2018 has been such an impactful year full of surprises: tech companies flourished, Nigerians received global awards across diverse platforms, the Super Eagles almost pulled a FIFA World Cup miracle, and in this same year, Connect Nigeria celebrated Top 100 Emerging SMEs in Nigeria.
The year is fast coming to an end, and as we move into the festive seasons Connect Nigeria brings you a list of ten highlights of the year 2018.
When Fintech startup Piggybank Secured $1.1m In Seed Funding
Piggybank is a Nigerian fintech start-up dedicated to growing the savings way-of-thinking of Nigerians. The online savings platform was started in 2016 by Somto Ifezue, Odunayo Eweniyi, and Joshua Chibueze, who first met at Covenant University, Nigeria. The business concept is quite simple — anyone can deposit as low as $1 a day into the Piggybank account, and cannot touch their saving until an agreed withdrawal date. In may 2018, the startup announced that it had secured $1.1 million in seed funding. LeadPath Nigeria, a seed capital fund, is said to have been the biggest contributor with $1m, while Village Capital and Ventures Platform both staked $50,000 each.
When Nigerian Girls Won The Technovation World Pitch 2018 In California
Five junior secondary school girls from Onitsha in Anambra state, travelled to California and won the 2018 Technovation World Pitch.
The girls; Promise Nnalue, Jessica Osita, Nwabuaku Ossai, Adaeze Onuigbo and Vivian Okoye, developed a mobile application called the FD-Detector, which is capable of detecting fake pharmaceutical products in Nigeria.
Their innovation knocked over 2000 competitors and went ahead to win the ultimate price at the final event in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, USA.
Blankson’s Heroics That Cost Him His Life
A Nigerian man and father of two, Joe Blankson, put the lives of 25 boat passengers in danger, before his own in a rescue mission on Thursday June 28, 2018. The passengers were on-board the boat from Abonnema Wharf to Banana when their boat capsized. With no survival measures in place for the passengers who were at this point without help, Joe jumped in to the rescue and was able to get 13 passengers to safety. As he made his way for the 14th rescue, he died in the water alongside six others from the boat tragedy.
When Anthony Joshua Became The Unified World Heavyweight Champion
After he successfully defeated Wladimir Klitschko in 2017, the world soon turned its gaze on British-Nigerian boxer, Anthony Joshua, whose fierce heroics and zest have set him apart from every other that has come before him.
This year, Joshua took on his biggest challenge at the time — a unified championship match against Joseph Parker. Joshua went on to win Parker’s WBO title to become the unified heavyweight champion of the world.
When Naomi Campbell Visited Ikorodu Dream Catchers
British Super Model, singer, and actress, Naomi Campbell, was in Lagos for the Arise Fashion Week in April, and she used the opportunity to pay a surprise easter visit to her favorite dance crew, the Ikorodu Dream Catchers. The crew which is made up of kids from the slums of Ikorodu, Lagos, became famous after one of their dance videos was shared on instagram by Ms. Campbell, Rihanna and entertainment business mogul P-Diddy.
When Musa’s World Cup Goal Was Rated 8th Best In the World
This year the Super Eagles were at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, and they all-but pulled a World Cup miracle to break into the round-of-16 stage ahead of of Argentina and Croatia. Super Eagles forward, Ahmed Musa, stepped up and became Nigeria’s hero when we needed one. Though the Eagles did not progress into the second round, Musa’s goal was selected and voted the 8th best goal of the tournament.
When Andela Nigeria Received An Award As The Best Company To Work For In Africa
Andela is a global company with a mission to train Africa’s most talented software developers, and present them to the rest of the world as seasoned software engineers.
Andela has succeeded in fast tracking the growth of developers across Africa via its Andela Learning Community initiative, which has impacted thousands of young learners from within and outside Nigeria.
It has been a year of awards for the tech giant, who won the award for The Best Company To Work For In Africa, in the Large Employer award category, at the Great Place To Work Awards in June.
In the same night, Andela also won two more awards; Most Fun and Friendly Workplace, and Best Workplace for Generation – Millennials.
Segun Awosanya’s Victory Over SARS
Segun Awosanya, put himself in the frontline of a battle that was not without dire risks when he created a petition on CitizenGo to the Federal House of Representatives and the National Assembly, to review and end the inhumane oppression of Nigerians by Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) operatives.
It would take months of protests and several more barbaric activities by SARS operatives before the federal government finally responded to the people’s plight, issuing an immediate overhaul of the SARS unit.
When no one else thought to fight this battle head on, Segun did and it was worth the trouble.
When Zannah Mustapha Won The United Nations Highest Honor
Right in the midst of chaos and war, one man, Zannah Mustapha, saw the self-evident need to protect and educate orphaned children ravaged by a war they did not bring on themselves.
Mustapha, a Nigerian lawyer from Northern Nigeria, created a school in the midst of Boko Haram insurgency, Future Prowess Islamic Foundation School, to provide desolate kids with food, education and healthcare, in order to stop the circle of hate and help them build a better and brighter future.
For this, Mustapha was awarded the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR] Nansen Refugee Award, an annual award that honors exceptional service to the plight of displaced people.
When Connect Nigeria Celebrated Top 100 Emerging SMEs
In this year, Connect Nigeria, Nigeria’s information portal for everything Nigerian, staged a ‘Top 100 Emerging SMEs Awards’, with an open invitation to members of the public to nominate and vote outstanding businesses that distinguished themselves as specimen brands for other SMEs.
The response from the public was profound, with a total of 13,470 nominations. After a rigorous screening and verification exercise, only 250 businesses were selected for the final. The public was invited to vote once more, and the 2018Top 100 Emerging SMEs were selected.
Feature Image Source: Channels TV