Technology has quickly become one of the best avenues in which Nigeria can empower its youths and contribute to the establishment of a stable economy. As a result, many individuals have tapped into this goldmine and are currently responsible for some of the advancements in technology over the years. While some of these individuals had a solid background in technology prior to now, others did not but their common factor is the passion and finesse with which they have created solutions and propagated ideas that have lead to the betterment of the society.
Find below 5 men that are doing amazingly well in the tech space
Known for his innovative solutions, Sim Shagaya has been a household name in the Nigerian tech space for almost a decade especially for his success in establishing one of Nigeria’s most valued e-commerce companies, Konga and another popular one, Dealdey. Prior to his involvement in technology, Sim served in the military and worked in South Africa’s banking industry. He went on to become Google’s head for Africa and later launched E-Motion, a Lagos-based billboard advertising business. In 2016, Sim Shagaya announced his resignation from Konga, a company he founded in 2012 and was responsible for the e-commerce boom in Nigeria alongside its chief rival, Jumia. Recently, he announced he will now be focusing on the ed-tech space through his new venture, uLesson.
After realising that there was /an increasing global demand for African movies, Jason Njoku left his base in London for Nigeria and set up “Africa’s Netflix” iRoko TV which has grown to become Africa’s largest movie streaming service with over 5000 movies in its catalogue. Since he launched iRoko TV in 2011, Jason has diversified the platform into a number of media such as ROK TV and iRoko X and also built a mobile app of for convenient streaming.
Jason is also big on building companies and this led him to launch spark.ng in 2013 which has catered to several startups like Hotels.ng, Paystack, Tolet.com.ng, Ogaventure, Drinks.ng, and many more.
Like they say, “luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation” – perhaps this was what ran through the mind of Mark Essien/ Mark Essien mind when he took the initiative to hone his skill in computer programming even after bagging a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and an MSc in Computer Science. In a few years, Mark Essien was running hotels.ng, a hotel booking service which now has over 7000 hotels from different cities in Nigeria listed on its website. As at its early stage, the success of hotels.ng was so impressive that a Forbes article reported it as being profitable barely two years after its launch. It also caught the attention of fundraisers like Jason Njoku (who had just started spark.ng and was in search of worthwhile ventures to invest in), eBay, Pan African Fund, and Dangote Investment Group which invested a whopping amount of $10 million thus valuing hotels.ng at over N3 billion. Mark Essien is also famous for the annual internship program he organises as a way to foster growth among young and passionate African developers.
Bosun Tijani is the co-founder of Co-Creation Hub (CcHub), a “technology haven”, based in Yaba, where tech enthusiasts come together to proffer solutions to a host of social problems. Since the launch of the CcHub in 2010, Bosun Tijan alongside his co-founder Femi Longe has contributed in several ways to enrich the tech ecosystem thereby providing support to tech entrepreneurs through advice, funding, and mentorship. Bosun Tijani also played a paramount role in motivating Mark Zuckerberg’s indelible visit to the CcHub back in 2016. CcHub has played host to over 50 startups including BudgIT, Wecyclers, Truppr, Genii Games, Lifebank, GoMyWay, Vacantboards, Autobox, Stutern, Grit Systems, and Mamalette.
Bankole Oluwafemi was enthralled by the world of tech after attending a startup event where he got to see firsthand all the golden opportunities it had to offer. Although he had just concluded Law School, he immediately began writing about his newfound interest and soon he found himself blogging about technology. Today, Bankole Oluwafemi runs Tech Cabal, a blog where tech enthusiasts share ideas and gain insights into innovations and developments in technology. Within the first eight months of its launch, Tech Cabal had become the biggest tech blog in Nigeria and by 2014 it had become the largest in West-Africa.
In addition to Tech Cabal, Bankole runs two other ventures: Zikoko, the entertaining website, which takes after the likes of Buzzfeed, and Radar, a forum where the Africans in the tech space converge to network and share ideas. He also recently launched Tech Women Lagos, a portrait series which profiled 50 women doing amazingly in the Lagos tech space.
Featured Image Source: Guardian Newspaper