Thursday, March 5, 2015

BHO! A Malawian chat is born!

Are you tired of downloading Whatsapp every few months? Do you own a feature phone that is not compatible with other chats like WeChat? What if you had a chat that understood your local language? Bho! chat is the answer to all these questions.

Developed by a 19 year old National College of Information Technology Student (NACIT) student, Bho! is a new way for Malawians to chat instantly. Bho! allows users to send instant messages from their phone browsers to friends in a similar way like Whatsapp, WeChat or Telegram. Innocent Bvalani decided to develop a chat that works in all internet enabled phones including the Chinese brands which are very common in the Malawian market.

Bho! does almost everything that other chats do only that it works on the phone browser instead of downloading a dedicated application into your phone. It is also very compatible with almost every internet enabled phone unlike other chats which only work on specific operating systems or platforms.

In an interview, Innocent Bvalani said that he had in mind the poorest people in Malawi who cannot afford a smartphone.He said he wanted every Malawian to enjoy the use of instant chatting. He also included an option to send pictures or videos. Bho! also gives the user an option to use English or Chichewa as the main language in its settings.

To register with Bho! a user should visit http://www.malawibridge.com/bho/ on their phone browser and register with their name and phone number. A confirmation code is sent as a text to their phone. After confirming in their browser, they can start chatting with their already registered friends or invite their friends by entering their number on the invite space. Users can also search for their friends using their name or phone number.

Bvalani previously developed his own social network, Bridge, which attracted over 1300 users but he could not continue supporting it. He funds his developments from his pockets with the help of family members. He will however embark on a project of selling his idea to the corporate world to help him make it grow. Bho! will soon have an android application which is being developed.