VIDEO: Africa’s gaming industry pioneer shares advice to aspiring developers

In 2009, Ghanaian Eyram Tawia and Kenyan Wesley Kirinya founded Leti Games (now rebranded to Leti Arts). The startup – with offices in Accra, Ghana and Nairobi, Kenya – uses African culture and history as inspiration for the creation of African superheroes via comics and games.

With the help of the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), a non-profit training and mentoring programme for African software entrepreneurs, Leti Arts released its first African-themed game, iWarrior, in 2009.

However, both Tawia and Kirinya had developed their own games prior to this and are considered pioneers in the African gaming industry.

Tawia, who said he has been obsessed with video games and comics from childhood, has been creating his own comics since junior school and taught himself how to develop video games during his school years.

Today, he sees his company release the pilot of The True Ananse, a Leti Arts digital comic and mobile game series influenced by the African folklore character, Kweku Ananse, a character of trickery and cunning from Ghana.

According to Tawia, The True Ananse is the first release of their Africa’s Legends series, which re-imagines popular African folklore and historic legends as an elite group of superheroes fighting crime on the continent today. Leti Arts distributes its digital comics and mobile games through the Leti Center, a mobile app for smartphones and advanced feature phones.

In a Skype interview with How we made it in Africa, Tawia speaks about how he is coping with the international attention, his advice to aspiring African game developers and Leti Arts’ latest release.