Mark Zuckerberg! A name that inspires from just its resonance. A man who has worked and is working his way in success, I need not tell you about Facebook which is his brainchild, Instagram and WhatsApp which he acquired overtime and are topping their game with millions if not billions of users daily. To save me the stress of outlining Mark’s journey of success (for those who don’t know the complete story) I firmly recommend you see the movie SOCIAL MEDIA, a movie biographing his life from his college coding days.
With great joy more than the 16 million Facebook users (according to recent statistics) in Nigeria welcomed this genius who evidently snuck into the commercial state of the country- Lagos, Yaba precisely, the Nigerian Silicon Valley. From those who recognized him while walking the streets to the buzzing timelines on FB to trending at the top on TwitterNG. These are the kind of things we Nigerians like, one, two or more persons that see(s) our light at the end of the tunnel. With the issue of insecurity and economic recession, Mark decided to come to Nigeria unannounced. I suspect he settled for a discreet visit for these reasons:
1. To save his kidnappers the stress of strategizing to abduct him after which they have to go headlong with the US government over ransom and return.
2. Relieve the Nigerian government the expenditure of millions in purchasing a lengthy red carpet, flowers, decorated hall, traditional attires, item 7 and miscellaneous since our economy is in shambles.
After reading about the Andela project which started in New York and the Chan-Zuckerberg charity foundation I saw more of a genius in Mark. The $50-million-dollar scheme of which $24 million dollars would be invested in Africa would strike the beacon sky high glaring to everyone in Nigeria especially technological geniuses and professionals, learners and aspirants in the computer space, inspiring them to work harder and make gainful use of this opportunity. Myself, not much of a pro in the computer field but an aspiring software engineer, strong enthusiast and learner, his presence inspired me although I wasn’t present but having one amongst your mentors around you, a feeling of more-work-to-be-done and readiness envelops you to achieve your goals and keep achieving. In his Q&A segment he responded to a question saying he was truly inspired by what he saw at Co-Creation Hub (CC Hub), the energy, positivity all seemed great. In the words of Rueben Abati “Mark Zuckerberg’s exploration of the African market is brilliant. He is smart". I agree with this in all entirety because he sees that Nigerians/Africans are doing wonders not just in their country for reasons that he has several Nigerians working with him not only in Africa but at the Facebook HQ in San Francisco bay area, California. A thought must have bolted in that powerful head to visit the mother that produces such rare breed of persons. That’s how intelligent people think.
Technology already is at a fast pace in Nigeria, Mark visiting and investing in us would serve as a strong catalyst making our reaction faster than normal. An example is the just concluded Aso Villa Demo Day(AVDD), a program organized by the government to fund the 3 most initiative ICT entrepreneurs after showcasing their country-changing products to the President and other officiating dignitaries. I took a look at the samples of various materials by the participants and I must say, bravo! Great ideas. Intuitive minds. Marky graced the occasion with his immediate return from Kenya to witness not him alone, but with the government and the whole nation that young minds if given the opportunity would make the nation transcend to a better realm.
Surely, with this visit he has exposed not just Nigeria but the African technological side to the world. I would advise the world to be on the lookout for Africa because the youths are ready to work if the chance is given. Not only in the entrepreneurial aspects of technology-programming, content development, structuring and design but also in fashion, entertainment amongst others.
1. As Nigerians we must do what is necessary by sharing a piece of our identity with a foreigner especially an important one. Mark enjoyed our jollof rice spiced with enough orishirishis and testified to its awesomeness, he refused to compare it with any other’s not only because he was told but he tasted and affirmed that #NigerianJellof is lord over others.
2. Several of us clung to his affection for grey shirts, jeans and sneakers. A geek is dressed as such. Probably, the $56-billion-dollars worth is a simple man who sees clothes as trivial things. So make una free am, him wifey like am like that.
3. The tug of war on Twitter #KenyaVsNigeria has been hilarious. The struggle for the preferable country that would suit Mark and his business ideas. Remember! We are one Africa. Very important.
4. Mark not being received or met at first by at least the Information and Communication’s Ministry shouldn’t be much of a big deal because it was a solemn visit. To keep us quiet he finally did.
5. Finally, Buhari should up his selfie game by maybe having a 1-week selfie programme courtesy of the presidency.
Thank you Mark Zuckerberg on behalf of Nigerians and Africans in general, we make you Balogun, you deserve it. We hope for more visits not just from you but people of your kind- humble, kind-hearted and benevolent.