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5 Minutes with Oo Nwoye, The Brain Behind the LifeBank App

Oo Nwoye

Oo Nwoye (standing) giving an explanation to the Life Bank team, during the hack event. Photo Credit: Life Bank Team

Oo Nwoye is a man with a drive to see Nigerians elevated in the eyes of the international world and an aim to showcase their brilliance to everyone. Always encouraging people around him to think outside the box, he found the opportunity when he realised the need for easy blood donation, and let float a dream that it would be easier for Nigerians to access donations easily anywhere they are, if there was an app for it. One year later, Life Bank was birthed. We got him to tell you all about it, in a five minute nugget.

Lifebank

  • How did the idea to create the Life bank App come about?

Ever heard the phrase “there’s an app for that”? Well, that was really where the kernel of this idea came about. I had gotten just about the 10th broadcast on my bbm requesting for someone needing a blood donation and I thought, “There should be an app for this.” I got up and wrote Blood Bank App on my whiteboard. One thing about me- an idea never lets me rest. It’s always niggling at the back of my mind. Luckily one day, just playing around on LinkedIn, I stumbled on a profile heading a site called OnePercentProject.org. I checked it out and to my surprise, it was about getting one percent of the Nigerian population to donate blood. Can you imagine?!

So I reached out to Temie Giwa, the founder of the One Percent Project, and we decided to build an app within three days. I remember last year, there was this one guy who had leukaemia, and they were looking for a bone marrow match. The memory of what happened to that man fuelled my inspiration as well. We got the best coding guys and sent them an email, and thank God, about 95% of them agreed.  CCHub also agreed to give us a venue, and HelloFood gave us food, and the result is what you see now.

  • All the code writers were Nigerian?

Yes! All of them were Nigerian. Their names are Seyi, Ope, Tolu, Namzo, Clive, Stanley, Mark, Victor, Kene, Onyeka, Chiedu, Saze and Banks. We could not have done anything without them. They were amazing!

lifebank team

The Team at work

lifebankteam2

  • What has been the response since the launch of the app on Sunday?

We didn’t really finish the app early enough. The idea was to work on it on Friday and Saturday, and then on Sunday launch it publicly. We got over a hundred people to register on the app in the beginning.  But now, we are glad because so many people have heard about it, and this is just the beginning. A lot of prominent people graced the launch event- the Commissioner of Information was there, the person in charge of Blood Transfusion Service in Lagos State was there as well. So, so far the response has been good, considering the short span of time this has been allowed to grow.

  • Where do you see it going/ what do you hope to achieve?

For one thing, the app is Open Source. So it’s just like WordPress- you get it, you customize it how you want and use it for yourself. So hopefully we want to see the app getting million and millions of user replications. I hope that techs in many other countries- Malaysia, Kenya, Ghana- can take this app and tweak it in a way appropriate for their country, and by virtue of this, thousands of litres of blood can be donated.

  • Wow. I must say your initiative is inspiring. Thank you for your time Mr. Nwoye.

Thank you too.

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