This week, Adrian speaks to Joannes “Joe” Hotagua, founder of Authentic African, a platform that helps African Artisans sell their products around the world. Joannes also owns the popular Authentic African YouTube channel, which boasts over 11K subscribers, and the instagram page, which has well over 100k followers.

He is a passionate advocate for African startups and entrepreneurs. In this episode, Joannes takes us on a journey through their own entrepreneurial endeavours, from starting an e-commerce store selling African products to their transition into content creation on platforms like Instagram and YouTube. We’ll delve into the reasons behind Joannes’ shift in focus, his exploration of the African tech industry, and the opportunities it holds for both startup founders and investors alike.

Throughout the episode, Joannes shares his experiences and insights, highlighting the importance of diversity and inclusivity in the tech industry and the power of storytelling to make a positive impact. We’ll also learn about Joannes’ day job, working with brands to find their audiences online, and how their expertise in marketing and content creation has shaped their entrepreneurial journey. So whether you’re a startup founder, an aspiring investor, or simply interested in the digital Africa gold rush, this episode is sure to provide valuable insights and inspiration.

Check out Swiff: https://bit.ly/SwiffSOA

Download Menufinder Africa App: https://www.menufinderafrica.com/ 

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Connect with Joannes & Authentic African

Follow Authentic African on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@AuthenticAfrican

Follow Authentic African on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Authentic_African/

Visit the website: https://authenticafrican.com/


0:00 Intro 0:55 Icebreaker 2:30 What is Destination Africa 4:00 Afroparenting 6:00 Learning fluent Twi and Portuguese 8:14 Passing on Twi to kids 12:00 Will Twi become Extinct 14:00 Moving to Ghana during Year of Return 15:10 Why destination Africa 16:40 Investing in kids and relocating to Africa 19:30 Why Ghana needs Destination Africa 20:50 Loving where you are from and who you are 22:20 Jellof rice Challenge 25:50 Business Model 26:45 Who Destination Africa is for 27:20 Destination Africa Academy 29:30 Modules 30:00 Building the next global Africa 31:00 Sankofa 33:00 Speaking Twi 37:00 2023 plans 38:25 Tips for African Parents 40:00 Announcements, Outro and links


Special thanks to Yaa for the introduction. Check out Talking Drums Travel!:

Yaa’s interview: https://youtu.be/uGCC2q9sShY

Ivy prosper played a key role in the year of return 2019 campaign on social media

Akua Nyame Mensah – what she does as a subcontractor feeds into what she does as an executive coach and speaker

Emmanuel Gamor – Ecosystem Builder

Joannes has 2x social media managers and outsources most of his YouTube, e-commerce websites and instagram to maintain quality.


The Gold Rush Analogy
A. 60% of income during the original gold rush came from selling products and services
B. Major companies emerged by providing services for gold prospectors (e.g., Wells Fargo, Levi Strauss)
C. Joannes sees themselves as a bridge, providing services and knowledge to investors and startup founders
III. Joannes Journey and E-commerce Background
A. Speaker’s original plan for Authentic e-commerce store selling African products
B. Inspiration from personal collection of African masks and carvings
C. Considered selling a mask at a higher price, leading to the idea of selling African products online
D. Initial focus on promoting e-commerce store through Instagram
E. Realized the value of sharing interesting and educational African content on Instagram
F. Transition to focusing on providing authentic African content instead of just promoting store
G. Transition to launching YouTube channel after two years of Instagram success
H. Learning about editing and filming from a friend
IV. YouTube Channel and Content Expansion
A. Launch of YouTube channel in February 2021
B. Initially focused on speaker’s own story, then expanded to include interviews with others
C. Emphasis on telling the stories of entrepreneurs, particularly startups, CEOs, and founders
D. Goal to eventually focus mainly on entrepreneurs’ stories, but started with own story to build following
V. Impact and Career Transition
A. Mother’s understanding and recognition of Joannes job
B. Decision to leave previous job after seeing waste and desire to make a positive impact
C. Advising companies and applying for jobs while consulting
D. Peer mentor’s advice to move to Africa to gain experience on the ground
E. Joannes’s move to Africa to work, learn, and make a positive impact
F. Role in a company with operations in 11 African markets to build network and gain local context
G. Challenges of remote leadership and need for micromanagement
VI. The African Tech Industry and Investment Opportunities
A. Growth of the tech industry in Africa
B. Similarities between African tech industry and Silicon Valley
C. Successful exits and acquisitions in Africa opening investment opportunities
D. Importance of resources and awareness for African startups and investors
VII. Diversity and Inclusivity in the Tech Industry
A. Lack of diversity in investment opportunities in Silicon Valley
B. Importance of diversity and inclusivity in the tech industry
VIII. YouTube Channel Impact and Fulfillment
A. Reasons for starting a YouTube channel to reach more people and monetize through advertising
B. Impact and engagement of YouTube channel, particularly for those considering moving to Africa
C. Fulfillment from providing information and engaging with audience through live sessions
IX. Joannes’ Day Job and Marketing Experience
A. Working with brands and helping them find their online audiences
B. Experience with companies like Aljazeera and monetizing digital assets
C. Using e-commerce site knowledge to inform marketing strategies in day job
D. Applying knowledge to turn Hulu into a platform similar to Facebook
X. Conclusion and Congruence across Projects
A. Speaker’s belief in congruence and utilizing resources across different projects and interests
XI. Outro
A. Recap key points discussed in the episode
B. Thank guest for their insights and contributions
C. Announce upcoming episodes or share closing remarks


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