What Would Jamaican Emojis look like?

Kenia Afreeka
Feb 2, 2018 · 3 min read

Jamaicans are colourful communicators. To the untrained eye, it’s hard to tell if a Jamaican’s raised voice and wild gestures are signs he’s super excited or vex. And that’s the beauty of patois: no matter what, it’s always hot.

But how do we capture that heat and attitude in emojis when we tweet or chat on Whatsapp and facebook? There are some vital sentiments that emojis currently don’t capture. This forces us to ‘emoji-twang’, by using images created by someone who doesn’t speak our visual language, to say what we want to say. When we emoji-twang, we change the very way we communicate and lose the fire in daily convos. We’re not being who we are.

Ever typed and thought ‘there should be an emoji for this’? We have. So to preserve our cultural identity in online chats at work we came up with a few emojis using the prevailing Apple design aesthetic. Here are a few that we now use around the office in our Slack group, and some responses they are used for. We hope they’ll one day contribute to international dialogue and bring us, and the world, closer together.

Q: Yow, how dis look? Can get some feedback on this please?

A:

:GunFinga:

Message: Wow, that’s actually not bad. But you have sense, man.

A:

:KMT:

Q: Can you come in to work this weekend?

A:

:LongKMT:

Msg: I didn’t read any of the documents before the meeting.

A:

:NinjamanStare:

Msg: Greetings Rasta.

A:

:JAHRASTAFARI:

Q: What’s for lunch today?

A:

:BoxLunch:

Q: Do you agree or disagree?

A:

:BunTire:

Q: What’s for lunch tomorrow?

A:

:2Patty:

Ever happened to you? What are some words you wished were an emoji or gif? Say no to emoji-twanging today!


Want to see what else we’re thinking about? We’ll be showing more of what we do at @Listenmi on Instagram. And we share our adventures in illustration and creative design at www.ListenMi.com.

ListenMi Views

Thoughts on animation, culture-inspired storytelling, technology and social change from a Jamaican animation studio and design lab.

Kenia Afreeka

Written by

Immersive Storyteller for Social Change. CEO ListenMi.com. Startup Winner, GES 'Spark the Fire' Pitch Competition. @Jaftaonline PROPELLA! Exec member & past VP.

ListenMi Views

Thoughts on animation, culture-inspired storytelling, technology and social change from a Jamaican animation studio and design lab.

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