How Blondy Baruti Empowers People to Control Their Social Media Presence

A social media app that lets you manage your content the way you want

At the age of 10, Blondy Baruti walked over 500 miles with his mother and sister to escape the Civil War in the Congo. Fast forward to today, and he's now the CEO of a social media app to help users better control their content. 

Baruti in 2018 founded BePerk. It's a social media platform that officially launched to the public in May, and offers users complete control of their content to minimize social media bullying, anxiety, stress, and pressure, among other things.

A portrait of Blondy Baruti.
Blondy Baruti.


Baruti was inspired to launch BePerk after seeing a need for more personal control over what users see and share online. On the app, users can alter the length their posts are visible to the public, hide their followers and following counts, set reminders to take social breaks, and track activity on their accounts. The platform also has parental controls and tap-to-read capabilities.

"I was tired of the tricky algorithms and how mainstream social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook dictate what they want you to see," Baruti told Lifewire in a phone interview. "There are a lot of mental health issues surrounding social media, especially for young kids because they compare themselves with what they see. I feel like we as a society didn't have enough control of our lives on social media; that's why I created BePerk." 

Quick Facts

Name: Blondy Baruti 

Age: 30

From: The Democratic Republic of the Congo 

Favorite game(s) to play: FIFA

Key quote or motto: "Hope. Faith. Belief."

From Civil War in the Congo to Hollywood

Baruti first moved to the US on a basketball scholarship. He played ball in Arizona during high school before continuing his sports career for a year at the University of Tulsa, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and management. 

"After my freshman year of college, I hurt my right ankle, so that was the end of [basketball]," Baruti said. "I had to find a different passion. I decided to start writing a book."

That autobiography that Baruti started writing during his undergraduate career was published in 2018 with Simon & Schuster. The Incredible True Story of Blondy Baruti: My Unlikely Journey from the Congo to Hollywood details Baruti's life from childhood to the big screen and now entrepreneurship.

Baruti's trajectory into entrepreneurship and acting has been unlikely as a civil war escapee, but he's grateful for his successes. He landed a small role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as Huhtar, and while he's leading BePerk, he's chasing his acting dreams in Hollywood, as well. 

Another reason Baruti built BePerk is that he wants to show the Black community that minorities can do more than play sports or follow the wrong path in life. He hopes building this social media platform will give younger Black people inspiration and motivation to venture into technology careers and boost their social presence through a neutral platform.

"I wanted to build something that put the full power into the users' hands and have them decide how they want to present themselves on social media and how long someone is allowed to view their content," Baruti said.   

Faith and Triumph

As a minority founder, Baruti said he hadn't encountered many challenges building his app because of his race. BePerk has been received well by users, and Baruti hopes the platform attracts users of all races for years to come. 

"The thing about this app is, of course, the world will know someone of color built it, but that's not the only message we are trying to put out there," Baruti said. "The world will know a Black man created this app."

Baruti said his team is small but mighty, but he hasn't been able to expand BePerk's employee count as he'd like to without investment funding. Baruti has been self-financing BePerk, but he's looking to secure some seed funding soon. 

A portrait of Blondy Baruti.
Blondy Baruti.


"It's really hard to get financing unless you prove yourself first," Baruti said. "Right now, I'm doing it all by myself. I'm paying my team out of my pocket."

Launching a social media platform has been one of Baruti's biggest wins, he said. He never envisioned his life would be what it is today, 

"When I was 10, I was in the middle of a war. For me, my faith in the Lord has helped me win," Baruti said. "Seeing the ideas that I had inside my head coming to life are wins for me."

This year, Baruti wants to increase BePerk's users over the next six months and attract influencers to boost the platform's visibility. Above all, he wants to inspire kids experiencing what he experienced as a child to stay motivated and come out triumphant. 

"I want BePerk to represent hope around the world. I want kids who are going through what I went through to know that if Blondy survived and created an app that's being used worldwide, there is still hope for them too," Baruti said.

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