While the attendance and buzz of Social Media Week Lagos has seemingly depreciated over a three year period, it remains a good place to connect and be inspired.
It pays to plan your schedule by picking your events or the people you want to meet. However, a meticulous approach to organizing your schedule should make room for serendipity. Excluding razz moments like one featuring a certain contestant for Lagos state governorship, here are my top five moments from SMW Lagos 2019:
On Becoming Funmi, The Travel Lady
Young Nigerians who want to learn the correct way to establish authority on social media need look no further than Funmi Oyatogun. Many took note after her map of Africa showing where you could travel visa-free to, but there have been at least half-a-dozen other captivating threads from her.
Funmi was on the panel about ‘Fame, Fortune and The Business of Influence’, with the jocular BBC anchor Larry Madowo, the influencer marketing strategist Tosin Ajibade and the multimedia journalist Yemisi Adegoke.
By the years of their trade, these three are bigger names. But that Funmi is a rising star and the attraction of the panel was noticeable in the particular weight of attention and applause her responses evoked.
— Larry Madowo (@LarryMadowo) February 9, 2019
Her conscious, focused online persona is matched with a mild no-nonsenseness in real life. It presents a welcome distraction from the idea that contrived mischief and dubious eccentricity are two necessities for a social media driven brand.
Sisi Yemmie’s Good Samaritan
Yemisi ‘Sisi Yemmie’ Odusanya is the food vlogger everyone loves. Recording herself talk about food was a product of love, but eventually the money was to come. How did she bill her first clients for a marketing campaign?
In her inexperienced, not-very-business-savvy state at the time, she subdivided everything needed for the campaign and came up with an invoice of – wait for it – twenty thousand naira! Thankfully, the good human being who was representing the company that wanted to work with her sent a template for her to re-work her projections.
The pay became over a million naira. Don’t we all deserve those kinds of people?
Nicholas and Tolulope on Fake News
Maybe this year’s event was affected by the election fever? Maybe not. But fake news is definitely playing a role in these polls, as a number of news reports show. It was important, then, that a couple of sessions were focused on addressing the menace.
In one, featuring Nicholas Ibekwe of Premium Times’s investigation unit, the audience was reminded that social media did not begin fake news but has become a medium for scale. Tolulope Adeleru-Balogun, the former voice of Morning Cross Fire on Nigeria Info Lagos, was on another panel discussion where she stopped short of eviscerating blogs who publish unverifiable information as news.
Both journos did justice to the issue, adding to the growing list of admonitions for everyone of us to be more responsible in our sharing of news. Yes, you have a role if you have a smartphone.
Do Not Over-Innovate For Nigeria
You may have heard it commonly said that doing business in Nigeria is difficult. It is true, as ‘The Business of New Media’ panel (pictured in the feature image for this piece) made clear.
It was an enjoyable conversation featuring representatives from two of Africa’s leading cable TV providers, Kwese and Multichoice. Though competitors, they were in agreement on what it takes to last in the game: persistence, consistency, and knowing the right pricing strategy (sachet-pricing, for example) for your target market.
Also important: Do not over-innovate for Nigeria, because if it cannot be adopted, you waste useful capital.
When Tosin Laid It Bare
On Twitter, she is the lady with all the advise for financial literacy but who knows how Oluwatosin Olaseinde got into this fruitful enterprise?
On the Tuesday morning session on ‘Democratizing Prosperity’, she described how her humbling return to Nigeria stirred the desire to teach finance. After working for four years as an auditor in South Africa earning well over N20 million, she was bare to the bones upon touching down at Murtala Muhammed few years ago.
So bad did it get that on one Sunday morning, her mom squeezed offering money into her hands. Tears from that moment led her to change everything.
Many people say investing 20K per month is nothing
Also another beautiful thing about investing early is that you've built the muscle
You've taught yourself a good habit
When you start earning 500K PM
You've already inculcated a good habit
See the possibilities ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/e1PO35dlZP
— Olúwatósìn Olaseinde (@tosinolaseinde) February 8, 2019
Today, she teaches financial responsibility and investment, cautioning that everyone who questions the judgment of superstars that have blown their fortunes look inward and ask ourselves what we have done with all the money we have earned over time.
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Opinions: Part formed, Part undergoing reform