BY Vanessa Calys-Tagoe, 5:00pm November 16, 2022,

All you need to know about Omeife, Africa’s first humanoid recently unveiled

Omeife, a 6-foot humanoid. Photo: Uniccon/techcabal

While all “metallic miniature humans” are termed as robots, there are distinctions and humanoids are one variation of a robot. Humanoids are generally termed non-living creatures with human features. The term was used to address indigenous people in European colonies. 

Globally, the first Al-humanoid was named Sophia. Sophia was first actuated on February 14, 2016. The robot, modeled after the ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, Audrey Hepburn, and its innovator’s woman, Amanda Hanson, is known for its mortal-like appearance and geste compared to former robotic variants. Before Sophia, there was Herbert Televox, a humanoid built in 1927 by Roy Wensley. 

In Africa, many are recently doing amazing things with technology. Situated in the western part of Africa, Nigeria is one of Africa’s biggest economies and one of the largest African countries. In Africa, it is touted as one of the leading countries in terms of technological advancement. This year, the country took another bold step towards being the leader of technology and innovation in the Sub Region. A tech firm in Nigeria, Uniccon, outdoored its first home-built robot named Omeife. 

Omeife is a 6 feet female creation who takes her origin from the Igbo people in Nigeria and she speaks English, French, Arabic, Kiswahili, Pidgin, Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and Afrikaans. The creation of Omeife started somewhere in 2020 and finally, in October 2022, she was unveiled. Omeife understands the right local languages and can take commands like normal robots. 

According to TechCabal, Chucks Ekueme, the company’s CEO, shared that Omeife isn’t precisely multilingual but could switch languages and interact with specific hand gestures, smiles, and other body movements that match the tone of the discussion. He further reiterated that Omeife was created to fit into African society thereby programming it to understand basic African culture like greeting. 

Omeife does not have full human tendencies as the bot cannot put on a sad face, but according to the designers she was mainly created to be friendly and to interact with children. As the world continues to develop and grow technologically, this invention means that Africa is not left out of the exponential growth the world is taking. 

The first global humanoid, Sophia, as of 2018, included scripting software, a converse system, and OpenCog, an AI system designed for general logic. Sophia imitates mortal gestures and facial expressions and is suitable to answer certain questions and make simple exchanges on predefined motifs. 

Nigeria’s Omeife includes software that enables her to interact with children and be super friendly when interacting in the multiple languages she speaks and understands. Slowly, Nigeria seems to be setting up itself as the West African technological hub as the country continues to pull off inventions. 

For many African countries, the creation and launch of Omeife is hope and proof to invest in science and technology. 

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: November 16, 2022


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