Despite the positive response to the launch of a weekly recap of African tech, political, and sporting news, after review of the project I realized that I needed to figure out a way to separate it from other news sources and blogs, while also giving it a brand that could help it prosper. Also, making sure I don’t rely on the auto-correct, will help with the success (see below):
Being a student of nation branding, I also realized that a name had to immediately tell my readers and viewers ‘what’ it was that they were reading. The Week That Was doesn’t tell you anything about the content, other than that it is referring to events in the recent past. However, the content was going to be specifically about a region, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the type of writing was going to be that of brief analysis. So I had to come up with a name that could tell you both of those things without having to read any of the content. The result was The African Week in Review. It tells you the broad topical range of the article, as well as the fact that the content is being reviewed or analyzed to some degree by the author.
While the brand image did not get much feedback, it passed my test of basic aesthetics, thus it has simply been updated to reflect the new name.
The colors are obviously drawn from numerous African states’ flags. Yellow, black, and green were the colors of Pan-Africanism during the liberation wars of the continent, and were also the colors incorporated into the new South African flag to go along with the old colors of pre-1994 South Africa (with the color orange an obvious, and symbolic, omission). The red and the brown were obvious choices because of the earthy colors that are normally associated with the continent. While I’ve never been able to find out if the Xhosa saying, used in the movie Blood Diamond, about the red soil being the result of battles fought over the land is based in reality (it seems to be a biased Western perception of the violence on the continent pre-European colonialism), the red soil of Southern and Eastern Africa, which is due to the high clay content, is certainly a recognizable symbol.
Thus, going forward, The African Week in Review will post on Friday nights/Saturday mornings. With at least 50% of the viewers of The African File residing on the African continent, the goal is to be able to publish while those viewers would be checking their social media feeds. I’ve found that I have the most time to catch up on my social media mediums on Saturday mornings, and there is less competition from other news outlets at that time. We’ll see if that strategy pays off.