Reports on the power tussle between Franklin Awodiya and the other admins of the Facebook food group, So You Think You Can Cook, was top news over the weekend.
In order to hear his side of the story, TechCabal got in touch with Franklin Awodiya.
TechCabal: Hey Franklin, thanks for speaking with us. So there are a number of allegations being made at the moment on your person. 1) That you tried to monetise the group against the wishes of the other admins via affiliate links and 2) that you kicked off other admins and have seized control of the group in, as they describe it, a coup of sorts.
Franklin Awodiya: Let me stop you right there. The group was formed and actually owned by a lady by the name Bola Coker. Not sure if you’re aware but if anyone creates a Facebook group, an ID is attached to the creator’s account and it indicates ownership
Is Bola still involved?
Bola left a while back because she had issue with some ex-admins ( I was new in the group then). As you can tell, I’m the only dude in the group. Too much politics from the ladies, backbiting and all that.
Dude, as in male or person?
Dude as a male bro!
I came up with a good idea of monetising. Let me explain briefly. We’ve been approached time and time again by big brands from Naija for adverts. Reason for brands? The group number and traffic is high, I’m sure you’re familiar with this. A lady by the name Kemi turned it all down. She’s an admin like me.
Yea Kemi kale. We have mostly Naija-based members while most of us admins live abroad. A lot of them have catering businesses.
Right. Where do you live?
I live in the UK.
People have tried repeatedly to advertise but as a group rule, they ban the members.
So I wasn’t happy about banning people because they wanted to showcase their business.
You thought, let’s give them a system to do it?
Yeah that’s right. I suggested we charge a reasonable fee and sell top page and pinned message spots. Kemi is not business minded and will rubbish all the ideas. Couple of days back, a simple chat became an argument and before I knew it, she ganged up with the rest to remove me from the group. And since this was repeated more than five times, I took them out. Now here’s the thing; three of the admins were the problematic ones but there’s no option to prevent the other seven from removing me as we had equal powers. So I took everyone out.
I then contacted Bola Coker who founded the group. She actually laughed it off and said she’ll get in touch with the others. Before I woke up this morning, they had set up a rival group.
Did you consider downgrading them?
So why wasn’t that an option?
Bola Coker who lives in America called me last night and said she’s cool with monetising idea but folks need to calm down. But they started throwing abuses and name calling [sic].
Are you moving forward on the monetisation plans?
Not a sole decision.
So who’ll be collecting the revenue?
Bola was notified meaning I can’t do anything alone. I didn’t make any decision.
I woke up to lies and all the foolishness online. Saying I’m a scammer. Bro! I’ve never done such in my life and that’s defamation of character. Bola is now dealing with the case.
Okay, a few more questions. So Bola is involved. Would she be willing to speak to us? Secondly, monetisation is not a bad idea. Why do you think Ms. Kale was against it?
I couldn’t speak for her. She just formed a group chat that invoked me, Kemi and someone else but didn’t end well due to Kemi’s attitude. She’s chatting to someone else. It’s best you ask her. The group creator and owner said she backs the idea. This is not a crime. Nothing wrong, no laws broken.
I haven’t said it is
I didn’t exploit anyone. It’s false and ridiculous claims.
Just want to make sure we get all sides of the story, not just what’s circulating
Who’ll be involved in sharing the proceeds of future monetisation? Just you or will others be involved? Who?
As I indicated earlier, this is an idea. Not been rolled out yet. Dunno if it will. And if it gets to the point where it goes live, the group owner has the last say. I don’t own the group, I am just a regular dude who is business minded. I don’t and will never understand how that is a harmful thing. People brainstorm ideas 24/7 and I’m sure you can relate to that.