaverse The Sandbox

  2. Deploy our store Gara in new countries

  3. Succeed our pre-seed fund raising

Q8: What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?:
  1. Create subsidiaries in Senegal Cameroon, Kenya

  2. Deploy new services in universities allowing people to access books through Gara

Q9: Advice to other entrepreneurs or to your younger self?:

Take time to breathe, to live working all the time will not get you there any faster.

According to CNBC 2022 marks 32 years since the World Wide Web was created. Such a breakthrough, among other things, availed to Africa: something we did not have before, a platform to tell our stories, across global domains. With this new dawn of the world wide web, we no longer had to rely on western media to "paint Africa black", we could cease that paint brush and unpack the diverse colours of the spectrum that makes up Africa, its people and especially our victories. Such a potential, sadly, has not been realised, as it should be.

Today, a simple keyword search on Google: using the words "Africa", "African people" etc via image search, paints quite an inaccurate picture. Thanks to powerful algorithms, that harvest mainly western content (version of Africa). The Africa you see, is one of poverty, lack, brokenness, weakness and more. That's not a story told by Africans, and that's not a portrait painted by Africans. Yes: the poverty and brokenness is there but that's not all there is. I must add this: if we did not feed those algorithms, the right version: we are part of the problem.

Here we are, beyond those early days of the world wide web (the web1 era), web2 window, saw the internet become a trade tool and social media take off, now we are edging towards the Web3 era. A practical definition: Web3 ushers in an iteration of the World Wide Web which incorporates concepts such as decentralisation, blockchain technologies, and token-based economics. In short: Web3 is a lot more decentralised and realises the long standing wishes, of what's known as the sharing economy. Contributors and content creators will be rewarded, not merely monetised in an exploitative fashion.

Amid the Web3 drive is the metaverse: which is a parallel virtual world, already taking shape within this Web3 domain. Question is: how would Africa be represented in this next big thing? What Teddy Kossoko is doing is helping to set the tone, as he continues to create the first Metaverse that changes the African narrative. A more represented Africa. This marks a new dawn, not just for Masseka but for Africa. I have great expectations of Teddy Kossoko and the Masseka team as they roll out these game-changing innovations.

There’s an African proverb that says “Until the lion learns how to write, every story will glorify the hunter.” Africa for a long time has been at the mercy of other nations to tell our stories, inform our cultural events and shape perceptions of Africa. Take South Africa for example: only 2% of commercially published children's books are in local languages. It is concerning when considering that our children are losing out on authentic cultural experiences that include traditional and folk stories, traditionally handed down from generation to generation.

It’s not just the language that is a concern but how African culture, history and our age old legends have been forced to the outskirts of history, and are not the part of mainstream narratives, especially when it comes to exciting stuff such as video games.

Teddy Kossoko and the Masseka team are changing this narrative. As the Masseka success trajectory unfolds, Africa's stories are taking centre stage. Masseka already has a coverage of more than 250 articles in national and international media, multiple reports on TV channels, and as at this point, boasts more than 6,000 downloads (achieved in the first 3 weeks). The Africa we want is here, created by bold Africans for the world to know the real legends that we are, as Africans, our time is now.

Let's raise our glasses for Teddy Kossoko and the Masseka team, for their legendary work building the first ever metaverse video game based on African Legends. Their success, as they grow, is Africa's success.

Abigayle Marks: Cloud Architect & Blockchain Analyst

Masseka Game Studio is highly influential and has the power to bring massive attention to video games in the Metaverse and dismantle old belief systems about the benefits of video games. Their team created the first video game based on the myths and legends of

Africa to be featured in The Sandbox Metaverse. After release in 2022, the game was downloaded by 13, 000 people in just two months and in more than 20 countries around the globe. Teddy Kossoko made the Forbes 30 under 30 list twice and certainly has the trust of the community, gaming, and creator culture. Building new worlds with video games is exciting and I can’t wait to see what Masseka Game Studio does next to transform the video game space.

Connect with Teddy Kossoko

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